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!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Warning: Objects in Motion Stay in Motion

We have a way of raising eyebrows and inciting laughter all at the same time.

Our shear numbers can be shocking.  Add to that a bunch ADHD and a lack of inhibition and we are pure entertainment.  It might make some people uncomfortable but for the most part people seem amused.  Sometimes they even laugh or comment on what fun we are obviously having.  That was certainly the case the other night when we met Mark for pizza. 

It all started with the jukebox and some Michael Jackson.  Toe tapping, then shoulders, and then everyone is dancing in their seats, even my husband, Mark.  A little singing along but restrained, well, restrained for our crowd.

On to some classic rock and head banging.

By the time Justin Beiber came on Rachel was singing to Hannah, "Baby, baby, baby, oh, baby, baby, baby, noooo!" and really getting into it.

Leaving we met one of pleasantly amused types.  The first question is almost always, "Are they all yours?"   Almost always followed by, "It must be a party all the time at your house."

Not always, though we certainly do have a lot of fun.  With so many people and personalities we certainly have lots of moments where someone is upset, angry, sad, tortured, depressed, traumatized.  In fact, some days it seems like I rotate from one drama to the next; but, not this night.

After pizza we were off to the grocery store where I couldn't help but think about the post I made the other day; Parkas in Summer, Shorts in the Winter.  I was remembering those days when they were all small and all held onto the cart.  In some ways life was a bit simpler.  In fact, I think I may have threatened to make them all grab a corner of the cart.

Yep, everyone in this picture at the grocery store is with me!

I wish you could have seen my expression as I looked up to this sight in the freezer section.  I think my head tilted to the side like a confused puppy!  I couldn't help but laugh when Fernie, a permanent fixture in our house and also ADHD,  went and stuck his head into the freezer case.  I was just about to ask what he was looking at when all of the sudden there they were with their heads down in the case.  He pops up, "I was just wondering how many would come and join me." 

It was a crazy fun night.  Truth be told no one was unhappy, no one was so far out of line that they were making the night stressful.  No one was sad or depressed or angry. 

Can you ask for more?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Triumph for Sure: 22 Books in Less Than a Year

"Hi, this is Mary.  She is going to be in your class this year.  Believe it or not she is medicated, on the highest dose allowed by the FDA of two ADHD medications.  You can't really tell but trust me there is a big difference.  You should know that she is also dyslexic, she only sees out of one eye, she has a speech problem - you can't really understand a word she says.  She reads like she writes like she talks - it is all jumbled. Oh, and when she runs she leans farther and farther forward until she falls.  Have a good day!"

Turns out besides ADHD she has dyspraxia, an overall motor processing disorder.  It is a combination of all the dys' - dyslexia, dysgraphia, discalculia, etc.  She also has a language processing disorder - she doesn't separate all the sounds that she takes in - meaning that language has sounded like jumbled words to her most of her life.

Needless to say, despite her intelligence, she has really struggled to do the things that most of us take for granted like reading and communicating.  Her education has really been a constant struggle for her - she has had to work for every bit of knowledge she has.

Frustrated with the answers we were receiving in traditional school, tired of her sitting in class with most information flying over her head, we turned to a public charter home school program.  The program we chose was California Virtual Academy (CAVA).   They are responsible for the evaluations that really discovered the extent of her problems.  They have provided her with private speech and occupational therapy.  I could not talk about her successes with out praising their efforts and the system that really worked both for her and with her.

As hard and slow as the progress has been going to home school is a decision I will never regret.

When we started with CAVA Mary was in the 5th grade but reading at a second grade level.  She couldn't visually track well when reading, skipping large chunks in the text.  What she didn't skip she mispronounced or misread.  The amazing thing was that while she was at a 2nd grade reading level her comprehension was at grade level and beyond.  Some how in the fragments and chunks she was able to read she was masterful at finding meaning.

When Mary was about 10 years old she described it this way to her Aunt Anita, "It's like there is a beautiful picture and everyone can see it but I am stuck behind a fence.  I have to look through the cracks and holes in the fence at little pieces of the picture and guess what the rest looks like."

How profound.  How troubling.  How true.  How beautifully put. 

After years of hard work reading finally clicked.   She really started to make some progress about 2 years ago.  First, we got her books on CD,  her interest and drive to read  were finally there but her ability and stamina weren't.  We didn't want her to just rely on audio books so we made a deal with her - she would read a book and then we would buy her one on CD.

Then last April Mary came across a book she could not resist, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.  No more audio books.  She is 14 now and since last April Mary has read 22 novels.

Just like I have always said about her, she is still reading like she writes like she talks.  With her improvement in reading we have seen an improvement in her writing and her speech.  Just a couple weeks ago she felt and heard the difference in making the right 'R' sound for the first time. Her occupational therapist says her visual tracking is improving and she crossing mid-line spontaneously more regularly.

Last night I sat and watched her conduct a Young Women's program, she was distracted for sure; but, she was confident and pretty clear as she emceed the event and read aloud from printed materials.  Most of the time we are so deep in the trenches that progress really seems slow.

Most of the time our view is centered on the length of the long row we still have ahead of us.  Last night was one of those moments when I get a better clearer view.  Instead of just seeing how far there is to go I could see how far she has come.

This tenacious young woman is really starting to see the pay off a lot of hard work.  She has been strong when it was embarrassing, when she felt alone, and out of sync with her peers.  Plank by plank she is tearing down the fence and with each board she pries loose the view is getting clearer and clearer.  No more cracks and holes, she is after a better view.

I am proud of her.

* special thanks to Lisa Martin, her speech therapist, Goodfellow Occupational Therapy at The California Learning Connection, and her CAVA teachers, Mrs. Falco who has been with us all the way and Mrs. Shea

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Parkas in Summer, Shorts in the Winter

My dad is a safety fanatic, truly obsessed.  So when I was a kid our dart board was Velcro.  The "darts" were ping pong balls with little strips of the scratchy side of Velcro.  The dart board itself was soft material.  You had to throw that dart-ball just right; because, if you didn't the smooth side of the ball would bounce right off the board.

The more I experienced ADHD with my husband and children, the more I learned about it,  the more I saw a similarity between my old dart board and the ADHD brain.  So much information comes at the brain,  there is not much rhyme or reason to what sticks and what doesn't.  It is just like those little dart balls - it has to hit just right to stick.

Some things stick so well that you can hardly get them off the board.  

In my years as a parent I have spent all summer trying to get my kids out of their winter clothes, despite the 100+ temperatures.  Right about the time they finally put away the parkas the seasons change.  Then I spend most of winter reminding them that they are cold because they are wearing shorts! 

My current dilemma is how to pry my two youngest off the sides of the shopping cart.  I realize that this might not be something to complain about given the alternative.

I remember when my second child was born, I was panicked about taking two small children to the store by myself.  By the time my last child was born I had six under nine years old.  Of course, shopping had to be done, so I figured it out.  I did it by having them hold onto the cart, several on each side. What a spectacle we were, bulldozing our way through the store!

The kids knew that if they did not hold onto the cart it was a deal breaker - we would leave or they wouldn't get a promised treat.  One by one they all got older, they all reached the point where they could let go of the cart.  I will have to be honest, sometimes their exploits in the store make me question that decision.

My last two, my boys, won't let go of the cart.

That rule stuck and now I am stuck with the rule.  People coming the opposite direction - the boys won't budge.  Narrow isles - I am begging them to let go.   Encouraging them all the way - you are big now - you don't have to hold on to the cart...every second.  Then finally the voice of frustration, "Okay, we're stuck, someone has to let go!"

Then there are the darts that don't stick no matter how many times you throw them.

For example, we have toy box we bought many years ago to use as a shoebox in our house.  No matter where we have lived that shoebox has been within steps of entering the house, you practically trip over it to get through the entryway.  And yet, almost anytime of day, any day of the year, there will be shoes all over my house.

No amount of threatening changes this.  I have not yet found a consequence that has the power to make them remember to put their shoes in the shoebox.  No matter how many times or differing ways I throw that dart it just doesn't stick. I have a friend who is fighting the same battle - she has been confiscating the shoes that aren't put away.

I thought about that for a moment - I may have tried that in the past - to be honest, I don't remember.  I do, however, know exactly what would happen if I tried it today.  My children would all be shoeless.

Truth be told, regardless of motivations disciplining a child with ADHD is just different than one without.  Traditional punishments rarely work.  Maybe it is their tendency toward creative problem solving (see post Creativity and ADHD part II).  Their minds naturally go toward a solution that makes the punishment not a punishment.  I cannot tell you how many times I have taken away a privilege only to hear something like, "Its okay that I can't play the Play Station, I have been meaning to read more."

No matter how many punishments I can throw out they can come up with ways to make the punishment work for them.  It is a frustrating process.  I think it is why I am so fond of the "put your nose on the wall" punishment, boredom is the worst and most powerful punishment I have found. 

But, it has yet to get the shoes in the shoebox.

I am sure there are many reasons why some things stick and some don't.  When it comes to the shoes I am sure that when my children come through the door they have long ago left behind whatever they were doing before they came inside.  Mentally, they have already been in the house and working on whatever they are running towards.  They are moving as fast as they can so that they don't lose the idea or forget it.

I have come to a place where I pick my battles.  In addition to being hard to discipline I believe their is a real danger in a child being constantly in trouble, being constantly reminded of how forgetful and in translation how incompetent they are.  I don't want my children to feel defeated, I want them to feel empowered to conquer their struggles with ADHD.  How can they feel that way if their faults are constantly the only thing they see?

So, I choose what rules I will be a stickler about and I do my own "creative problem solving."  I send the kids out once or twice a day to get all the shoes and put them away.  The shoe situation is one of those things that I have had to find a different solution to.

So, if you stop by my house my advice is, watch your step.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Creativity and ADHD Part II

She slid around the corner of the bread isle in Vons - one hand on her hip, one straight up in the air, rock star style. In her self proclaimed over exaggerated, deep, sweaty, Bon Jovi voice she belted out, "Cause I'm wanted...wante-e-ed...dead or alive!"

She is 17.

Everybody turned to look, froze, and stared.  The butcher almost dropped his meat. A man with his young son in the cart, eyes wide as saucers, hastily moved on in an act of protection. 

When Casey Schwatz wrote ADHD's Upside is Creativity, Says New Study for The Daily Beast this might have been what she meant when she talked about a lack of inhibition.  I was reading her article; which talked about divergent thinking, creative problem solving and lack of inhibition - all aspects of ADHD - and their effect on creativity.  A flood of personal examples come to mind. So many that it is hard to choose which to write about.

Some are perfect examples of brilliance, some are a little scary, some are just funny, most are all of the above.  Maybe they are the good, the bad, and the extreme of life with ADHD.

That same 17 year old, Mariah, that shocked the mild mannered shoppers in the grocery store is a musician and lyricist herself.  That same lack of inhibition or impulsiveness that would send her reeling around the corner in the super market allows her to create, sometimes instantaneously, a masterpiece of music and lyrics. This clip is only a little bit that will be in an upcoming movie.  There is no doubt in my mind that her impulsiveness transforms her creativity.  She speaks through her music.  I have watched it overtake her, an irresistible force that cannot be contained.  It is hard to describe, it is such an energetic and real experience.

Sometimes the speed at which this creative movement takes place is astounding.  I have watched people sit in awe as my oldest would carry on a conversation and draw at the same time. From scribble to detail in moments.  Her younger siblings all have fond memories of what they called "drawing stories."  She would sit and illustrate a story as she made it up and told it to them. The speed at which she creates, transforms her artistic ability to movement and emotion on paper.  It is not overly thought out.  It is simply expressed.  In fact, whether it is in her art or writing, when she does try to plan, the planning really becomes a stumbling block for her. Her inhibition or impulsiveness is her greatest tool.

This force of creativity and energetic thought fights for an expression.  Unanswered, this creative force, will fester and  like a balloon that is filled with too much air - it will eventually pop, emotionally and/or physically,  in one way or another.  I have seen that too. 

Some years ago my husband, Mark, started working on a children's story to express this very real ADHD experience of being overwhelmed by thoughts and ideas.  "Bean Pole McCoy was a regular boy - except for his really large head."  His head was so full of ideas that he could not manage them all.  His head grew and grew until it over took everything in his world.  You can see in Mark's illustration how these ideas and Bean Pole's growing head overshadow his whole world.  I know from listening to my Husband and all of my many ADHD children that this is a real and persistent struggle.

In addition to a lack of inhibition the article also talks about divergent thinking.  I am not at all sure that the term "thinking outside the box" even begins to describe the type of divergent thinking that is involved in ADHD.  I would say it is a perspective difference at its core.  I see it in a thought pattern that I cannot even follow or understand.  The intrinsic difference between the "why" thinker and the "why not" thinker.  Interestingly enough, it seems that my ADHDers all understand the perspective and train of thought that leads them while to me it takes a lot of work to get it, if I ever "get it" at all.

I thought this picture taken by my daughter, Mary, really illustrated that difference in perspective.  I would never think to take a picture over a person's shoulder, catching their candid expression in the side mirror of the van.  Then again, Mary rarely thinks of taking a picture strait on.  I would never see the sunset as Rachel sees it and think of tragic star crossed lovers cursed to only touch in that moment when twilight meets dusk.  I love it and I enjoy their perspective. I enjoy what is created when their divergent thinking, influenced by their lack of inhibition meets their talent.

There is not doubt in my mind that divergent thinking quickly leads to creative problem solving.  There is an element of creative brilliance hidden in some moments of ADHD problem solving.  I say hidden because you have to look past the initial shock value of some of these experiences to find the brilliance.

When Mary was about 4 her bedroom faced the street with a really huge window.  It had mini-blinds that we tried to keep closed so that people couldn't see into their room and because when the blinds were lifted up they left a very long cord hanging down.  Mary had already tried to make a tightrope with a bathrobe tie spanning from the bed to the crib.  We caught her mid air, as she took her first step onto it.  We did not want to see what she could do with a long dangling cord.

We told Mary that she would be in big trouble if she opened those blinds because it was dangerous.  We have always tried to explain the reasons behind rules - it seemed to make our children more invested in keeping them.  And she did keep the rule, she did not open those blinds again.  Imagine our shock, though, when we came in one morning to find a perfect square cut out of those metal mini-blinds with plastic pre-school scissors.  Her explanation was simple, "You told me to not pull up the blinds and I couldn't see out, so I cut a square to look out."  She solved the problem...creatively.

The good, the bad and the extremely ADHD.  What an adventure our lives are - certainly nothing I ever dreamed of when I thought of sunlit nurseries and raising children.  Then again, life is in the journey - isn't it - and isn't it the journey that shapes us. 

Our children have definitely shaped me, they stretch me as a parent and a person everyday.  We strive to shape them by helping them understand their brains and learn, as best they can, to manage that incredible instrument.  We try to feed their talents and give them the positive outlets they need to use their fast paced creative minds, their free thinking brains, to express the many ideas scrambling for a chance to come out.  We also try to teach them to filter and abandon the bad ones; but, that is very much a work in progress.

For example, When discussing how gross and disgusting the trash cans had become in the hot summer, Mariah, came up with a solution.  We don't pay the bill, they will collect the stinky things. Then we pay to restore service and they deliver fresh clean cans. 

Always a work in progress, always an adventure.

 * all ideas, art, photography and music in this post are the copyrighted property of their individual creators respectively: Mark Aro, Mariah Aro, Rachel Aro, Mary Aro.

** pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Creativity and ADHD: Part I

Those who know me - especially my family - know that I do love to be right.  The other night when my sister sent me a link to an article about ADHD and creativity I have to tell you I felt justified, proven right.

The article was reporting on a study which found that people with ADHD are more "creative" than their non-ADHD counterparts.  Creativity has always been a hard one to define and has been the subject of a great deal of debate within the ADHD community.  Some say that creativity, itself, exists independent of ADHD and is, therefore, something that ADHD cannot lay claim to as a positive trait.

Some in the ADHD community don't want to claim to it for fear that pointing out the positives of ADHD diverts attention from the struggles.  That it gives those who would downplay or negate ADHD as a real disorder ammunition.

I have always said differently.  While it is true that ADHD does not corner the market on creativity there is something entirely different that happens to creativity when you add in a little ADHD. Something that holds a great deal of potential. I have six kids - five with ADHD.  I live the life, walk the walk, every minute of everyday and I need the positives to hold onto.  I need them for my children to hold onto and to help them find their way in this world.

What interested me most in the article; ADHD's Upside is Creativity, Says New Study, found in the The Daily Beast was the overall driving forces or characteristics that influence creativity and are so pronounced in ADHD.  The characteristics that came shining through in the study were divergent thinking, the effect of lack of inhibitions on creativity, as well as creative problem solving. 

I would consider our house my own center of research.

Drawing, acting, film, game design, experiments, concoctions (oh, the concoctions), ideas, philosophies, problem solving, music, composition, perspectives, stories, plays, cooking, animation, photography, obsessions;  I can not even list the creative endeavors that this family engages in daily.  Sometimes in the craziest places.  I have often said that we were creatively masochistic.

Just like no two children are alike; no two children with ADHD are even remotely alike.  I deal in extremes everyday.  I have some who stimuli will cause to lash out and some who beat a hasty retreat.  I have inattentive, happy in lala land and inattentive, freaked out OCD to compensate.  I have some with learning disabilities on top of their ADHD and some without them.  I have some that are more verbally and physically impulsive and those who are not.  I have some who are medicated easily and some that we are forever trying to find the right balance for.  I have some that are all of the above and some who are every varying degree in between.

I also have one non-ADHD child who just happens to be a creative genius herself. Because of her I feel a little qualified to speak on the difference between ADHD creativity and non-ADHD creativity.

Impulsiveness is a just a trait.  In and of itself it is neither bad nor good.  But, how it comes out in behavior can sure sculpt my day.  There is no doubt that it can be a burden; but, on an equal note I see the greatness it can inspire.

There is a beauty to impulsivity when it meets the right idea.  It is that lack of impulse control or lack of inhibition that allows the mind to grab on with both hands and turn a thought into a great work of art, a moving and emotional musical composition, a life changing piece of film.  It is in that moment, science takes new steps.  It takes the idea of caring and turns it into fast acting of compassion.  It turns a good athlete great, orchestrating athletics into art.

This trait is a force that can hardly be resisted by the ADHD mind. An immediate translation from thought to action.  I have seen it, watched it unfold.  

When my non-ADHDer was tiny, maybe 3 years old, I came up behind her sitting at the table with her pencil and paper in hand.  Her sisters were already skilled drawing fanatics.  In her tiny voice she whispered, "Oh magical drawing fairy, touch my pencil so I can draw like my sisters."  

My non-ADHD child draws, sculpts, and bakes (cake decorating is her latest passion). She is the eye of a photographer, has a beautiful voice, reads fanatically, and visualizes the movies she will one day direct.  All of that is a calculated and thought out process for her.  I have watched her hesitate where her siblings jump in.  It is work for her to create spontaneously.  In fact, about her only spontaneous act of creativity are cartoons depicting her frustrations with her ADHD siblings. 

It does not make her less creative or less talented by any means; but, there is an intrinsic difference between her creative experience and theirs.

She, like myself, is cautious and careful.  She is more reserved.  Where they have no inhibition - she is burdened by them.  We are the anchor in the house, we keep them from floating off into the atmosphere -- they are the hot air balloons, lifting us off the ground. 

She and I sit squarely in the box with a notebook and pen to plan.  They have no idea there is a box, much less where it is.  We are the concurrent thinkers and they are the definitely divergent thinkers.  We problem solve on known paths, it is so much more comfortable.  They are clearly on the path less traveled.

We try to understand and operate in each others worlds.  It is the balance that we strive to find daily between impulsiveness and calculated thought, between divergent and concurrent thinking, between traditional problem solving and new frontiers. 

In the end we are changed by each other -- largely for the better.  Isn't that what we really want as an ADHD community.  See us for not just our struggles but for our strengths.  Certainly, one does not negate the other.

Make sure and read ADHD and Creativity: Part II

** all the art on this post is the copyrighted work of Hannah Aro - our above mentioned non-ADHD child

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Snowball Effect

I was listening to one of my kids tied in knots with anxiety the other night.  He had hit maximum overload and was starting to unravel.

The list was long and came out at an amazing pace.  It reminded me of those old TV commercials with the speed talkers.

"I can't stay still, even when I sleep, I can't stop moving. There are no games I can play on the internet because of our internet limits. I can only take so many showers. I can't fall asleep. My medicine always stops working, what if it stops working?"

Typed words can never do the intensity and pace justice, though I know that some of you know exactly what I am talking about. 

"I can't can draw a transformer in the middle of transforming. Whenever I make structures with blocks and army men I can never save them.  I want everybody home.  I don't want to move EVER. I just want to move and get it over with.  I can't make the world editor work. 

I am trying to calm him down.  Just interjecting is like trying to jump on a fast moving train.

"I just want to pause life take a rest and come back to it later!"  Oh, me too honey, me too!

When I finally get my word in edgewise I am trying to explain that what he's experiencing by comparing it to a snowball heading down a mountain.  It's picking up speed and getting larger and larger.  We have to figure out ways to stop that momentum.  Coping mechanisms are a common topic in our house.  We believe in and use medication - but as we tell our kids - medication will only take you so far and you have to be prepared to function with or without it.

All of the coping mechanisms are failing so I  call in the big guns, Daddy. He understands and can communicate in a way I just am not always as good at.  As he says so often - he speaks the native language of ADHD.  Our son starts over from the beginning, with one exception. "Mama says that its like a snowball but I think its like a snowball with jet packs on!"  Then he added, "and I'm worried about finding a job."

He isn't even old enough for a work permit much less a job.  As bad as the economy is he has plenty of time for it to turn around before he needs a job.  Isn't that the way with anxiety though - everything gets twisted and out of proportion making it overwhelming.  Pretty soon you feel like you've been rolled over, crushed, and dragged along for the ride.

In addition to working with a doctor to find the right medication and taking it consistently; there are things we try and teach our children so they can manage their unique and wonderful brains. Talking about their feeling, finding positive ways to release the pressure, adjusting those methods as they change and grow,  and not letting things get to the point of snowballs with jet packs, all become parts of managing.

On this night, for this child, talking was enough. Talking and the promise of a pocket sized graph paper notebook to draw his transformers schematics in made the world at least manageable - melted the snowball...for tonight.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Little Slice of Holiday Life

It is time to move on and get back to blogging.  Here are some of my favorite happenings and quotes from the last couple months.

I called home from the store, "How big is the turkey in the refrigerator?"
Fernie, "About as big as Mark's head."
Me..."I meant how many pounds!?"

"It's the 12 days of Christmas...Oooooon the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a partridge in a pear treeeeeeeeEEEE...now someone needs to remind me to sing the second day tomorrow and then the third day the day after that...."

"LOOK!  It's a search helicopter wagging its light around...ooooOOOR... its an oddly placed light house." (on our drive home up into the foothills -- no where near the ocean)
"Mom...YOUR son is wearing roller blades on the grass...trying to get on his bike... and ride it..."

"Oooooon the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear treeeeeeeeEEEE"  Sings and stops - I can see where this is going.

"You can't sleep with that huge wrench in your bed...Mom, she has a huge wrench in her bed with her." screams big sister.  Little sister replies, "It is not a WENCH!"  didn't hear much after that...I was laughing too hard. (sometimes speech issues are pretty funny - who really needs the 'r' sound, right?) 

"NO, Mary, I am not buying you a book on how to split the atom for Christmas."  - what a responsible father :)

 Runs out of bedroom..."I forgot to sing the days of Christmas today!"...starts the song and sings through the fifth day runs back to bed.  Everyday he sings the appropriate number of days to the song.

"WAIT!" the brownies are out of the oven but Hunter doesn't want them cut yet, "We have to put the 'white hand of Saruman' on the brownies."

Overstimulated plus bored equals BBQ sauce art at Sizzler

 You know when people take two fingers and point to their eyes and then your eyes to indicate that they are watching you?  Well, Hunter for a long time has used three fingers to himself and two to everyone else insisting, jokingly,  that he has an invisible third eye.  Needless to say this hat was the perfect Christmas gift for our three eyed boy.  That evening he announced that with the hat on he is a, "hexoclops"

The Ninth Day of Christmas ADHD style!

Jaren: knock knock (on my bathroom door)
Mom:  "I'm in the bathroom"
Jaren:  "Can we open my presents now."
Mom:  "Nooooo"
Jaren:  "why?" (dejected)
Mom:  "For starters, I'm in the bathroom!"