It’s real, people!

It’s real. It has a name. And it sucks!

I’m talking about Misophonia. Do you know what that is? Misophonia, also known as Selective Sound Sensitivity Syndrome, is the strong dislike, or hatred of certain sounds. It begins with a trigger sound, such as chewing, breathing, yawning, whistling, and on and on. The trigger sound produces a severe negative reaction to the sound, such as anger, fear, irritation, rage or panic. There is no cure, and doctors aren’t sure what causes it.

Adam has Misophonia. While he has not yet been officially diagnosed, he has been dealing with it for several years now. When he first started showing signs of the disorder, I thought it was a phase that he would grow out of. I had never seen anything like it before. I didn’t take it seriously. I’m sorry Adam. We gave him grief a lot about his anger toward the sound of our chewing. Chewing. That is his trigger. Not his own chewing, just other people chewing.

It’s getting worse as he gets older. He’s in high school now, a junior. When he was a freshman, he complained to me about kids chewing gum in the classroom, and how that drove him crazy. I thought that if he chewed gum himself, it would mask the noise of the other kids. It didn’t work.

He can handle fairly well being in the cafeteria for lunch. It’s noisy and there are lots of distractions. But in the relative quiet of the classrooms, that’s where he struggles. Not academically. Good grades have always come easy for him. No, it’s the noise of other kids chewing that drives him crazy. He can’t concentrate.

I finally brought it to the attention of the school principal. While he was sympathetic, he told me that without an official diagnosis, they could not make any accommodations for him in the classroom. I don’t know what kind of accommodations a diagnosis will provide, but I’ve got to try whatever I can to help him.

So, off to the pediatrician we went. He cannot diagnose this condition, so he referred us to a pediatric neurologist. The neurologist is only in the office 3 days a week. As a result, we have an appointment, but not for 3 weeks. In the meantime, the Director of Academic Support at school will sit down with Adam next week to talk about coping strategies.

Adam is super frustrated by all of this. He’s frustrated that he can’t control how he feels when he hears the chewing. He’s frustrated that he has to deal with it at all. He’s frustrated that there seems to be no way to fix it. He’s frustrated that we, nor anyone who doesn’t have it, really have no idea what it’s like. He’s frustrated that someone who doesn’t have misophonia is going to talk to him about coping strategies. He comes home from school every day and tells me he is not going back, he can’t deal with it anymore.

I’m frustrated because I can’t fix it. I have done a ton of reading about misophonia. I go out of my way to be careful about chewing around him. When it’s time for dinner, I tell him what we are having, and then he decides if he can tolerate being at the table or whether he will sit at his desk in him room to eat, based on what is on the menu. I’m fine with that, if it helps him. I will do whatever I can to help him deal with this.

I don’t know what will be involved in getting a diagnosis. Testing of some kind, I would assume. And, I don’t know what will happen once we have a diagnosis, if anything. I also don’t want him to develop other triggers, which can happen, according to things I’ve read.  I have read about tips and tricks people use to help avoid triggers. And, I’ve read about tips people use once the trigger sounds are heard to change their reaction to the trigger sound.  Adam is not open to these yet.

I hope and pray that this is not something that Adam will have to live with for the rest of his life. I cannot even begin to imagine!

I love you, Adam!

Winter Fun

Yesterday, the boys and I, along with our very good friend who is like a son to me, Austin, drove about an hour away to a ski hill to have some fun. Adam hoped to get more experience on his snowboard. Christopher was gonna be trying skiing for the very first time. And Austin, well, he’s pretty much a pro on his snowboard. And me, well, I was gonna be the photographer and support person.

Adam and Austin both have their own snowboards. Christopher had to rent his ski gear. We got their lift passes, the gear, and headed out to the slopes.

They started out on a bunny hill, just practicing and giving Christopher a chance to get the hang of the skis.

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That’s Christopher and Adam nearing the top of the carpet lift, while Austin is in white, patiently waiting at the top.

We spent a lot of time at the bunny hill. But, the boys quickly gained confidence on their respective gear. Adam was ready to tackle a bigger hill with Austin, so off they went to the chair lift. This would be the first time Adam rode a chair lift.

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Here they are getting on the lift. Adam did pretty darn good coming down this first time!

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My snowboarder!

We decided to go in and get a bite to eat. They would be closing the hills shortly, anyway, for grooming. We enjoyed the warmth of being inside and some food. Then, we headed back out so that when the grooming was done, they could get back at it.

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My skier!

After more time on the bunny hill, Christopher decided he was ready to try a slightly bigger hill. He aced it, as did Adam. Finally, Christopher decided he was ready to tackle the chair lift and an even bigger hill. This would be where they would spend the rest of the evening. They had a blast!

It was so much fun for me to watch my boys gain confidence on the slopes! Big smiles from them, and seeing the joy in their faces made standing in the cold so worth it! I am so proud of them!!

I’ll admit, I was afraid to get back on skis. I was in the ski club in high school, a thousand years ago, lol. So, once again, I let fear rule, and was content to be the photographer and cheerleader. But, standing there, watching my boys brought back a lot of fun memories from those high school ski trips. Maybe next time, I’ll tag along again. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be brave and put some skies on and have fun with my boys instead of just watching. It’s probably like riding a bike, right? Once you know how, it all comes back to you.

What I like most!

As you may or may not know, I love to take close-up photos. Showing the fine details of the photo subject is fun. I would love, someday, to have a macro lens. They are quite pricey, though. So, for know, I bought myself a lens extension tube. It attaches to the lens and allows for shots that are zoomed in closer than what the lens would normally allow. I have been thoroughly enjoying playing around with it and have gotten some pretty decent shots. I’m amazed, that, with my shaky hands, I can get clear shots. Christopher got me a gorilla pod for Christmas, and I have been using that for every shot I’ve taken with this extension tube. I love it!

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Here are a few pics that I’ve taken with the extension tube. Not perfect, I know, but I’m having fun and getting lots of practice.

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While I’m finding a lot to get pics of during this cold weather season, I’m really looking forward to getting more close-up shots in the warm weather months. Bring on Spring!

 

Internet

Yesterday, when I got home in the early afternoon hours, the cable and internet were out. I tried the usual thing we do when we have a problem such as this: unplug and wait a few seconds, then plug back in. No luck.

When I was pulling in the driveway, I noticed that there was a truck from our local cable/internet company in a driveway a few houses down. So, once I discovered that ours was out, I wondered if there was a connection.

Since the usual trick of unplugging and plugging back in did not work, I called to find out if there was an outage in our area. Nope. No outage. So, they scheduled a service call for later that evening.

Adam would be home from school soon, and I knew not having internet service would be a big deal for him. I was right! He was not a happy camper! “How did you live without internet, mom?” This made me chuckle. He’s 16, so he’s never known a time when the internet did not exist.

The service guy arrived, late, and already knew the problem was outside, at the pole, a few houses down. Exactly where I had seen the truck earlier. It seems the lines at the pole were chewed up by squirrels. For whatever reason, our line was not tagged, and the guy that was there earlier working did not know which house that line belonged to, so he did not reconnect it. What???!!!??!! It was a simple fix, and within minutes of our service guys arrival, the cable and internet were back on. Hooray!

The comment Adam made, about not having internet, got me thinking about how different things are now. So much is different now, for my own kids, than it was for me growing up. There was no internet. We didn’t have computers. When we needed to research something, we looked it up in the encyclopedia or went to the library. Remember the card catalogs? Oh my how things have changed!

We didn’t have multiple tv’s. And there were no remotes. If you wanted to change the channel, you had to get up and walk to the tv and change it. And there was no cable. We didn’t have fancy video game systems. We had Pong, and we thought it was great!  We didn’t have cell phones. There was a phone on the wall in the family room and if you wanted to talk to someone on the phone, you did it right there in the family room. We didn’t spend all day looking at electronic gadgets. They didn’t exist. We played with toys, or games, or spent the day outside.

My kids think it’s funny that we were so excited when we got our first microwave when I was a kid. It was the new thing, and it was pretty cool! How did we ever live without it? lol

I remember riding my bike on the bike path that ran alongside the expressway near our house. Sometimes by myself.  I would never, in a million years, let my kids do that now. It’s a different world we live in now, sad but true.

While we enjoy all the conveniences of modern life, it’s fun to look back at how things were when we were growing up. And, it’s fun to hear the reactions from my kids when I share stories like these. They will have stories to tell their own kids one day, about their own childhoods, and I’m sure their kids will react in much the same way. It’s one way we keep the memories alive.

Have you taken a trip down memory lane lately? It’s good for the soul!

 

 

Granola

Today, I made Lisa Leakes’ granola recipe. Remember Lisa Leake? From 100 Days of Real Food? I’ve been wanting to try it for a while, and this morning I made time to make it. It’s a pretty simple recipe, easy to throw together.

It’s fantastic! I love to add granola to plain, Greek yogurt. I also love to just eat a handful. This is good stuff! You should give it a try.

Here is the link to the recipe:

 

http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2010/04/04/recipe-granola-bars-cereal/

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! 2016 is in the books, and 2017 has begun! I hope you all enjoyed ringing in the new year last night. Tim and Adam and myself did our usual, dinner, movie, then home to watch the ball drop on tv.

I am not one that makes resolutions for the new year. I’m not starting a diet or exercise routine, simply because I already exercise regularly. And eating healthy is something I started taking seriously last year, so I’ll just continue. I’ll admit, though, that I ate more junk during the holidays than I should have. And I’ve been paying for it with stomach issues. So, it’s simply time to get back to more fruits and veggies and less junk.

One new thing that I will be helping with this year is wedding planning. That’s right! There’s going to be a wedding! Christopher proposed to Sarah on Christmas Eve, and she said yes! We are so excited for them! They are hoping to get married in January or February of 2018, so, a little over a year away. Can’t wait to watch all of this come together. They are perfect for each other, and I am so excited for them to start their life together!

I hope to amp up my photography this year. I’m not sure, exactly, what that will entail. But, I’m really having fun with it. I got a new 50mm lens for Christmas, and a filter for it. I also got a new camera backpack, which I used to take my camera gear to Colorado. It’s pretty awesome! I also got a Gorilla Pod tripod. Adam has been using one of these for his vlogs, and I think it will help me.

Maybe I’ll look into how I can sell some of my photos. There are a lot of online sites to do this, but I’m not quite sure where to start. But, I’ll look into it.

I also need to download some editing software on my new laptop. I think I’m going to purchase Lightroom. I downloaded a trial on the computer a while back, just to try it. I really like it. That’s probably what I’ll go with.

All in all, I’m excited for this new year. 2017 is going to be great!

Colorado

I told you we were going on an adventure. Well, we did, and it was awesome! We went to Colorado to visit our son and his family.

Until this trip, I had only flown once in my life, about 30 years ago. I was scared to death to get on a plane for this trip. We have been out to Colorado several times, but always during the summer, and we always drove. Being winter for this trip, we decided it made more sense to fly.

We flew out on Christmas night. As scared and nervous as I was, I used my essential oils to help keep me calm, and it wasn’t so bad. I actually enjoyed looking out the window at the lights below.

We arrived in Denver around 9 pm, and Tim and his family were waiting for us. They took us to their house, where we would stay for 4 nights. Their house is gorgeous, and we were very comfortable there.

We went into Boulder the first day. We did some shopping and had lunch. The scenery out there is incredible!

The next day, we went up into the mountains to Winter Park. We had never been to Winter Park in any previous trips, so this was fun. It was an icy drive through the mountains to get there, but the views were spectacular. We went tubing up there and had a blast!

On Wednesday, we went into downtown Denver to shop and have lunch. Another great day.

We were heading home on Thursday evening, so we just relaxed at their house that day.

The flight home was good, we all survived. We were so happy to see Zeke when we got home! He was very well taken care of while we were gone, but he missed us! And I missed him like crazy! It was hard to leave him, even just for a few days.

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The view out the window shortly after takeoff.

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This is the view out the upstairs windows at their house in Colorado.

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A five minute walk from their house gave us this gorgeous view!

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Driving up into the mountains.

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The views are amazing!

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This is where we went tubing. We had a blast here!

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I would never get tired of looking at these views.

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This giant bear is peeking into the Colorado Convention Center.

We had an amazing trip! It was great to spend time with Tim and his family. We certainly don’t see them enough! I love the mountains! And, yes, I would fly again.

The most wonderful time of the year

It’s here! The Christmas holiday has arrived. Today is Christmas Eve. I love Christmas! I love watching loved ones open their gifts and seeing their faces light up. I love spending time with family and friends. It’s a magical time of year.

There will be time spent with family tonight. Love, laughter and good food. Always a great combination. Tomorrow, we will open presents. I can’t wait to see how everyone likes their gifts!

Soon, we will be off on an adventure! It will be fun, and I can’t wait to share with you!

Merry Christmas!

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Snow pics

Last weekend, we saw our first significant snowfall. We got around 10 inches of snow, and we have had extremely cold temps this week. A couple more inches of snow fell last night.

I took my camera out after the snow fell last weekend. I thought I’d share some of the shots I got.

Snow covered pine tree.

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The pine trees at night.

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Adam and I tried making a light trail. Pretty good for a first-time attempt.

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Christmas Wreath.

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Jeep!

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I took this pic of Zeke with my phone. He LOVES the snow and loves trying to catch snowballs.

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