Month: March 2015

200 Days. Boom! Drop the mic.

Today marks 200 days since my last migraine.



200 days of no kaleidoscope eyes.

200 days of no numb, anti-present feeling for hours following the kaleidoscope eyes.

200 days of no head splitting headache the day after the kaleidoscope onset of my migraine.

Green migraine smoothie, B-2, Feverfew, Butterbur, (aka my anti-migraine potion), no afternoon coffee, and monthly chiropractor visits.  These are the things I’ve done consistently for 200+ days.  Something in this equation is working for me right now.

200 days.  Boom!

4 Reasons I don’t like the kids’ Spring Break

Overall, Spring Break is awesome.  Of the three 2 week breaks my kids get in their school year, the Spring Break is probably the most needed.  In October, they get a 2 week break, and it’s great, I feel a sense of ‘Oh ya, this is what summer felt like.’  The 2 week break at Christmas time is always nice, festive, and busy.  Then, there’s the 2 week Spring Break.  It’s needed.

The kids can feel the summer just around the corner, they’ve been working hard, and this 2 week break is well deserved!

Awesome weather, day trips, overnight trips, sleep overs with friends, and movies were had over this Spring Break.

So what is there not to like about the kids’ Spring Break?  Let’s just say it all goes down the weekend before school resumes:

4.  The return of making school lunches. School lunches are my nemesis.  My son is in the 9th grade, and has never, ever, bought a school lunch.  I’ve tried to coax him into trying the school lunch ‘look, they have pizza!  You like pizza!’  No go.  Both girls tried the school lunch once.  Not that I necessarily want them eating the school lunch, I just always thought buying school lunch would be a nice break from having to make lunches at home.  Now, the job of getting a break from making lunches at home goes to pizza dinner the night before, resulting in pizza in the kids lunches the next day.  Oh, but don’t be fooled, that’s only for 2 out of the 3 kids because one of them doesn’t like pizza.  All three kids like different things.  I try to get my act together and make lunches the night before so I have a sense of accomplishment in the morning, but that certainly doesn’t always happen, and the morning turns into throwing things into a lunch box and convincing myself and them that it qualifies as lunch.

3.  The return of waking up early. The Spring Break held many wonderful memories.  One being multiple days of a quiet, resting house past the 8:30 AM mark.  This first morning back wake up is not going to be pretty.  I hope I have enough Pop Tarts to make the morning a success.

2.  Homework over Spring Break. My kids are not the ones from fairy tales that come home and get their home work done so that it’s out of the way, and they can enjoy their break, work free.  Nope.  The Friday before we return to school, after having two weeks to work on homework, what we have is me trying to wrangle wild horses to sit down and complete their homework.  Sayings such as ‘You should have gotten this done within the first two days of break.’, or ‘If you would have done a little bit every couple of days you wouldn’t have all of this to do right now.’ or ‘This will not be happening again, you waiting until the last minute.’ (even though it totally will) were what was coming out of my mouth.  Out of the kids mouth were ‘This is so unfair!’  or ‘I can’t do it!’, or ‘I want to wait until Sunday!’ (no way).

1.  Complaints about returning to school. The whining, complaining, and even crying about returning to school is overwhelming.  To set the record straight, my kids have excellent teachers and go to great schools.  It’s not the schools, and it’s not the teachers.  My kids just like being at home.  About Friday, when homework had to finally be tackled, is when the complaints about returning to school started.  And by Sunday night, they were in full force.  The crying from one child lasted for a long time, and in the end I heard voiced between sobs, ‘But I am going to miss you mom.  I’m going to be away from you for 6 hours.’  It caught me off guard, and that is a memory I will hold in my heart for a long time.  Truth is, I’ll miss them for those 6+ hours too. Here’s to the final push to summer time!

Gnats are the Houdini of bugs. (aka, I want a housecleaner)

It’s gnat season.  Not sure if that’s really a ‘thing’, but it is at my house.  Gnats, fruit flies, whatever you want to call them, I call them ridiculously annoying.  You know it’s the season when you walk through the kitchen and they seem to be everywhere.  And they are the Houdini of bugs, because as you slap your hands together and are certain you got one, you open your hands to find that, no, they got away.  I have been known to go a little crazy and swing around a dishtowel chasing after one, still only for it to get away.  On the rare occasion that one is actually smashed by my hands, I feel like I need to walk around and present it to everyone, so they can witness my feat.

These things just show up.  In droves.  And my son in particular just freaks out about them.  I like to think I keep a clean house.  Let’s be honest, as clean as my stockpile of Clorox wipes allows for.  My house is always ‘picked up’, I just wouldn’t go around banking on the 3 second rule if your food drops.  That is, of course, unless we just had a lice outbreak, then you’re good, lick the walls if you want.

Back in ‘the day’ I had a house cleaner come once a month, and even then, there was gnat season.  It may have been a bit shorter of a season, being that she didn’t come once a month armed with just Clorox wipes, but actual buckets with soapy water and delicious smelling cleaning solutions.  This day, this one day per month that she came to clean my house, was by far my favorite day of each month.  To walk into the house, smell the cleanness, and know for that one moment, all was balanced and perfect in my home, was beautiful.  Then, the kids walked in the house, and I looked forward to the next month.

And I digress…

This is what is currently sitting on my kitchen counter:

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It’s a gnat catcher.  I’ve tried a few, and this one seems to do the trick.  I put it by my fruit bowl, which they dance above like the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz.  (They don’t only go to fruit, they play ‘chicken’ with whatever you may be sitting down to eat at the dinner table as well.  And they must take pride in making you look like a fool trying to catch one in front of you as you are trying to eat.)  This catcher is just a piece of rolled paper, apple cider vinegar, and a piece of fruit in a jar.  You can find the specifics here.  It works, and it makes me feel a sense of accomplishment that they can’t fly back out.  (Or maybe that’s bullying I feel?  Oh well.)

Although I’m a bit fearful of making this blog post more cool or sexy than it already is, being about my ‘clean’ house and the lovely little bugs flying through it at this moment and all, I might as well just go all in.  These things show up once a year too:

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They are small, (crunchy when smushed) little guys about the size of a felt pen dot.  Not even 1/2 as annoying as gnats, because these just show up, 2-3 at a time in a window sill.  No flying, no dare devil stunts around your food, just slowly cruising, and very easy to catch.  They freaked me out the first time though, where did they come from?  I asked one of my best friends (had to make sure I could trust someone with a bugs in my house conversation), and she also had a couple.  This made both of us extremely uncomfortable, like we had dirty houses, and have continued to report to each other when they showed up on an annual basis.  After scanning the internet, turns out, they are carpet beetles.  What?  They are in the kitchen.  There’s no carpet in the kitchen.  These I can handle though.  They are here and gone within about a week, only totaling about 10 in their entire visit.

And then, to fully bring sexy back, the house flies that come at the end of October make me want to move, or go partially crazy, not sure which.  I do live in the country, in an area that gets super hot during the summer, so maybe that plays into it.  But, it’s gross.  My tactic is when a fly is against a window, to take the dust buster (which one of my best friends has tagged as 2nd most valuable item in the home only to the microwave) and suck it up.  Way better than a swatter in my opinion.

Not sure why I felt the need to boost my coolness factor up with this post, but, as stated in my blog description ‘Migraines suck and other tidbits of my life.’  Gnats are the tidbit for this week my friends.  They suck.

No Chores!!

Best part of getting away on a vacation, no chores.

At home, there is always, always something that should or could be done.

Not when you’re at Embassy Suites and it’s free happy hour and the kids get to scarf on animal crackers and trail mix, and we get to have wine.

There’s no laundry to be done when I’m sitting poolside watching my kids splash and have fun.

There’s no dishes to be done other than placing the room service tray outside the door.  (Man, what I would do for that kind of service at home!!)

There’s no making dinner, or the second part of making dinner, hearing the complaints from my children about what’s for dinner.  You want chicken nuggets and fries for 2 days in a row?  Cool, knock yourself out.  We’ll be back to complaining about what I’m making for dinner in a couple of days.

Down time.  Together.  The five of us.

Talking, laughing, a bit of arguing (there’s five of us, wouldn’t be normal without it), and a lot of relaxing.

An overall feeling of thankfulness, with multiple special moments.

Vacations rock.  Even short ones!


From green beer to green smoothies…

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

It seems like just yesterday I was celebrating with green beer, now I seem to be celebrating with my green migraine smoothie.


After the day has been completed, and kids are settled, maybe a beer then.  For now, I’ll sip on my smoothie.

You can read about my anti-migraine potion here.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Lice is evil.

I got a new clothes dryer a couple of weeks ago.  This was because my washer that was only 2 years old broke in the middle of a cycle, resulting in water EVERYWHERE.  It ended up taking over 10 days from contacting the manufacturer until someone finally came out to fix it.  Which is why we bought a new washer the day after mine broke.  (I can not be without a washer with a family of 5, most playing sports daily…)  And that is why we also decided to buy a new dryer, ours was much older than our washer, and now we shouldn’t have to worry about it for a while (hopefully).

And I digress…

As I looked at my new dryer, I saw this:

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And the thing that came to mind when I saw a SANITIZE setting was:  that setting is for lice.


2014 brought the first and second rounds of lice into my life.

My youngest’s head itched one day.  Not something that overly alerted me, thought maybe the new shampoo was the culprit.  A couple days later, really itchy.  As I looked at the back of her neck, little red marks.  I was pretty sure that wasn’t normal.  And I began to get panicky.  I started talking myself out of the lice possibility.  ‘Maybe I’ll get her some Head and Shoulders.’  I googled dandruff, and then…..lice.  The red marks were eerily similar to what came up on google images for lice.

And then all hell broke loose.

I called two of my closest friends, both who had dealt with this crap before.  One, spent a nice chunk of change to go to a special salon where they manually picked all lice and the junk that comes with it out of her kids hair.  Very safe, no chemicals.  My other friend also spent a nice chunk of change and had used the chemicals, as well as tea tree oil, and an ultrasonic comb that zapped the lice when you combed through hair (like a mini bug zapper).

I left Walgreens with an arsenal of supplies aimed to kill these suckers.  I started with the shampoo.  The good old, been around forever, super toxic I’m sure, but going to kill these bad boys shampoo.  I was not ready for what came next.

As I combed through my daughters very long hair, wiping the comb with a paper towel and putting it into a plastic bag as per instructions….there were actual bugs.  It truly makes me squirm and feel like puking, as well as feel a sense of guilt and horrible parenting when I think about it.  I know the guilt and bad parenting feelings are unjustified, but it’s pretty nasty to comb bugs out of your kids hair.  I guess I thought that I’d be combing out little white eggs that are hard to see, not true, lice.  So gross.

Then came the cleaning.  Because, if there has ever been a time I could eat off of any floor, let alone any other surface in my home, it was after the lice outbreak.  Sprays on the couches, washing each and every piece of all of our family of 5’s bedding.  Bagging up the ridiculous amount of stuffed animals, pillow pets, and tooth fairy pillows that have hogged the kids beds leaving a splinter of room for them to sleep in for years.  (This, by the way was a bonus, I stuck these bags in the office, and they didn’t ask for them for months.  Every now and then ‘hey mom, what about our stuffed animals from the lice, are they ready yet?’)  The amount of laundry and scrubbing I did in that 48 hour period was in no other words, insane.

I washed everyone’s hair with tea tree oil in their shampoo daily, and continued to do ‘lice checks’ for days afterwards.

I breathed sighs of relief and exhaustion, feeling that I had overcome the evil lice.  Until, 2.5 weeks after the first outbreak, while doing a ‘lice check’, I found more.

The neighbors may or may not have heard me yelling, crying, and then weeping.

This time, I couldn’t go through with all I did the time before.  I gathered up the culprit kid’s bedding, jackets, and anything else they may have touched with their head, and washed those.  That’s all I could muster.  I washed the hair with the toxic shampoo, and I used the little comb.  I got so itchy that I was certain I had lice too, and just for safe measure, and a slight ‘screw it’, washed my hair and used the little comb too.  And everything turned out to be ok.  Lice was officially gone after that.

But of course not before having to tell anyone that had been over to our house and used a bike helmet that our family had had lice (such a fun phone call), as well as become permanently paranoid over these ridiculous, evil creatures.

So, back to the new dryer.  The amount of laundry that I had done on the first round was out of control.  I sprayed down furniture and decorative pillows.  If these evil guys ever make their way into our hair again, I now have a setting so that I can shove all the things into, and kills these buggers.  Heat kills them, as well as not having a host (hence, the bagged up stuffed animals for over 1 week).

I told my husband after our rounds, that if we got lice again, I wanted to move to a hotel for a week, then when we returned, they would all be dead.  But now, I don’t need to go to a hotel, I can shove things that can’t really easily be washed into the dryer and run it on SANITIZE.

Our children’s reality, uncomfortably numb.

On the way home in the car just now, my 3rd grader talked for 15 minutes about the lock out drill they had at school today.  She said they have a new code word, and that today, one of her friends was in the bathroom when the drill (so, so, thankful it was a drill) occurred.  If you’re in the bathroom, she told me, you stand up on the toilet and stay quiet.  There’s a whole different protocol if you are outside on the playground, or in the hallways.  She must have said 9 times how sorry she was for the friend who was in the bathroom when the drill happened.

Ok, a couple of things:

  1. I am numb that this is our reality.
  2. My freshman son asked why in the world they have those drills, I explained they have to be prepared, because this type of thing has happened at schools.
  3. He asked why someone has to stay in the bathroom, why can’t they go back into the class?  I explained that if there was a ‘bad person’ on campus, they wouldn’t see the kids feet if they were standing on a toilet, and if they tried to open doors, they would all be locked.
  4. This is the normal for my kids.  My normal was a fire drill and an earthquake drill.
  5. am truly thankful that my kids are prepared for this atrocious possibility as best that they can be, and that they have the utmost caring and professional teachers I could ever ask for.
  6. I am numb that this is our reality.

My youngest went on to tell me that our friends that live on the East Coast ‘have a cool way they do their drill.  They get in their cubbies behind their backpacks so they are hidden.’  That boggled me, their stranger drill was ‘cool?’  And this has been a discussion among child friends?


She then told me that she would not be able to handle it if she was the one in the bathroom and not in the classroom if there was the stranger drill.  I realized this was a moment I had to take ahold of and I firmly said ‘You would be able to handle it.  If it ever happens, and it WON’T, you will stand on the toilet, and keep perfectly still and quiet until you hear the signal that the drill is over.’


Right before we got home, on the lighted freeway signs was an Amber Alert of an abduction that happened earlier today in Southern California.

Sometimes the reality of possibilities are too much to handle, I’m on overload right now.

It will pass, and smiles will be had later this evening I’m sure.  I wish I was still thinking about Pop Tarts and silly things to make me laugh.  But for this moment, I’m numb that this is our reality.

Pop Tarts for the Win!

6:15, dreadful 6:15.  It’s the start of the ‘time to get up’ chant around my house.

The freshman does not want to get out of bed.  This is the boy who would get up at 6:00 am each morning and catch up on SportsCenter before needing to leave at 8:00 am for elementary school.  Yet, this is the year he’s chosen to finally learn the art of sleeping in.

And so the battle begins…

  • I turn the light on in his room
  • He moans, shoots me a few lovely glances and groans ‘noooooo’.
  • I leave the room.
  • I return to the room 5 minutes later for the same routine.
  • The circle finally ends with me stomping, possibly yelling, and lots of times threatening, and then he finally gets up.  Only to then rush around and be a grump until he rushes out the door.
  • And then I get to start all over with 2 more kids (a bit of a different routine, although often, there are tears.)
  • And just for the record, YES, there is an alarm clock, and it is turned off after it beeps, and the culprits lay back down and go to sleep.

So what’s a mom of 3 kids to do?  Turn to Facebook of course.

This was my question:

If anyone has a fantastic plan for waking up and getting 3 kids moving out of bed in the morning on school days that doesn’t result in serious grumpy attitudes or tears, let me know. Otherwise, I’ll just be counting down the days until summer.
Just keep swimming….

I got an awesome amount of response.  Everything from super nice ways of waking kids up (that made me feel mean for never thinking of them) like putting their clothes in the dryer before they get out of bed so they are cozy (so awesome), to putting ice cubes in their beds to get them up, saying you were calling the principal, music, earlier bedtimes…

And then I saw it.

One of my longest lifetime dear friends wrote these two words, and these two words only:  Pop Tarts.

My gosh, that may just work.  Pop Tarts are usually reserved for ‘vacation breakfast’, my son in particular loves them.

I bought Pop Tarts a few days later.  The morning time came, and I told him he could have some for breakfast before school.  His eyes lit up like I just said that school had been cancelled.  I then put the following note on his dresser:

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After the next morning where he got up and was dressed before 6:30, that evening he said ‘Pop Tarts just make the day better mom.’

Today was the first school day after Day Light Savings.  Wake up at 5:15, but the clock says it’s really 6:15.  I was a bit nervous, wasn’t sure if the note would be enough power for the ultimate Jedi Mind Trick of Day Light Savings.  It was.

And that’s how Pop Tarts won.


The result of my husband going to the grocery store after Pop Tarts won.

Carly Simon said it best.

My body did a one step forward, two steps back in the last 24 hours.  This could have been witnessed by me passed out on the couch at 9:30 am this morning while hoping that throwing up was not going to be part of the migraine bargain.

All that keeps going through my head is this:


I have no idea any of the words other than the chorus, which is totally fitting.

This week brings my freshman son’s first two high school baseball games, my middle daughter’s 12th birthday, work, my youngest’s last basketball game, soon to be 12 year old’s softball try outs, and getting all set up for a 12 year old’s sleep over with 5 friends at our house.

Oh, and my youngest has been home sick from school since last Thursday.

I can not say this is the worst week ever, not even close.  Just not a convenient week.

Although, it has allowed me to totally plan out meals from Pinterest that I will probably never really get to, as well as never have any players waiting for me in Words With Friends or Trivia Crack.

Please know, I’m just getting this out there so I can have a good laugh, I’m not down.  Gotta laugh at it all, that’s what keeps me sane and makes me feel kind of human while trying not to gag.

Laughing is my favorite.

Just keep swimming…

Bargaining with my body.

One of the worst migraines I’ve had, one that’s definitely on my top 10, was a couple of years ago.  I was in Safeway, grocery shopping, when all of a sudden, there went my eye sight.  And then, through kaleidoscope eyes managed to finish my shopping needs (thankfully I know that place like the back of my hand).  By the time I waited out my eyesight return, it had been well over 30 minutes.  When I arrived home, all I wanted to do was the Nestle Tea fall into the couch, but I realized that may give me vertigo.  I didn’t need vertigo.  After lying down, my lips felt tingly, then numb, along with my arm.  I freaked out and called the nurse on call, and she said that happens sometimes with migraines.  How nice.  Another goodie to add to the bag.  The vice like headache when standing up or bending over of course arrived the following day, along with the dull, not 100% present feeling that is my headaches best friend.  A few days later, I was able to determine that this nasty migraine was the start of me coming down with a flu.  Just in case the flu isn’t bad enough on it’s own, let’s have it joined by a migraine to really give you the 1-2 punch.

Last Friday I left my long term 6th grade sub gig early because I was sick.  3 out of the 5 in my family have been sick within the last 10 days, and I was sure I wouldn’t be joining them.  Wrong.  I was lucky number 4.  (Really hoping number 5 somehow dodges this one, it’s her birthday this week, that would really suck.)

I found myself bargaining with my body when I finally got home and into bed.

‘Ok, if I’m going to throw up, if it’s just one time, I’ll feel better, and that may be better than bronchitis, but only if it’s one time.’

‘If I get a fever, I may feel like I need to call 911 if it reaches 100.1, but it’s better than a migraine.’

Side-note, how can my kids cruise around with a 102.5+ fever and still be coherent, yet last summer when I had a 101.1, I really did consider having my husband bring me to the ER for the splitting headache that accompanied it?

I am on day 3 of feeling like I’m car sick, the dull headache and all.  But no migraine.  It’s almost like I’m in a competition I can’t lose, I do not want to get a migraine.  I’m around the corner from 200 days migraine free, and since I’ve done so much rounding with my 6th graders in math, I know that’s closer to one year than zero years migraine free.  It feels like as soon as I get one again, I’m back to square one.  I know that’s silly, but it’s in my head.  Nothing makes sense inside there sometimes.

So, back to bargaining, with migraines being the top number, and me willing to sell almost anything not to have to buy one.


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