Sunday, December 9, 2007

Sunday Sound Out

Doesn't it feel after a while as though you've had a lobotomy? I mean, I sort of have to turn your brain off in order not to freak out over these things, you know? I just sort of go through my day, carefully not reacting to situations that, in my pre-mom days, would have driven me crazy.

That's great! It's true. I just wrote a chapter for my book questioning when I lost my brain and why I don't freak out over things anymore.

I have been feeling the same way today...and found an appropriate way to describe it. I think I need to post a sign on my front door that says "Second Law of Thermodynamics enforced strictly on these premises!"
Okay, now that I've identified myself as a geek (a chemical engineer to be exact), I am a mom of three...ages 2, 2 and 7 months
(twins and a baby). And this was the best definition I could come up with for the second law:
Second law of thermodynamics: deltaS = change in entropy. deltaS must be greater than or equal to zero for all natural processes; entropy increases for all natural processes.
"Entropy" is defined as a measure of unusable energy within a closed or isolated system. As usable energy decreases and unusable energy increases, "entropy" increases. Entropy is also a gauge of randomness or chaos within a closed system. As usable energy is irretrievably lost, disorganization, randomness and chaos increase. (
I especially like the part about "usable energy is irretrievably lost" and this leads to "disorganization, randomness and increased chaos". That is totally my life.


Oh and now I thought of a question for you! With 6 kids- do you and the kids get a flu shot? If one gets it - don't you all get it?

I refuse to answer on the grounds of Murphy's Law. And yes, if one gets it, we all do. It's the one time they listen to my lessons on sharing.

And on a completely different subject - WHERE do you hide gifts for that many kids? I'm running out of places that I'll remember come 3 weeks. I did find things from last year that I hid and forgot to find so part of my shopping is done. :)

LOL I've done that too! I can't tell you where I hide presents because my kids read this sometimes.

Dawn, What patches is your child on? My daughter is ADHD and is on the Daytrana patch...I am not sure if there is something else out there on the market or if this is the only patch. What side effects do you guys deal with. My daughter has a significant lack of appetite and she also seems irritable.

He used to take Concerta, but we just started Daytrana here too. He doesn't have a good appetite while on the medication, but we remove the patch as soon as he gets home from school and let him graze all night whenever he's hungry. It's a tough thing - ADHD. I don't like giving him medication at all, but he's literally a different person without it. He is very much Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He's the sweetest, most giving, caring, kind, thoughtful, funny kid when he's taken his medication. Unfortunately, without the meds, he is rude, belligerent, impulsive, hyper, obnoxious, and mean. I hate giving him medicine, but I'd hate it even more if he was in trouble every day, got poor grades, had no friends, was teased, or hurt himself because of his impulsive behavior. I know people have a lot of strong feelings about this, but I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all treatment for this. Different things work for different kids and you have to do what you think is the best (or the lesser of all evils) for your child.

We did try a diet with him for about four months. It's called the Feingold diet. I honestly didn't really think it would work. My husband was certain it wouldn't work. We gave it 100% effort for four months though and we were all amazed that it did indeed work. It wasn't quite as effective as the medication, but still, the diet made an incredible, positive difference. Even my husband, ever the skeptic, couldn't believe it. This particular diet cuts out all artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives - basically anything artificial. At the beginning of the diet, they recommend you also cut out natural salicylates until you see if your child is sensitive to them. So, it's not a crazy diet. It's actually healthful. You're only eliminating artificial junk that wasn't even in the American diet a couple generations ago.

Sounds great, huh? Here are the drawbacks though... Whenever I had a question or wanted to get some information from the Feingold support message boards, I ran into "Feingold Nazis". Now, I'm sure there are friendly, helpful people who participate, but I read so much stuff from folks who were so anti-medication and talked so negatively about people who had chosen to help their child with medication, that it really turned me off. Like I said before - I don't believe there is one right answer that works for everyone.
Also, it will cost a fortune to buy packaged, premade natural foods and you will have to do a large amount of your shopping at natural food stores like Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and the like. Or, you can choose to make most everything from scratch - bread, cookies, any kind of treats, and all lunches and meals in which case, it will be more cost effective, but very time consuming. I found that even though I made everything from scratch, my grocery bill still doubled when I did this diet. That was my biggest reason for stopping it. I simply couldn't afford it. I'm used to shopping at Aldi (the cheapest, generic, bargain food mart around.)

Another drawback is that the diet won't work if you don't follow it. I could make sure that it was followed meticulously here at home, but I couldn't be at school all day with my son to make sure he didn't have anything he wasn't supposed to. Although he knew what he could and couldn't eat, it was hard to resist temptation and stick to the diet. This is hard for an adult. Imagine how difficult it is for a nine year old. And what do you do when he's invited to a birthday party where pizza and birthday cake are served? Pack him a separate lunch? Make him feel weird? And how about the other kids? We made the whole family follow the diet because I couldn't see letting them his siblings eat contraband food in front of his face. I felt like it wasn't totally fair to the other kids, however.

In the end, I have yet to find the perfect solution for us. I may go back to the diet again in the future however. It did help my Spazboy, Clay get more control of himself too.

Wow, that post got long! Sorry about that, but hope it can help out someone who has a child who has been diagnosed with ADHD.

too funny. aren't clay and brooklyn your oldest and youngest? getting into mischief together, that's cute.

Nope, they're my two youngest. And yeah, it's cute. Real cute. <--- read with heavy sarcasm.

were there any aftereffects from the tic tac cravings? my mom always said eating too much of those will cause them to come out the other end REALLY quick. i wonder if that is true... :-)

LOL! Umm, not that I noticed.

Soooo, how much hair did you pull out yesterday?

Only the grays.

Here's a question for your Sunday post - what consequences happen to your kids when they do things like this? I never had six kids, but I did have three boys and they wouldn't have dreamed of pulling stunts like these. I think the worst mine ever tried was a bit of crayon on the wall and that earned them a whole afternoon of time-out in their room.
I never get this "boys will be boys" way of thinking. Boys can be completely charming and delightful when they know what their limits are.

Ugh. This was in response to Monday's post so I had to go back and look at it to refresh my memory. First of all, I'm not sure why you're asking. It sounds as if you just want to imply that I'm doing everything wrong since your children apparently never misbehaved. I'm also guessing that your children may be grown now? I do think that (in general) kids today aren't as well behaved as (in general) kids from generations past. I do not attribute it all to this generation's parenting, however. And even if you could blame it all on today's parent, it would seem that yesterday's parent didn't do a very good job raising us if we're messing up so badly that we're all to blame for our children's bad behavior. Does that make any sense? I believe there are many, many factors involved here. We're living in a very different world than it was even one generation ago. Parenting is not the same.

Secondly, my kids are well behaved in public (except the doctor's office for some reason. It never fails that they wacky there. Maybe it's all the waiting. Anyway...) and I never fail to get compliments from people when we're out. Also, I sometimes exaggerate (shocking, I know) to make a story a better read.

Finally, I'm not a perfect parent. Far from it. I make mistakes. I do things that in retrospect, were probably not the best ideas. Sometimes I'm just too tired to make them pick up and it's easier if I do it myself. Occasionally, I let something slide that I shouldn't. Now and then I lose my temper and yell like a maniac. But I always try to do what's right. I try to show my kids how to behave. I try to stay calm and let the natural consequences of their choices teach them. I try to apply punishments that fit the crime when need be. When Clay dumped sugar on my counter while helping me make cookies, he wasn't punished. He missed the bowl. He's three. Big deal. When he ran by the laundry basket, spilling clothes onto the floor, he had to pick them up. He ate all the chocolate from his advent calendar, now when all the other kids get a piece, he doesn't. His is gone.

How do you stay healthy when one of the kids is always getting sick? I have a sick daughter right now and one is enough...can't imagine more than one sick at the same time!! And then what would happen if mom gets it??

Moms aren't allowed to get sick, silly!

Dawn, I assume your husband reads your blog. Have you found that he is now tormenting you on purpose by smacking his lips, hitting his spoon on the bowl, and brushing while taking a tour of the house?

LOL! Noooo. I have discovered that the grossed-outedness I experience doesn't only happen when my husband eats. Apparently I don't like to hear anyone eat. I was at the library the other day, working on my book, when some girls sat down behind me and proceeded to open a bag of SunChips and chow down. Oh. My. Gosh. I had to leave.

It isn't my husband. Clearly there's something wrong with me.

OH MY WORD....Glad to hear we're not alone over here - my kids have been crazy - I felt like Monday I walked in circles thru a path of destruction. And the behavior - oh my - I'm chalking it up to the annual countdown to Christmas - as much as we try and keep it about Jesus' birthday, we can't seem to get away from getting caught up in the hype - my kids just become crazed lunatics this time of year. Hang in there girl!

December is always my kids' worst behavior month. Well, December and August actually. What makes it worse is you can't just send them outside to run off some energy. I let them play in the snow for a while, but they can't just stay out for hours playing. Everyone's tired of being cooped up inside and they're super crazy this time of year.

How fun was it to clean the blue out of that tub?!?

Crap! I was supposed to clean it???

You're the expert, please help me:
My SAH husband just called to ask if the ink from the ink pad I gave our 3 year old daughter will come out. I asked why and he said our DARLING 21 month old son got ahold of it and it's not only all over his face but the carpet and the couch too! I probably shouldn't have done this but I said, "Take pictures honey, this is great blog material." Then I said to try baby wipes because I've heard they take anything out of anything.
Any other suggestions? Our furniture had no blemishes before this.

Let me get this straight - you have a 3 year old and an almost 2 year old and your furniture has no telltale signs there are toddlers in your house? Seriously?

Do you think that when your kids are all grown up, that you will look back at all the mishaps they did and think to your self "I miss that"?

So they tell me, so they tell me...

Is it just me but has no one kind of wondered what she was doing by herself in a high chair long enough to pull this off....

Oh, you know - I went to the grocery store while she was sitting there, so she had a good hour and a half to do that. @@
I don't know about you, but I have yet to perfect the skill of watching six kids simultaneously for 24 hours straight. Plus, my husband kind of likes it when I do stuff like clean, make dinner, pay bills, and do the laundry. You must be amazing to be able to do all that and watch all your kids at the same time. I leave the little one in her chair to drink her milk while I change laundry. I'm just a slacker that way.

PS Yes, your drain is so shiny too, as noted by others. And is that a smoke detector on the side of your tub? (the white thing)

Uh yeah, well you never know when your bathtub might catch on fire. ???

I used to work for eBay customer support, and I just wanted to let you know that they are, indeed, real people. They use macros (automated responses that are programmed into their computers) to help them with the more common responses, because they usually work 3-5 at a time. It is an incredibly stress-filled job. I used to get so stressed before work that I would vomit. I hated that job, and I'm glad to be done with it.

I guess I didn't phrase that very well. Michelle did get a live person, but that person said that live help wasn't available to answer her question about eBay's TOS and charitable auctions. And yeah, that doesn't sound like a fun job.

As for the pencils, I understand...kind of. I've worked in a school for six years. As a teacher, I keep a stash of pencils for me and a stash for the kids. They are different brands so they don't mix. Basically, I use my own to avoid their germs because kids are known to put their fingers in there nose and who knows where else. I bleach their pencils at lunch and after school every day to cut down on germs, but I just feel more comfortable with my own. I allow the kids to use their own as well if they don't want to use the shared ones. With MRSA and whatever else is out there, people are scared.

Ahh, well that would make sense if these had been the teacher's personal pencils, however this was a cup of new, unsharpened pencils with the school's name imprinted on them, and they were set on a low table in the waiting area of the office.

I've been reading your blog daily since someone sent me the ebay auction over the summer. I am a queer activist mama of three and I babysit 4 other kids full time. We are not so different, which is why I read your blog. We have many of the same ideas about parenting and life and I look forward to reading your book (which I will have to get from the library because I can't afford to buy books!). I felt compelled to write because the Golden Compass book (and the entire trilogy) by Phillip Pullman is one of my all time favorites and I strongly feel that you should read it before suggesting an all out ban on it. Or the movie, or whatever. It's weird to be so in sync with a total stranger for so long and then have this glaring somewhat shocking reminder that maybe we are, in fact, too different after all. If your opinions on the film are any indication you probably think I'm some crazy homo sinner anyways so maybe it's for the best. So I guess we're breaking up. Sad, but thanks for the laughs.

Ummm, whaaaaat? I suggested an all out ban on The Golden Compass? When did I do that? I guess I'm writing things that I don't even remember now. Interesting.

I do have a question, I have more then one child who enjoys computer time. How do you make the time fair for each child? From the time my boys get up to the time they go to bed they fight over the laptop. My younger one is home more since hes only in preschool and is on it more. I just want less fighting over the time they are on it and could use some ideas. Thankyou.

Simple. I just never get off the computer to let them have a turn.

Actually, only my three oldest like to use the computer. If it's for homework, that child has precedence. If it's to play, they have to take turns. I suggest that they set a timer for 20 minutes. If I hear fighting over it, no one gets to play.

Question for a Sunday or anyone to answer: What "hit counter" do you like to use for your blog? I put one on my blog, but it's very basic and counts every hit even everytime I check to see how a post looks. I've made most of the hits so far :)

I use Statcounter. It has a lot of features that are cool, I guess. I've never really looked at them myself. It has a blocking cookie though so you can block your own hits and you don't inflate the numbers. (Don't I sound all technical like I know what I'm talking about? LOL!)

We are from a SMALL town in eastern Kentucky, so the big city is a real treat for us. I took Mom to Marshall's department store (is that the right name?). She had never been shopping anywhere bigger than a mall. She was fascinated by all the levels and the windows and the decorations. It was near Christmas, so you can imagine how beautiful it was.

That was a nice story and I'm sure a great memory for you, but you definitely didn't go to Marshalls. Marshalls is a bargain clothing type store. I'm sure you went to Marshall Fields (or Fields) which is was an awesome store. The one downtown always decorated their windows with a story. Sadly, we no longer have Marshall Fields in Chicagoland as it's been replaced with Macy's. : (

Oh -- and do you have a recommendation of good Greek or was it a pleasant dinner with friends or not somewhere you'd recommend to others? Discriminating palates want to know!

Greek Islands in either Lombard or Greektown is awesome. The Parthenon in Greektown is also yummilicous! In the suburbs, Yanni's or Greek Village Taverna are both good! Opa! (I'm not really a restaurant critic, but I play one on my blog.)

my question is this... i read your blog daily and i swear i am either losing my mind or some of your posts come then go, whats up with that???

I think you are losing your mind. I'm sorry.

What does it take to be a dork like you? (Besides having a "gillion" kids that is.}

Oh it would take years of practice to get as dorky as I am.

Ok, so you didn't tell us, did the water help with the dry mouth thing or is it just the fact that you are nervous a little?

It totally helped with the dry mouth. It did not help with the weak bladder, however.

You are going to L-O-V-E NYC!! It's a great city! Make sure you do the dorky touristy stuff like Rockefeller Center, Radio City, FAO, etc and a not eat food from a vendor named Salvador in Times Square, he sells hot dogs and various condiments for said wouldn't be a pretty trip. Otherwise enjoy coming to "my" coast!

Thanks for the tips!
Wow that is cool!!! I got to see some of Chicago which I am pretty sure (unless I miraculously win lotto) will never happen. Its funny though that you are complaining about the snow lol I have never seen snow ....ever.... I dont live where it gets cold enough to ever snow. We are sweltering here at the moment with the humidity, its about 80%. I cant wait till you go to New York I hope you do the tourist thing and take loads of pics. Are you going to New York on your own or with your hubby?

You can have my snow! Please! Really! Last night, it didn't snow. It iced. Sleet and freezing rain all night. In other words - everything was covered by a sheet of ice this morning. Everything!

And I'm going to NY by myself! Well actually, I'm going with my agent. LOL - it still cracks me up to say that.

You're gonna be in NEW YORK?
Let's do lunch!

As long as it's not at Salvador's hotdog cart.

Here's an update on Michelle's cheesy auction to benefit Julian:

The cheese has been bid up to $265.00 as of tonight! It's gotten 49 bids! People have made Paypal donations on Michelle's blog totaling $850.00! Wow! Thank you to all who have donated and to those who have said a prayer! This outpouring of compassion is amazing! This is what Mimi had to say...

Please, let your readers know that I have read every single comment they left on your blog. I appreciate them so much more than I could ever tell them.
This seems so unfair to Julian , but he still has a smile for me ,every time i look at him...
I will just be relieved when he is cancer free and with Our Father...I hate to see him hurt and become so limited in his mobility...
So again ,thank everyone for me...


And visit Mamaslike for great gift ideas like Scripture jewelry, scrapbooking DVDs, CDs to benfit cancer research, homemade goodies from Etsymoms, Christmas books, paper made from elephant poop, and much, much more!


Sararrt1980 said...

I have been lurking for awhile, and just wanted to come out and say wow....I can't believe some of the things that people write to you! If they don't like something, don't read anymore! Seems pretty simple to me. I, on the other hand, can hardly wait to read what you have next. I'm looking very forward to your book.

I have a question. I might have missed this before, but I was wondering if you are going to have any more kids? I would love to have 6, or more, but my husband says no. So, I have to live through you! Thanks for being so entertaining!

Bunny said...

Boy, some people sure are being rude to you lately arent they?

This is completely unrelated, but its something I've been wanting to ask you for a while...Would you ever consider allowing me to send you and your family a tin of cookies or something every now and then? I love to make stuff and I love to share it, I just have nobody to share it WITH. I like to do crafts too. So if sugar isnt your idea of fun, I could set up some care packages for your crew to make stuff with. If it doesnt seem like a good idea to you though, I totally understand. I know it is a fairly out of the blue idea. XD

Donna said...

We have something in common, you and I: I can't STAND mouth noises. I'm famous in our family for that. I can't even stand the DOG making slurpy noises, for pete's sake.

Thanks for the humor you inject into my daily routine and for "keeping it real" as Ree, the Pioneer Woman, calls it. Have you read her blog?

You and she would probably be BFF's.

KC said...

hi Dawn - I really enjoy your laugh and have to admit, enjoy your description of winter.

I live in the tundra, otherwise known as Ottawa Canada and completely related to your comment on Sunday about kids not getting out enough. I have two kids, and have been dubbed "Attila the Mum" because we insist that they get "fresh air" every day!! They go out for recess; our school policy is inside after -25 celsius.

It's the weekends where we need to encourage competitive fort building.....

I figure they are old enough now to sense when frostbite is setting in, right?

Thanks for the laughs through this looooooong, snowy December!!!

Alison said...

Geez Dawn, don't you know that children are supposed to be seen and not heard? What's the matter with you?? *insert giant eye roll*

Don't you wish we could all be perfect parents like some of the readers who comment on your blogs? It often makes me wonder if being that pretentious is simply flat out lying or delusion.

At the end of the day I feel sorry for the poor parents who have children who grow up without knowing them, or worse- resenting them, because they apparently never took the time to allow their young child to spill sugar on the counter.

I read your blog daily, and our parenting styles are extremely similar. Children aren't idiots and they learn through their mistakes too, shocking I know! OMG they are people!

Ok rant over :) Keep up the great work putting them back in their places, your responses to them are perfect.

Valarie said...

"Is it just me but has no one kind of wondered what she was doing by herself in a high chair long enough to pull this off" Ummm, I don't know about your child, but mine could easily do that in, oh, about 27 seconds. This person has obviously never had a child before.

suburbancorrespondent said...

You led with my comment. I'm famous!

Stella said...

I have to agree with your answer about your kids' behavior and the doctor's office! I only have two kids and the one really doesn't know how to misbehave yet- she's not even 9 months. But my almost 3 year old becomes a RAVING LUNATIC at the doctor's office. I have no clue why but he is just off the wall NUTS! I don't want to say bad because I don't think kids can be bad...they can do bad things but they aren't bad. But man he sure does toe that line quite a bit! said...

Does it amaze you (because it does me) how people who I assume don't have 6 children can comment on your parenting skills? I have 4 and can't imagine having 2 more to deal with (probably because mine are all under 6 yo), but regardless I don't think I'm qualified to comment on yours or anyone elses parenting skills. If those people knew the chaos that came with raising a house full they'd put you up on a thrown and do something nice like rub your they should!!

Lucille said...


As usual - worth the wait! :)

Nice Q & A! I said Q not T - ha, ha.

I appreciate the Greek restaurant names since hubby is Greek and I'm in Illinois often.

And I am chuckling that you got dumped over something you never said about the movie Golden Compass. You never told anyone to ban it or avoid it. People read what they want to.

Have a good one!

Anonymous said...

Dawn thank you for linking me to Michelle's ebay auction for Julian. I was inspired to bid and now I am reading (with sadness and admiration) Mimi's care page for Julian. Their story touches me in a way that baby Allie's did a few years ago (Mimi knows baby Allie, perhaps you know of her and the Scott family as well?). Being able to read about Julian and his family has really touched my heart. I feel for them and will continue to keep them in my heart and my prayers.

Thank you also for being candid and honest about your life with your family. Sometimes as a SAHM to two I think I shold be coping better and enjoying them more... thinking of others' plights and adventures helps to keep me in perspective.
Enjoy this crazy ride Dawn!
~Amy in MA

Deb in OPKS said...

Thank you for taking the time to write the answer about ADHD. We are possibly going down the road of ADD with our oldest. We had a meeting with the school last week and need to set up a doctor's appointment. We are a LONG way from considering medicine, but it was helpful to hear your thoughts. I know what you mean about food cost. I chose to put my family on hormone free milk which is twice the price. At 3 gallons a week it really adds up!

Beth said...

Hi Dawn-

I've been reading your blog daily for the past few months - always makes me smile in the morning :)

I just wanted to say that we are a Feingold family (for the adults actually!) and some of us aren't Feingold nazis ( as I am sure you know!). We do our best - cheating occassionally, paying for it, and moving on. I think doing even some of it is better than none - and hey, if the meds really help, then by all means use 'em!

Michelle said...

I so understand the whole making noise while they eat thing. I hate it! I constantly say chew with your mouth closed! Even crunching chips annoys me! And gulping juice -- horrible! My family has it pretty much figured out -- but my inlaws I go insane!

At least now I know someone has the same feelings I do! :)

A. Stewart said...

Wow. I must be like a computer genius because I've been reading your blog for months & just figured out how to comment!
Anyway, just wanted to say that I really enjoy reading about your kids' capers (and yours). I also like the way you handle questions from folks who have nasty things to say (and usually aren't reading your blog carefully at all - hence the Golden Compass question).
Finally, I teach English & do some copywriting & editing, so if you ever need a free edit on that book, I'd love a sneak peak!

JESSICA said...

Hi Dawn,

I found this letter to Santa from a Mom and thought you'd appreciate it. As I'm pregnant with my first child, I'm wondering what's the return policy on these kids? Just kidding, I know I'm in for a lifetime of wonderful surprises.
Have a happy holiday.
Dear Santa,

I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor and sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several
Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes: I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze, but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store. I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.

If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music, a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals, and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools

I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting "Don't eat in the living room" and "Take your hands off your brother," because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.

If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a styrofoam container.

If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is calling and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch cold.

Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always,


P.S. One more can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa.

stephanie said...

i find it hard to believe that a person who would take their time to read your blog would actually post some of the kinds of comments and questions that you choose to answer on sundays. so incredibly rude. anyway, i have been reading your blog since the ebay pokemon card deal and i appreciate your perspective. i think you have always responded to your critics with such grace. my thinking is, if you don't like it, don't read it. geesh. i love the blogging world, thank you for being such a fun part of it and for all you do throught mamaslike and for julian and other worthy causes with your influence.

michele said...

i've got computer time down with no arguments from my 8yo. we started with the timer, but he figured that he could just change the time, when we kept it our of reach, there was no warning so he had a hissy fit. i STRONGLY recommend 'pc lockup' by aquarisoft. you set it up by user on the pc, so he login has a time limit, mine doesn't. it gives him a 5 minute warning, maxes out each session, can have a waiting period before letting him log in and a max time per day, by day.
presto - no more arguments and no more all day on the pc

Anonymous said...

I have the same intense adversion to hearing people chew. I absolutely can't stand it and never could. It makes my skin crawl & the hair stand up on my neck. If my husband starts snacking at night when we're on the couch I have to move to the other side of the room. I even got up in the middle of class one day in college to change seats because the kid behind me was smacking his gum in my ear. All I have to say to my family now is, "I can hear you chew" and they think I'm nuts.

Chris said...

I don't agree w/all the medicating of kids for ADD/ADHD but it's because I feel that some (that I've seen personally) don't need it. You are a good mom who knows your child, and is doing the best for him. God Bless you for that. Also, I can't believe some of the rude comments that are left for you! Obviously the "left in the highchair alone" author doesn't have children! Who hasn't turned away for a few moments to do something else? If they say they haven't, they're lying! You are a great writer, and an awesome Mom. I hope that you let comments like those roll off and know that for every one pissy person there are a 100 more that think you rock!

peach said...

hugssss mimi, it is heart breaking to see julian hurt. Hes a beautiful boy and he and your family stay in our prayers.
God Bless

ps Dawn, thank you for confirming i AM losing my mind :-) i was pretty sure of it before hand LOL

Nat said...

Dear Dawn,
I read your blog practically every day. I've commented maybe once before and I tend not to do it for two reasons: I don't usually have anything smart to say (or not smart) and I know you get a lot of them and I just don't want to add to the load. But I had to write today.
Well, first of all, let's take care of all the comments that I have not written before (and the future ones): Great blog, keep up the good job!! (it's kinda like the joke of the old guy that says that he told his wife when they got married that he loved her and that it was the only time he did because if he had changed his mind he would have let her I making any sense????)

Anyway, the reason I am writing today is because I read your answer to the "What kind of consequences do your kids have for their "misbehavior" "?
I couldn't continue reading your post after reading that. I honestly had my eyes fill with tears reading that question. Your answer is just great. I don't know why I got so emotional about it, but I did.
One thing I know. I was in her shoes to a degree. I remember judging one of my friend's lack of discipline in regards to her son when I only had a daughter his same age who was (and still is) always very well behaved and never really needed too much discipline to get the point accross to her. Then -- yeah, there is a "then" -- I had my little boy! And - boy! - was it all different!!
Now I understand that there is no "one fits all" sort of discipline, and even though I still think that there was a lack of discipline (and she'll admit that too), I now also know there were other things involved, including things that lead to her separating from her husband.
I most certainly have repented from my judging ways.. at least in the parenting area!!!
Keep up the good work, and thank you for always being so upbeat (at least on the blog :-) )


Patty said...

Has Mimi's mom arrived yet? How long will she able to stay? I worry so much about them. I'm so sorry there is nothing to be done. Let her know I have been giving my baby extra kisses and keeping them in my thoughts.

ames said...

Wow, you must get quite a few slings and arrows in the comments. I really admire your I'm-rubber-you're-glue attitude, I'm still working on not taking everything way too personally. You rock!

MissHum22 said...

My husband (now almost 32 yrs old) was diagnosed with ADHD coupled with OCD, dyslexia & dysgraphia (dyslexia w/ numbers) as a child. He was one of the first kids on Ritalin in the NW burbs & Doctors wrote case studies on him. (They quit the Ritalin after awhile because it would turn him into a zombie & he refused meds after that.) Well, his folks struggled with him throughout school but he somehow made it through. His teachers thought he would be a punk forever who would never amount to anything.

He is now a great Dad to two little girls, has a technical & artistic career, and the only remnants of his disorder are: 1. The fact that I have to do all the bills, lest ComEd gets a check for $18 on an $81 bill, 2. He listens to audiobooks instead of reading, 3. He has a genius streak, which includes exact memory of factoids from pretty much anything he has ever researched or come across. He's brilliant, funny, dependable and super doting over his girls. He rarely drinks and comes home every night, happy to be with us. I wouldn't change anything about him - quirks and all.

Point is, it is possible for a kid to come out of ADHD - medicated or not - and be just fine. Once all their hormone fluxes die down, they're able to concentrate a bit more and either get control over or learn to "outsmart" their disabilities.

Just thought I'd send you some real proof that things can end up wonderfully, even if they get off to a difficult start.

Anonymous said...

We have 3 energetic kids who I thought were fairly well behaved. I learned that I was mistaken when a lady in our church, who has a total of zero kids, decided to give me a book on disciplining children. It turns out that I am a bad mom because I do not graciously thank my children every time they they do what I kindly ask them to do.

Anonymous said...

Good answer to the judgemental one. They just make me shake my head.
Also, you probably are up to date on Michelle's blog and how the Jesus cheese for Julian is going. I thought I'd repeat this here: Anyone care to join me in a chocolate fast for Julian? Keep praying.

ps You know I was kidding about the smoke detector in the tub ;D Loved your response!

Brenda said...

I have 2 kids with ADHD. It is difficult. I hate medication too. But if that is what they need to be successful......I love Julians smile.

DutchMomma said...

What??? Bleaching Pencils?? I am a teachter myself and have never ever in my life bleached a pencil... What do they say about becoming over-sensitive to germs (i.e. getting ALL the virusses and infections that linger) because you kill them all?? Remember to eat off the floor once in a while, it will keep you perfectly healthy (AND SANE!!!)

ummmhello said...

LOVE your blog, and love the fact that you're so down to earth. Am sick and tired of mom's who ban sugar, games, and anything that smacks of "childhood" and expect that ANYONE has the time to monitor their children 24/7. If that was the case, Mr Clean and his Magic Erasers would be out of business!

Nancy said...

When you go to NYC, if you get to tour, I SO want to see a picture of you with the Naked Cowboy in Central Park.


Anonymous said...

You said "Ummm, whaaaaat? I suggested an all out ban on The Golden Compass?" Does this mean that you are for it?

MaryLu said...

After reading a few of those judgmental post you received, (and I'm sure you do receive them frequently, because the world is full of judgmental people!) I just had to comment. I too am a mom of 6 kids. Mine are 19, 10,8,5,4, and 22 months. I have 4 boys, 2 girls. Having the oldest one so separate from the others has been like having two families, so I'm sure your household is much different than mine. However, children ARE difficult at times, but a blessing and so very sweet at others. I really appreciate your blog and it is the first on my "favorites" list, (alphabetically, I think, but anyway...) it is unnerving to me to hear people criticizing anyone else's parenting especially when circumstances are not the same, and I just want to launch a virus to that person's computer or something.
All this to say, keep up the good work, as a mom, author, blogger, wife, housekeeper, taxi driver, laundress, medic, chef, counselor, and comforter.

F Family said...

Pst, just a little tiny hint that works with (not against) the adhd meds.

Protein. Dumb huh? But it works. If my son gets bouncing off the walls crazy a spoonful of peanut butter helps to bring him back to earth. A doctor told us about this nearly 10 years ago and we've used it ever since as a safety net.

A nice safe way to bring kids back to themselves. By the way... my son who has it is now old enough to express how it feels to be in that "out of control" state and he much prefers who he is when he's NOT that way.

That means its not just us parents... the kids want and need help with it.

rare1urwaiting4 said...

I thought you might appreciate this since, like you, I've also been getting nasty comments from total strangers and recently it was actually for mentioning on one of my e bay listings that I'm a stay at home mom! Another mom decided to write me multiple nasty e-mails and blast me for calling such a thing "important"! I thought of you and some of the comments you've received and decided to use her comment as a writing opportunity, responding in my blog and on my ebay listing itself. I just wanted to tell you that I so admire your attitude and responses back to those who do the mudslinging— bravo from a fellow blogging SAHM!

SAHM - Surviving Assorted Home Mayhem

Debby/MI said...

Okay, I debated on chiming in since you are aptly defended by the masses, but it saddens me to the point that I am jumping in after all (obviously). When I read someone's comment that has chosen to "break up" with you because they ASSUME you will judge them, or they believe they disagree with you on one or more subjects, I just have to shake my head in wonder.

At what point did we learn that if we don't agree we can no longer be friends? Must we surround ourselves only with people that we are in complete agreement with? or are we too insecure to recognize that "iron sharpens iron" means we are often better off by nurturing relationships with people we often do *not* agree with in every area of life?! That doesn't mean you need to be each other's best friend and confidante, but what kind of slanted perspective our kids will have if we only expose them - and ourselves - to people who look/talk/act/believe exactly as we do?

I'm learning (even as old as I am) that it isn't just "conservatives" who can be judgemental and closed-minded. It's an equally non-biased problem that seems to grow worse as we continue to segregate ourselves further into groups based on like-mindedness alone.

Thank you, Dawn, for being gracious in your answers to those who choose to judge, question, and "break up" with you because you have an opinion or style that may not line up with their own.

marielee said...

yo! the golden compass bit caught my eye! i read the link some other commenter posted, thanks! very interesting read. oh and i also read the link dawn posted previously. and my husband sent me a link from cnn. so therefore, i am now THE expert on the movie, the golden compass, the author, and the rest of his written works. id like to read his books just so i can make a decision abt it...and they sound like interesting reads. i like to read. um...i almost posted a rant, but then...decided not to. um...again, love ur blog dawn, and i think my daughter wud love your kids...
oh and r u on facebook!?!?!? cant believe no one has asked that yet. u prolly wud have a million friends.

dccdmom said...

Just remember, it's only the smart, creative kids who get into everything the moment your back is turned. (from a mom of 5 incredibly smart, creative children)

sara said...

i love your blog and really enjoy reading it. i can not believe some of the things people ask and/or say to you. i have 4 kids and totally relate to you and your experiences. as for the person with 4 kids who were perfect angels...yeah right. can't wait to read more.

JenH said...

Ugh. I know how judgmental people can be about ADHD. I'm going to try not to get on a long rant, but I doubt it will work. It's more than just the meds that people judge when it comes to that issue. Personally I get sick of the "you're a horrible parent why don't you control her" looks. My oldest (a girl) has ADHD but I haven't medicated her yet, just because I was trying to put it off as long as possible. She'll be 8 next month and I think the time has long since come and gone. It's officially affecting her academics now. So now I'll get all the "how could you put her on meds" judgment. I've gotten it plenty in the past for even CONSIDERING it but now it will be worse I'm sure.

Yes kids in this country are overmedicated, ESPECIALLY for ADHD. But that's because of the very nature of the disorder. While there are some ADHD specific symptoms (and actually most of those are not well known even by those familiar with ADHD), most of the symptoms are the sorts of things that almost everybody experiences "sometimes". The difference is the extent to which the symptoms are experienced and the fact that they significantly interfere with the patients ability to function at home, work, school, and/or social.

All that said.... as an adult with ADHD who has never been medicated for it a day in her life, there are a few things I can say about it from my own perspective. For one thing, I highly doubt I could ever have made it through school if it weren't for the fact that I'm highly gifted... that helps. Yes, I have learned about 1000 ways to "cope" with having ADHD. Yes, I have learned a certain amount of "control" over it. But to be quite honest I'm still a raving lunatic: rarely a day goes by that I don't wish I had meds. I wish I had them when I was younger. I wish I had them now.

I wouldn't listen to people who tell you horror stories about people who were on ADHD meds and are adults now. (It doesn't seem like you do listen to them but I thought I'd say it anyway, as much for myself as for you, lol.) Things have changed a LOT in the past 20-40 years, especially in medicine. There are so many more meds out there now and they are much better about finding the right med and the right dosage. Today if the meds make you a zombie, odds are you're on the wrong med or the wrong dose. They generally won't leave you like that. There will always be side effects. What medicine doesn't have them? But just like you I think that the "side effects" of NOT medicating can be just as bad or worse. If it was a heart problem or diabetes nobody would question the decision to use medication, why do they insist on making such a big deal just because it's a different kind of problem?

healthymomof2 said...

Dawn, first off, your response to the poster who said she didn't get the "boys will be boys" thing was AWESOME!

I have a few friends who have children with ADD/ADHD issues or simply artificial dye sensitivities. They have had HUGE results with simply avoiding Red Dye #40 - so basically anything pink or red is most definitely out.

Keep up your wonderful writing. Your blog from your city encounter had me in stitches - totally something I would do; and I have lived in cities.

Becky said...

Bless you, Dawn, for not only doing your job as mom to six (and now also entertainer and friend to thousands) with aplomb, but for doing it all with a great sense of humor, a heatlhy dose of sarcasm, and all while still managing to live a normal life taking care of the needs of your family. I'm awed by your resiliance, the way you graciously (if sarcastically, lol) field negativity, rudeness and very opinionated people trying to force their views on you, and yet manage to graciously stay on the 'high road'.

I admire very much your stance on things (we have a great deal in common that way), not only modeling good behavior for your children, but doing whatever you can to help them be their very best.

You Rock, Dawn! May God Richly bless you and yours!

Still praying for Julian and his family.

MissHum22 said...

Dawn - I happened to re-check the comments on your blog today & it seems that a fellow poster (JenH) might have missed my message. I didn't think I wrote a horror story or eschewed meds at all. Coming from families with mental illness & learning disabilities, I think it is for each individual to decide for themselves.(i.e. if you are a 'raving lunatic' - what are you waiting for??) I just wanted to make sure you got my point, which is simply, "everything is going to be all right - look at my positive story about a boy who started off on the wrong foot." Even if she didn't get it - I just want to make sure you do.

A said...

I like many other people have been just sitting back and enjoying your blog. I don't have kids and couldn't imagine having 6 kids at once. I did spend a lot of my high school years babysitting. I noticed recently a few people questioning your parenting skills. I wanted to share a story with you from my babysitting days. My client was a regular, I'll just call her Kay. I had taken care of her since she was a new born, at this time Kay was about a year old. For the most part a sweet little girl, good natured she would puke on me and then laugh. She loved to give hugs and blow kisses. One Saturday evening (I had no life in high school) Kay's mom was called into work, she dropped her off with me. It was only going to be a couple of hours until daddy got home. But Kay was sick and would need to given medication in about an hour. I placed the meds in the refrigerator. We played and she ate one of those gross baby cookies watched some TV. She liked 21 Jump Street too! Then it came time for her meds. I sat her on the floor turned to walk into the kitchen opened the refrigerator door grabbed her meds and the funky squirter that would shove the meds into her mouth. Then I heard a scream coming from my little friend. She had moved her self from the spot not more then 10 feet away from me, down the hall and into the guest bedroom and positioned herself legs and upper body under a bed. The only thing sticking out was her bum. And she was a little upset. Needless to say I came to her rescue helped her out gave her her medication. She fell asleep until daddy arrived to pick her up. When I told him about her experience he laughed and said "yeah she's quick". In my mind I cannot see how she positioned herself that way that quick. But she did, I wasn't neglecting her she was just being a kid. And kids will get into things. The people with the criticisms really need to hush! Not all kids are going to be well behaved all of the time. And I highly doubt that Kay thought yeah let's get stuck! That will make my day! The saying is true, kids will be kids

Susan said...

My favorite trick for hiding Christmas presents is to hide them in a neighbor's garage...or to trade presents with them...this will not work if one of their kids is getting something one of yours wants desperately. In that case, they need to find another neighbor. Since I am back working outside the home now that my kids are older, I hide them at work. Then I get the added fun of knowing that they KNOW I have them at work and can do nothing about it. Fun for mom!

I'm amazed at the efficiency of children...she was probably in the high chair less than 30 seconds before she turned into a Smurf.

Olga said...

"Apparently I don't like to hear anyone eat.... Clearly there's something wrong with me."
Nope, nothing wrong with you Dawn. I'm exactly the same. If anyone eats in my presence and dares to open their mouth while they eat, they will never hear the end of it.

Thankyou so much for putting in the effort and writing your blog. You rock and are a total inspiration!
I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!

marielee said...

btw, im glad to hear that other husbands do house tours husband can dissappear with zoe for hours just going on their "house safaris"...i love house safaris!!!!

Julie said...

Here's a question for you. Did you breastfeed your kids? If so, for how long?

SeeItMyWay said...

Re: all that ADHD stuff.
can I say "I HEAR YOU" loud enough?
My stepson (8) has major struggles - without medication in his system.. he can't possibly dress himself or exist for 5 seconds without random noises.. I fear he'll still be doing naked cartwheels in the bedroom instead of dressing himself when he is 35. His difficulties are so severe there is no question - he needs to be medicated - in fact, he was kicked out of kindergarten because of his behaviour. When I met him, we were trying to follow the feingold's diet, but SADLY his mom just wouldn't follow it - even though it made a difference, she just - I dunno, we know where the ADHD comes from.... - but then, trying to feed our crew of 7 the diet was just sooo darn expensive. In the end, out of our hands - there was no effect feeding him that way if his mom was going to go off the diet no matter what...
anyhow - I really hope people come to understand that these kids really have REAL difficulties and medication really is NECESSARY - people don't think of the emotional ramifications on the child - when you are constantly in trouble and constantly called out on and other children wont' play with you - my stepson is the biggest sweetheart and he tries *SO* hard, I wish more people could understand ...

Sarah on said...

I have to say that I am completely aghast that a TEACHER of 6 years would use BLEACH on items commomly handled by her students!

Bleach is poison! There are so many safe disinfectant products available, and someone should let this person know about them before her students start experiencing irritated mucous membranes or burned skin. As little as 1000 ppm of bleach can be fatal to an adult, and the number is significantly lower for a child, especially one whose immune system is damaged by repeated exposure to poisons like bleach!

I hope this teacher can rectify the situation before her students' parents or the school administration find out about her dangerous practices, and especially before a child suffers serious illness becasue of it.

Katrina said...

I was a young mom...very young. Sixteen young. I had baby #2 right after graduation, at 18. There is a 10 1/2 year gap between my middle son and my youngest son who 5. I'm here to tell you that my 3 boys are the SAME generation and it's been different raising the little one than it was the older two. I was determined to be a good mom, despite my age. I bathed my kids, made sure they were clothed, fed, had a roof over their heads and worked my tail off to provide for them. I did okay. I also did it alone for several years. They are nice boys. The worst incidents I can remember were when my middle son broke a carton of eggs on the kitchen floor and the time he got into my make-up, used my red lipstick to decorate his jeans, my walls and my comforter. That was a nightmare and I was livid! Other than that, I had no trouble out of them when they were little. At least nothing major. They are teens now and are great kids. I'm very proud. Now, my 5 year old is a different story. I apply the same rules, the same parenting guidelines I set for myself and they don't work. He's a darling, loving little boy, but he is adventurous and ornery. I've had to explore other methods in which to raise him. LOL Boarding school is sounding like a fine idea about now. Punishment doesn't scare or deter him, either.

I'm sure with 6 kids you have your hands full. I'm sure they misbehave and get into things. I'm sure this is natural. It's hard to parent and there is no handbook. Each kid is different, too. Dawn, when you put your kids to bed at night, they are still alive, still happy, still loved. The basics are there! LOL I get that you embellish. It's what makes your blog so funny! You exaggerate kids behavior and it's quite hysterical. Don't let the haters get you down. To me, you seem like a wonderful mom with a great sense of humor. I hope once your kids are grown, you are still blogging. I'd love to hear about their accomplishments and I'd love to hear how they've grown into adults any parent would be proud of. I have faith in you!

Shari's Page....... said...


You get asked some "doozy" questions. What are people thinking sometimes? You are just a stay-at-home-mom pondering your everyday musings at home and then decide to write about them. You make me feel "normal." I love the answers to some of those, you know, silly questions.

On the ADHD thing; we did that same diet and we couldn't afford it either. I hate my son's on meds, but boy, like you say, they are a totally different kid when on the stuff, aren't they? I am just glad they have something that can help these kids that used to be in trouble all the time and it wasn't their fault. I commend you. I know I am busy with three kids, but six? My hat's off to you.

Take care and I can't wait to hear about your trip to NY.


Robyn said...

You crack me up, every day! I have been reading your blog since you were featured in the Trib. We're the same age and I am completely in awe of how you manage everything and your life really seems balanced. I only have 2 kids but boy can they cause havoc. Your kids are lucky to have a great mom like you. I wish you the greatest success!

Britney said...

I'm really sorry people judge you, Dawn. I pray that God will bless you for the way you open your life up to others. I'm thankful you haven't stopped sharing your life because of criticism. I've been blessed by your words, and it seems that many others have too. :)

I'm glad you shared all that you did about ADHD. My brother has a severe case of ADHD. He is almost 3 years younger than me and was always so obnoxious when we were kids. I was so embarrassed by him. My mom continually reminded me that God made him the way he was for a reason. Remembering that God created him with ADHD helped me keep perspective.

Equally important is the fact that the things my brother got in trouble for as a youngster have become the very things that have made him successful as an adult. He used to get into trouble for taking electronic devices apart and putting them back together in creative (but not always functional) ways. Now he uses that skill in his job.

I hope that people don't see ADHD as something purely negative. I know it's deal with; I watched my brother struggle all through school. At the same time though, my brother excels at what he does now because he has those ADHD "symptoms."

Beth C. said...


OMG! I'm not the only one with issues about people eating! My husband thinks I'm crazy and I annoy the crap out of him when I ask him to "chew quieter". As if such a thing were possible...throw in a 6-year-old boy and I have to make sure that the dinner table is FULL of conversation... LOL!! So, I just wanted to let you know that I feel your pain and wish it were possible for us all to eat in a bubble...;)

Chelssya said...

I was going to chime in about the Golden Compass comment, but Debby/MI probably said what I was thinking better than I could. So, I'll just add a little something. I am also a gay stay-at-home mom, yet I always think of myself as a mom first. It's the most important and fulfilling thing I could do. I read your blog because I find commonality in our lives as mothers (and because it's frickin' hilarious!). I didn't really agree with the opinions in the link, but it was interesting to get a different perspective. Afterall, isn't that what helps us make informed decisions and makes the world a better place? I don't understand how someone can make the leap from a viewpoint about a movie/book (that wasn't even necessarily yours!) to a judgment about how her life will be perceived. How sad it must be to live thinking someone will judge you and not like you simply because your opinions differ. People like her only foster more misunderstanding of and discrimination against gays/lesbians by encouraging such devisiveness and isolation. Personally, I find I have a lot more in common with you than I do that differs from you. It would be wonderful if we could all just come to an understanding that people generally aren't that different and have essentially the same goals of love, family, and friendships. Our views of the world might just get us there in different ways. Please don't let her speak for gay moms everywhere!

I also have ADHD and have taken medication in the past. My mom, who's a special ed teacher, used the meds as a last resort prefering to exhaust all other options available at the time (late 70s-mid 80s) (though we never tried the Feingold diet). I always did well in school and even managed to earn a PhD (even if it took me a little bit longer to focus, what with all the fascinating things to daydream about!) My mom always says the world would be a boring place without ADHD folks because everyone would be focused and attentive! But, seriously, a lot of creativity comes from ADHD people. It can be a long road, but it's worth the wait. I haven't taken meds for the past 4 years what with pregnancies and breastfeeding. Let me tell you, I notice the difference! But I figure without the meds I can relate much easier to the mind of my toddler! This is truly a scary thought!

Oh, and my grandmother couldn't stand to hear people drink! No one was allowed to drink anything when we ate a meal with her. And we couldn't put milk in cereal because that was eating and drinking at the same time. Don't even get me started on her thoughts about soup! It's a wonder we didn't dehydrate! Hmmm, I'm beginning to see where some of my craziness stems from!

Danielle said...


I haven't commented in quite a long time but I'm still reading daily. I had to tell you though that my son has been on Feingold for 3.5 years and it has made a world of difference in our lives. If you ever have questions or want to explore ideas for making holidays and special occasions work just email me and I'd love to share what works for us. My son is six.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn. I love reading your blog and most of the comments left for you most of the time as well. It's 11 pm my time and I was headed to bed and was thinking about the person who made the comment about your leaving the baby in the high I guess you are suppose to take her every where you go in the house?? Lock her in her room, play pen or something like that?? These people need to get a clue! We can not protect our kids from everything in life! Plus I don't believe we should! They have to learn some things for themselves! Some spilled sugar never hurt anyone! Ants have to eat to right? I am sure ants love banana bread! LOL! I am kidding of course. I have 2 kids. 6yr old boy and 2 mth old girl...according to those people I guess I can never go to the bathroom or take a shower enless...what? I have a full time nanny (if they want to pay for it great!), my husband is home, hire a babysitter??? Come on...the kid isn't going anywhere. She was safe and happy. So what she made a mess...clean it up and life goes on! My husband is military and GONE ALOT! So when he is gone I can't take a shower cause there is no one to hold my newborn and keep an eagle's watch on my 6 yr old??? Those PTSA ladies are going to kick me out because I will stink on those 6 wk trips he goes on every other month or so! Can't imagine how that will smell when he deploys for 6mths or more!!! Common sense people!

Karla said...


I just love reading your blog! You are my Mama-Hero and inspire me as I raise my 4 kids. I figure if you can get through a day with your 6, then I shouldn't complain when my kids make a mess or throw a fit. Besides there are so many good times with them, it outweighs the "I'm counting down the hours until bedtime" moments that occur. As a matter of fact, you were the first person I thought of yesterday when my 2yo son decided to take off his poopy diaper and decorate the wall behind his crib with doo-doo art. I thought, "What Would Dawn Do?" I thought I heard you whisper all the way from Chicago, "Don't get mad, blog about it." LOL Blessings to you and your family, Karla in TX

Leah, Australia said...

Hi Dawn....this is not a question, and you probably have read it before, but i really enjoyed it and I thought u/ and ure readers would as well, this is a letter to Santa from a Mum

Dear Santa,
I've been a good mum all year:

I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand,

visited the doctor's office more than my doctor,

sold sixty-two cases of choc bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school ground.

I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry between cycles, and who knows when I'll find any more free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes:

I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any colour, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze; but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the lolly aisle in the supermarket.

I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.

If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals; and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, 'Yes, Mummy' to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.

I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting 'Don't eat in the living room' and 'Take your hands off your brother,' because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.

If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season.

Would it be too much trouble to declare tomato sauce a vegetable?

It will clear my conscience immensely.

It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing and my son saw my feet under the laundry door. I think he wants his crayon back.

Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch cold.

Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always,


P.S. one more can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children happy, healthy and always believing.

Anonymous said...

Writing with humor and grace is a talent.

And, thanks for the tips of ADHD.

Jen said...

Wow, what planet is the pencil bleaching teacher on? How long is her lunch? All I know is that I spend 7:45-3:15 every day teaching 21 4 year olds, and my lunch looks something like this (and it's not my first year to teach either- it's my 4th):
11:33 Get to lunch room. Crap, we're already 2 minutes late (28 left).
11:37 Get kids situated and head to heat up food (23 left) Furiously attempt to scrub the millions of germs off of hands.
11:40 Food is ready (20 left)
11:50 After scarfing food, head to check email in classroom (10 left)
11:56 After furiously checking and replying to emails (well, only the important ones, I'm sure I'll forget about the unimportant ones) head to restroom (because if you don't go now, you aren't gonna get to go- 5 minutes left)
12:00 Wash hands and head toward lunchroom to pick up kids. You can't be late, or people get mad. Sometimes they bring your kids into the hallway to wait for you. This is never a good sign.

Someone please tell me when she has time to bleach all the pencils! And what if the kids gnaw on them?!

Steph said...

Ok. So, you get hundreds of women (maybe even a couple of men) commenting on your blog. Here's one more. I love it. It makes me happy. I know you don't have a ton of time on your hands but if you have an extra minute maybe you will check out my blog. My husband just posted on it a hilarious story about some local 'icons' in our small town who get around on a riding lawn mower! Totally hilarious!! Keep up the good work. Steph

Steph said...

Sorry. Here's the actual link to the lawn mower post:

Diane said...


I just have to say - I have 5 kids and am pregnant with my 6th (due in May). My oldest will be barely 12 around the time my baby is due. I love how you post things and then people tell you how you are doing things wrong. I know they mean well... but I buckle my kids in their car seats WITH their coats on. My kids stay in a high chair as long as they and I can handle their shrieking... (how many times have I had a kid fall asleep in a high chair?) I feed my kids all kinds of unhealthy stuff (because at least it is food and calories) and medicate them whenever possible for whatever the reason. My house is usually a mess, my husband works 2 jobs, and when I am doing work at home (I have a small home business) everything seems to take a back seat. One summer a couple years back, my one year old kept telling me he was hungry. I kept putting him off time and time again. I looked out the window and saw him eating dog food out of the dog's dish in the back yard. Yeah... I felt guilty. I love how you do things. To me you are a real mom and you make me feel like a real mom. Hang in there. And know there will always be others just like you! (my sister and her husband were having a Christmas party over at her house this last weekend and they decided to wash the walls in preparation... they counted 150 boogers they cleaned off the walls of their house. And they only have 3 kids!) :) Isn't it fun to be in the same place as others?! It's GREAT!

Genevere said...

I'm so glad that you're here still typeing away after all the snotty comments people have. I think the fact that you became so popular so fast is proof that you're a great mom doing the best you can with your little ones. Just like the rest of us. As women why don't we give each other the benefit of doubt that each of us are basically good and striving to do our best?? Please keep posting your blogs so I can laugh at you and forget my own crazy day! I can't wait for your book so I can declare a mommy off day and plant my butt on the couch to read! I still haven't been emailed any updates. I didn't miss any did I?

EnjoyingLife said...

Dawn, I'm not sure why so people feel they hav the right to judge the parenting skills of others. I have 5 of my own and we've all had more than one "how did they manage that?" moment. That's what makes having a large brood interesting and proves that your kids will always find a way to out smart you. I am totally convinced that mine have a secret combition going on as to who can do the most creative thing to drive Mom nuts. It does make you realize you don't need to sweat the small stuff.

On a side note, I had behavior issues too as a kid. I mean literally bouncing off the walls issues. My parents discovered the cause when I was about 6. For me it all turned out to be allergies related to artificial flavors and colors (and we're talking about the days when Jello was staple in school luches - makes you wonder what they were thinking). Once my parents changed my diet I went from the LD reading group to the top of the class in about 3 months. I was fortunate that my mother enjoyed baking and that I was an only child, so she had the time because places like Trade Joes didn't exist then. But it worked for us. I didn't mean to get this winded, but it comes down to you need to do what works for you as a family and relax. It will get better as he gets older.

Thanks for the laughs

Shelly S. in Nebraska said...

I've posted a reply a few times and read your blog daily. I have told you before that you are a great writer and a breath of fresh air for someone living a parallel (kids, small house, overworked hubby) life. Thanks again for that!

This time I want to say 2 new things...First, I admire you for taking it all in stride, or so it seems, when you receive such negative comments and even criticism to your blog and parenting. It must be hard to have to read that while still building a fan base. I'd be licking wounds but you continue to display wit and grace. That's cool! And you, as a Mom of 6, don't need me or anyone to tell you that until they have walked a day in your life they cannot possilby relate. Keep up the great work!

Second, I'll jump in on the ADD/ADHD discussion. I have twin 10-year-old sons who were born extremely prematurely (25 weeks gestation) and both have this disorder. One is ADD, the other ADHD. Ben, the ADD, also has Sensory Integration Dysfunction, and has struggled with his attention (among other things) in class for years, but became a sad, locked-up, nervous child on meds and we removed them,. Tyler, the ADHD, also struggles with attention but in addition he tends to annoy everyone in the room with silly, loud, akward, impulsive and even bullying-type behaviors, and he does benefit from meds.

You are right that the decision to use meds is a HARD one and should be based on what is best for the child and family. I have 2 sons the same age who actually are very different and we treat them differently, based on their individual needs. There is no "bandaid" fix.

One thing, however, that we do for them BOTH is use nutrition to help them. Rather than restricting diets and going insane reading every label (I cannot imagine how you did that with 6 kids--you are a better Mom than me! lol), we add awesome nutrition to their diets. It is a product designed not necessarily for ADD/ADHD, but for human wellness, and is based not only on research, but on the knowledge that our bodies need a certain level of nutrition that our daily eating habits just cannot give us. It takes me literally 10 minutes a day to keep this great nutrition in them and takes the stress out of it. Ben is making great strides in school since staring this in September, and the teacher tells me weekly now that he is having "awesome" days! Tyler has reduced his meds by 30% and is doing better than when on the full dose! It is truly amazing.

I'm getting long here...I feel strongly about this, though. lol! I can offer more information in a second post if anyone asks.

Jill said...

Interesting....I read your blog faithfully and NEVER can I recall you saying anything at all about the Golden Compass, be it good or bad. And believe me, I would have remembered, because that controversy has become quite intriguing to me. ;)

As always, the soulless jerks who dog on your parenting skills are the ones without kids. Or if they do, they are the sad, neurotic children who are terrified of getting a grass stain on their pants. Poor things. You keep on doign what you're doing, because obviously it's working - the kids are all happy and in one piece, and so are you!

Lowa said...

Ok I have not commented yet but need to just say a few things.

First ~ who knows if you even have time to read all your comments:)

Second ~ I can't believe the patience you have to deal with all of the odd and rude comments people leave??

Third ~ why would a person bleach pencils?? Or really anything expect the odd article of clothing here and there?? Bleach is really not good at all.

Fourth ~ what is going on with the person who said you were banning the Golden Compass movie?? You never said anything even close to that!??! You posted a link to a very informative article that was very helpful. You didn't say anything about it that I recall, you just put it out there and implied do with it what you will. I find it sad and strange that someone took that to mean you are banning it or whatever the choice of words was, I can't recall right now.

So again; patience of a saint and I really enjoy your blog and look forward to your book. I am in awe that you find the time to blog as often as you do. I only have four kids and I seldom can keep up!

Jennifer Foster said...


I am one of those parents who will NOT be taking my family to see the Golden Compass. It's all about National Treasure 2 Baby! Bring on the adventure!

And the pencils...aaaaggghh...are people for real? First of all I'm a teacher too and am pretty neat and tidy, but come on????!!!! Use the pencils for crying out loud. They're not meant for staging offices. Also, I am in CA and we cannot use any bleach products or anything toxic in our classrooms as well. Heck, I even had to get rid of my microwave!

Jill said...

I am amazed at the rude comments people make.
Regarding the comment from the lady about your little one in the high chair, Doesn't she know that 1 year olds have arms that reach about 8 feet away, and can grab something in just a millisecond? She must not have ever had a child. When my son was that age, I walked out of the room for less than a minute when I heard a thud, a pause, then screaming. I think he was base jumping off the kitchen table, and ended up splitting his ear open on the way down.
These kids are quick!
Love your blog Dawn. It is often the highlight of my day.

Korkie said...

Dear Mimi~
I can't allow myself to think too long on the suffering your little angel Julian is going through or the pain you are feeling watching him suffer so.
It's unbearable for me, a stranger; I can't imagine what you are going through.

I pray for a peaceful crossing over for Julian.

Mimi, I can only offer you my blessings and prayers that you have the strength to get you through this.

Soak up every smile, every bit of time you have left.

My prayers and blessings will be with you during your healing process.

My love, my blessings, my prayers,

LL said...

Hey Dawn, in regards to that first comment/answer, I have a theory and it doesn't look good for you. You give half your brains to the first child. Half of what's leftover to the second child. Right now, I'm at a quarter brain. You though, with six children.....ummm, you're left with only 1/64th of what you started with. I'm so sorry.


JenH said...

I don't want to co-opt your blog here, but I noticed someone (MissHum22) made a comment partially in response to my previous comment and in case she happens to read this one too, I wanted to respond.

Her comment regarding her husband (I believe that was it?) who took meds as a child may have "inspired" part of my long comment but it was not directly in response to her. I noticed nothing in the comment that was particularly foreboding or judgmental. It was merely something that reminded me of yet another one of the "issues" that I do face, and figured you may or may not have faced as well. That being people who DO strenuously warn against the usage of meds based on the story of one or two people they know that took them decades ago. I didn't get that feeling from her comment at all. It was just her mention that her husband used to take them but refuses to anymore, that made me think of all those more negative people out there. I didn't mean to create any misunderstanding or problems.

Anyway, keep up the good work (and I meant the parenting not the blog... but that too)

DomesticGDS said...

All I have to say is, "You Go, Girl!" I had to laugh at your Diet Natzi comment, as I have a friend who we call the "Boob Natzi", she's one of those LLL leader women who think you are abusing your child if they get anything less than breastmilk straight from teh source until the child decides they are weaned. She manages to plop herself in view of the video camera at all present opening events, tuck her shirt under her chin, whip out a boob, and nurse like it's a training film. As a parent of a child with Autism, we, too, have a fancy expensive diet to follow and there are Natzis with that, too. It's a tough call because it helps enough for my son to start talking and be open to even trying new foods, but the foods he wants to try are never allowed foods on his diet. We jsut do the best we can.

On a personal note, I really applaud the way you handle the "haters" that you get. I would be crying and rocking in a corner. You, on the other hand, seem to be calm, collected and have quite a humorous point in your responses. Thanks for being a Real Mom, not a woman with a cape, making the rest of us feel bad because we are mortals.

Oh, BTW, to the lady with the ink, if it's on wood, furniture polish should wipe it right off. And Ritt makes a dye remover, which you can get at WalMart in the laundry section, which might work on the upholstry.

AZMom said...

Thanks for the ADHD info. My son may be borderline ADHD but my husband does not want to drug him. Sigh. Can I ask what tests you had run on your son? I really want to help my son but so far the only thing we (and the school) are doing is behavior modification/behavior charts.

Any insight would be great.

Charming Lizard said...

Like others, I'm a long-time lurker.

Let's face it. Some people just suck... I wish my life could be so perfect that I could impart my perfection on others.

Anyhow, I just also wanted to say that you've inspired me to keep my own blog. I always mean, but never get around to putting things in my kid's babybook. I was thinking this was an awesome way to keep track of things on a day-to-day basis.

Anways, just wanted to say thanks!

Aisha G. said...

It's ok, I hate hate hate the sound of people eating too, especially my husband because he manages to grind his teeth while making the smacking noises. eck, it's irritating. But you aren't the only one.

susie said...

I have been readin your blog since I saw you on GMA. I ordered the My Family Meal Planner and I have loved it! It makes going to the grocery store much more efficient. My family likes the meals and variety. I am a Mom to 4 kids.... so I can relate to your daily adventures. Keep us smiling! susan

Daina said...

I'm so sorry you have to deal with stupid people. I received e-mails about the Golden Compas from a family member and a friend and read the article you posted. As a Christian, I'm glad that people showed me these articles. You didn't tell people to ban (as I'm sure most of us know) you were just trying to alert parents. THANK YOU!!! Also. I only have one son. He's ended up like your daughter with the blueness all over her more than once. Their toddlers. It's what they do. I think you are wonderful
. Keep up the good work and THANK YOU again!!:)

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn
What a sad state of affairs when all those folks think that children should be perfect. Even Adam and Eve didnt have perfect children and after all we're only human beings we're supposed to make mistakes , however would we learn otherwise? It's what makes us individuals.
If you want a perfect child then go and buy a doll. They always have a cute smile, never get into mischief, never throw a tantrum and dont have a personality either.

For myself I also have six children, five boys and one girl under fourteen. Some days I could wish that they were elsewhere but for the greater part of the time I wouldnt change them for the world. Each and every child is a miracle!! When you look at the statistics of what it takes to conceive, give birth to and raise a child to adulthood it can't be described as anything else but a miracle.
Another long winded way round to saying, Dawn, you're doing a great job, all of us human beings are behind you 100%. Keep up the good work.

Kit said...

Hey Dawn

The commenter who posted about the Golden Compass was probably referring to your link to another bloggers entry about The golden compass. You are not forgetting what you write on here, not yet anyway.;)I actually love Pullman, am an Atheist through and through but will definiteley not stop reading you blog because of different views on religion. You are way to funny.

I hear you on the difficulties of ADHD kids. My daughter is diagnosed high level ADHD and ODD and low level OCD and tourette. sometimes spending the entire day with her is like being in a 3 ring circus. In what world does bringing the outside trash can into the living room the day before trash day, dumping its entire contents on the living room floor and go on to the bathroom to fill it with water to give THE CAT A BATH make sense. My daughters. Oooh and flour is not a good bubble bath for giving cats a Trash can bath and is hard to clean out of the trash can and the cats fur, the couch, the bed the floors and everywhere else the cat went before I caught it.

Anyway I hope to read more from you and look forward to reading your book.

jaj said...

I'm a mom to 4 kids and I just wanted to say I appreciate your candor and humor. It makes me feel mostly normal.

cousincrazzy! said...

This is actually a question to Mimmi. Are you LDS? Or in other words, are you mormon? I'm really sorry to hear about Julian. That breas my heart, and I don't even know him. Yet, it seems like I do. I also want you to know, that I am praying for Julian. I really hope that he can survive through Christmas. Give Julian my love.

jaysmom said...

I know this is from a few days ago, but I needed to comment. I'm glad to see someone else with the same philosophy towards ADHD as we have. We do the Feingold in cooperation with Adderall. It's amazing the difference the diet makes!

I don't use the web page much, so haven't been faced with the Feingold Nazi's as you call them. I think that by doing them both, he's helped the most and can reduce the amount of meds he's on. We even have to transfer his medicine to clear capsules because the original is bright blue which causes the same Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde you mentioned. Keep up the great work! I hope you had fun in NY.

christy said...

My family used the Feingold diet for my ADHD brother growing up. I can honestly say that I don't think I missed out on much. We still had soda only it was Sprite instead of Coke. The cookies were homemade instead of store bought we drank lemonaid instead of koolaid ( which was like crack cocaine for my brother). Anyway now that I am a mom of three kids I have found that removing food dyes really help my kids behavior and they don't have ADHD.

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