Tag Archives: easy to love but hard to raise

Exterminating the Worry Trolls

Check out my new post over at Easy to Love But Hard to Raise about what we’re doing at home to reduce the roll that worry plays in our lives. The book is due out in full release in February, but you can order your advance copy now at a discount at DRT Press!

Independence vs. Safety

New post over at Easy to Love about my latest parenting struggle: how can you let them blossom while still protecting their safety? How can I find the perfect balance?

I’m Back!


I made it back safe and sound from my two-week trip to Italy. Read about how the hubby and kids fared while I was away over at Easy to Love, and see the first of my photos.

The Village of Manarola, part of Cinque Terre (5 villages), Italy.

Beginning tomorrow, I’ll post here daily about my trip, so check back often if you’re interested in vicarious living your way through Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre and Rome, Italy.

A domani.


I heard about this on the facebook page for Easy to Love But Hard to Raise and I’m just blown away by it.

P.A.N.D.A.S., according to this article in Psychology Today, is an annoyingly cute acronym for Psychiatric and Neurologic Disorders Associated with Strep, and may be the cause of many disorders that we currently understand poorly, including Tourette’s syndrome, tic disorders, OCD, generalized anxiety disorder, ADHD, and anorexia nervosa with possible connections to lupus, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis.

As often seems to occur, researchers in other countries have been trying to establish links for over a decade and the information is now trickling in to the U.S. medical community, however slowly.

When I see this type of new-to-me medical information, I pay attention. It was only four years ago that my children were diagnosed with a poorly understood metabolic disorder, pyroluria, a disorder that our pediatrician had never heard of. If I hadn’t read about it in a valuable niche book (Aspergers Syndrome: Natural Steps Toward a Better Life for You and Your Child by Suzanne Lawton) we might still be searching aimlessly for a diagnosis and treatment for my children.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if P.A.N.D.A.S is the culprit (or aggravator) in so many misunderstood disorders? Time will only tell. But as a mom who has been there, knowing something isn’t right, but the medical explanation isn’t obvious, I think we should educate ourselves and work with our physicians and naturopaths as a team.

Many people feel overwhelmed by medical information and when they turn to their doctors, they want answers and perfection. But our physicians and naturopaths are human, they can’t know everything, and it takes a while for new discoveries and breakthroughs to make their way to the trenches of small-town medical care, especially if the info is being blocked for political reasons and/or ego.

Our pediatrician admitted he’d never heard of pyroluria when I brought it to him as a possible diagnosis for my children, but he was willing to educate himself, order the tests, and locate a lab that would conduct them. He was supportive when the tests came back positive and encouraged our connection with our naturopath to help manage their vitamin therapy treatment.

Since we learned to kill bacterial infections with antibiotics in the 50’s , those little bugs have lost their umph in our minds, but they’re still here, evolving faster and smarter than us, and finding new ways to control our machinery. Popular culture, like the new movie, Contagion, reminds us how much stealth power they still command.

Let’s hope this article is right, that there is a connection between P.A.N.D.A.S. and many debilitating medical disorders, so that we can better understand them and use this knowledge in their treatment and management. I, for one, will be following new developments with this family of bacteria and the work of Dr. Jory F. Goodman, who wrote the article.

Can you recall any medical disorders that were eventually explained by a simple culprit? I can think of cleft pallate and folic acid as a most recent example.

Parenting Roller Coaster

I’ve posted a new blog over at Easy to Love But Hard to Raise about balancing optimism and acceptance of your child’s behavior. Thanks for reading.

Busy Summer Bee

I’ve been wonderfully busy. Last weekend I attended the Chuckanut Writer’s Conference here in Bellingham, WA. I attended workshops on the art of the sentence by and the award winning author Priscilla Long  and one of the best known writers anywhere, Tom Robbins. I learned a new form of personal essay, the hermit crab, from Western Washington University Professor Brenda Miller.

Despite my introversion, I also managed to meet at least two more writers. Rebecca Ross is a non-fiction writer and organization specialist who has appeared on Hoarders: Buried Alive on TLC and Anita Boser is the author of Relieve Stiffness and Feel Young Again with Undulation.

I practiced my pitch with two agents from Andrea Hurst Literary Management. They gave me some advice that I’ll be taking before I send them my proposal and first 100 pages.

My sister-in-law and fellow writer Emily also attended.

I came home excited to apply the new insights I picked up regarding sentence structure. I wish I could go to a one week writing retreat to work on it right now! But alas, the kids are off from school so the writing pace is slower than when they were in school six hours a day, but I’m still plugging along.

I finally met Chuck Robinson of Village Books in person and was able to talk to him about doing a reading from Easy To Love But Hard to Raise this fall. I’m very excited to share this valuable book with other parents around the world. I also posted a blog over there yesterday about managing anxiety.

Whew! I also managed to finish Tina Fey’s Bossypants. Highly recommend it as a summer read, especiallly if you love improv, stand-up comedy, and/or Saturday Night Live as much as I do. What I love most about her writing style is that almost every sentence dabbles in the absurd while still making you feel connected to her as a real person, even when she snarks! Someone once asked me, “If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be?” My immediate answer was, and still is, Tina Fey. Thanks to my husband for giving me the book for mothers day! I aspire to incorporate more humor into my memoir.

I hope your summer is feeling as relaxing and/or productive as mine.

Therapy to Death

Today I blogged about a therapy that one of my boys is trying over at Easy to Love But Hard to Raise. Like many of the therapies that we come across, this one sounds like snake oil, but I wanted to hear from others who’ve tried it.

My Not-So-Perfect Summer Plans

I wrote a new post over at Easy to Love But Hard to Raise about the less than perfect summer that lies ahead of me with a bum leg. Do you worry that your own problems will effect your children? Do you have advice for me about my knee injury? Don’t be afraid. Share.

New Post at “Easy to Love…”

I wrote about a technique that I use to encourage desired behavior in my children. Check it out at Easy to Love But Hard to Raise.

Introducing “Easy to Love But Hard to Raise”

I’m excited to announce that the anthology, Easy to Love But Hard to Raise: Real Parents, Challenging Kids, True Stories, will be released by DRT Press in October 2011 and my essay, Finding My Way, will be in it. As the title so clearly explains, the anthology shares the stories of parents of children impacted by ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder), PBD (Pediatric Bipolar Disorder), OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder) or any other situation that adds to the challenge of parenting.

I am also now a contributor on the new blog site that accompanies the book. Please check out my new blog post here, and subscribe if it’s a good fit for you. I’ll post there again next week. This blog  was designed to support and connect tired parents, and allow them to share stories, commiserate, and give tips in a safe haven.

You can also support the blog and anthology by “liking” it on Facebook. Simply search for “Easy to Love But Hard to Raise”. I’m learning a lot about marketing and promotion through this experience, and I hope you do too.