Defining The Boy

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This month the From Left to Write Book club read Those We Love Most by Lee Woodruff. The story was about a family and the secrets that come to the surface after the death of their nine year old boy in a tragic accident. It chronicles how the family gets back on their feet after their loss and how they slowly begin to return to their lives, learning how to live their lives without James.

We’re sort of re-learning how to live our lives too, only we haven’t lost our boy. We’ve gained a label, gained an answer, and gained some understanding.

According to Wikipedia the definition of Aspergers is as follows:

Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Asperger’s syndrome or Asperger disorder (AD), is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and atypical (peculiar, odd) use of language are frequently reported.

WebMD lists the symptoms of Aspergers as follows:

What Are the Symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome? The symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome vary and can range from mild to severe. Common symptoms include: Problems with social skills: Children with Asperger’s syndrome generally have difficulty interacting with others and often are awkward in social situations. They generally do not make friends easily. They have difficulty initiating and maintaining conversation. Eccentric or repetitive behaviors: Children with this condition may develop odd, repetitive movements, such as hand wringing or finger twisting. Unusual preoccupations or rituals: A child with Asperger’s syndrome may develop rituals that he or she refuses to alter, such as getting dressed in a specific order.

Communication difficulties: People with Asperger’s syndrome may not make eye contact when speaking with someone. They may have trouble using facial expressions and gestures, and p understanding body language. They also tend to have problems understanding language in context. Limited range of interests: A child with Asperger’s syndrome may develop an intense, almost obsessive, interest in a few areas, such as sports schedules, weather, or maps.

Coordination problems: The movements of children with Asperger’s syndrome may seem clumsy or awkward. Skilled or talented: Many children with Aspergers syndrome are exceptionally talented or skilled in a particular area, such as music or math.

Aspergers.com lists the treatment for Aspergers is as follows:

There is no specific treatment or “cure” for Asperger’s Disorder. All the interventions outlined below are mainly symptomatic and/or rehabilitation oriented. Psychosocial Interventions: Individual psychotherapy to help the individual to process the feelings aroused by being socially different Parent education and training Behavioral modification Social skills training Educational interventions

Psychopharmacological Interventions:
For hyperactivity, inattention and impulsivity: Psychostimulants (methyphenidate, dextroamphetamine, metamphetamine), clonidine, Tricyclic Antidepressants (desipramine, nortriptyline), Strattera (atomoxetine)

For irritability and aggression: Mood Stabilizers (valproate, carbamazepine, lithium), Beta Blockers (nadolol, propranolol), clonidine, naltrexone, Neuroleptics (risperidone, aripiprazol, olanzapine, quetiapine, ziprasidone, haloperidol)

For preoccupations, rituals and compulsions: SSRIs (fluvoxamine, fluoxetine, sertraline), Tricyclic
Antidepressants (clomipramine)

For anxiety: SSRIs (sertraline, fluoxetine), Tricyclic Antidepressants (imipramine, clomipramine,
nortriptyline)

ADHD is defined by WebMD as:

The symptoms of ADHD include inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity. These are traits that most children display at some point or another. But to establish a diagnosis of ADHD, sometimes referred to as ADD, the symptoms should be inappropriate for the child’s age.

Adults also can have ADHD; in fact, up to half of adults diagnosed with the disorder had it as children. When ADHD persists into adulthood, symptoms may vary. For instance, an adult may experience restlessness instead of hyperactivity. In addition, adults with ADHD often have problems with interpersonal relationships and employment.

Wikipedia defines ADHD as the following:

Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, similar to hyperkinetic disorder in the ICD) is a psychiatric disorder[1] or neurobehavioral disorder[2] characterized by significant difficulties either of inattention or hyperactivity and impulsiveness or a combination of the two. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR), symptoms emerge before seven years of age.[3] There are three subtypes of the disorder which consist of it being predominantly inattentive (ADHD-PI or ADHD-I), predominantly hyperactive-impulsive (ADHD-HI or ADHD-H), or the two combined (ADHD-C). Often people refer to ADHD-PI as “attention deficit disorder” (ADD), however, the latter has not been officially accepted since the 1994 revision of the DSM. ADHD impacts school-aged children and results in restlessness, acting impulsively, and lack of focus which may impair school performance.

This is how I define Aspergers and ADHD:

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And this:

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Yes, that’s my boy. Yes, he has Asperger’s. Yes, he has ADHD. Yes, we’ve gotten a second opinion. And both doctors came to the same conclusion.

It’s not an easy thing to accept. Or an easy thing to talk about. Or an easy thing to understand.

But I wouldn’t trade him for the world.

Just this weekend he went with his Boy Scout Troop on his very first camp out, 4 1/2 hours away, without me or his dad. I worried and worried and worried, and cried and cried and cried, but he came home hungry, dirty and smiling from ear to ear. He had a FABULOUS time! And he hasn’t stopped talking about it.

Now we know why he does the things he does. Now we know why he’s obsessed with his video games, and why he loses his mind when something doesn’t work out the way he thinks it should or when he doesn’t understand something the first time around.

It’s because his brain doesn’t work the same way ours does. He expects to know the answer the very first time a problem is presented to him. He expects that his video games will always work and never break or malfunction or die.

People I’ve mentioned this to have said to me, “He’s just being a little boy.” Yes, he is, and I intend to keep it that way, but my little boy and your little boy and two different boys and my little boy is the one other little boys call “weird” or “strange”. And my little boy will be the one who will get bullied and picked on because he is “weird” or “strange”.

Unless I get him the help he needs.

One of the neurologists I saw told me that I have to teach him how to “mask” his “quirkiness”. He needs to learn how to hide what makes him who he is so he can fit better into society.

I’m not sure I agree with that.
I’m not sure I want that for him.

I AM sure that I just want him to be a little boy before is too late and he has to be a grown up.

I AM sure that I want him to have the best summer ever, every summer, and I will MAKE SURE that happens for him and his sister.

And I AM sure that he is MY little boy and I will love him NO MATTER WHAT.

God gave him to me for a reason, and I am honored to be his Mommy.

This is an original ROSCMM post and was written for the From Left to Write Book Club. This post was written in response to Those We Love Most by Lee Woodruff an ebook copy of which I borrowed fro the library for the purposes of this post. And no, you can’t steal my content, it’s called copyright, yo.
Copyright MasterMind Mommy 2013

Categories: i do love them even though they drive me insane | 3 Comments

Figuring him out

As I type this my son is grumbling to himself and piling paper towel after paper towel over the dog’s spilled water. He’s angry with me because I won’t let him have Cheezits after he just had some brownies. Dinner will be in an hour and if I let him have more of a snack now, he won’t eat his dinner.

Tomorrow we go to the dr.

Finally.

Tomorrow we see the neurologist who will (hopefully) help us to determine why my son can’t sit still for more than a few minutes at a time, and why he gets so angry over little things like math homework and showers and the fact that Hurricane Sandy ruined his Halloween. Why he has to wear the same sweat jacket to school everyday and when he gets himself worked up in school, all he has to do is zip it up and he calms right down. Hopefully this doctor can tell me why as a baby he could spin and spin and spin and not get dizzy and why he’s not still unless he’s plugged in to some sort of device be it his iPod, his computer, or some sort of gaming console. Why he gets so fixated on one thing and can’t seem to let anything go until I absolutely lose my mind and scream at him, and then he gets angry and it starts all over again.

I need to figure him out. It started in Preschool when his teacher suggested I get him tested for ADD/ADHD because he was having trouble sitting still and staying focused. S By the time she brought it to my attention, it was too late for Kindergarten. I took him to a neurologist anyway, neurologist told me she could see him “seeking sensory stimulation” and ordered an EEG. When the EEG came back normal, she didn’t want to see him again.

In Kindergarten, the teacher said nothing to me that would imply that he would need to to be tested. He had behavior issues, but those were worked out with a reward chart.

First grade same thing.

Second grade, all hell breaks loose. He can’t concentrate on a test because the kids on the playground below his classroom window are yelling and some kid is calling his name. They’re not calling him, just some kid with the same name but its bothering him. He is constantly getting in trouble for talking and getting out of his chair. I begin to resent his teacher because I feel like she’s picking on him. Finally in May of that year, he loses his mind and shouts out to his teacher “I can’t wait till second grade is over and neither can my mom!!” Crap. She calls me in to explain myself. I tell her how I feel. She tells me to get him tested, but not to go through the school, get him tested privately. I call my dr, dr says that I have to go through the school. Call the school, psychologist says “it’s May, there’s really nothing I can do for him.” And pushed it back into my lap.

Third grade I was told that he was a genius but didn’t test well enough to get into the gifted and talented program.

Fourth grade, nothing.

Fifth grade, this past October, I get called in to speak to the teacher. “Have you had him tested? I need to know what’s going on with him.” I don’t know what’s going on with him, what do you think I should do? “Let’s talk to the school psychologist and see what she says.” One month later, I get another call to come in. “We have to figure him out.” He left his jacket (this was before we discovered the sweat jacket) in the gym and he needed to go get it, in the middle of a lesson. Without asking, he picked himself up and tried to leave the room. His teacher stopped him, but he nearly lost his mind because he NEEDED to get that jacket. “Did you call the school psychologist?” Yes, but she’s never gotten back to me. The next day, she calls. After the holidays, I get called in AGAIN. He’s had an argument with another student and told him he was going to f-ing kill him. Sigh…

There’s so much more, but I don’t want to turn this into a whine fest.

He has social issues too. He has a hard time making and keeping friends. He’s in a social skills group offered by the town. He sees the social worker at school once a week.

He has anger issues. He needs an outlet. I signed him up for Tae Kwon Do. It seems to be working.

It all seems to be helping. But only a little.

Next year he will go to Middle School and he will be faced with a whole new experience. Will he sink or swim?

So tomorrow we go. Is it ADD? ADHD? Emotional disturbance? Sensory?

I don’t know, and I’ll admit, I’m scared, but his teacher is right, we have to figure him out. And we will. And this goes without saying, I will love him no matter what. I just want him to be happy and comfortable, and safe.

This is an original ROSCMM post and was written for the From Left to Write Book Club. This post was written in response to Raising Cubby: A Father and Son’s Adventures with Asperger’s, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives by John Elder Robinson an ebook copy of which I received for free for the purposes of this post. And no, you can’t steal my content, it’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright MasterMind Mommy 2013

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Categories: From Left to Write Book Club, i do love them even though they drive me insane, Rants | 5 Comments

The Pep Talk

20130213-175331.jpgThis month, the From Left to Write Book Club is reading Saturday Night Widows: The Adventures of Six Friends Remaking Their Lives by Becky Aikman. It’s about a group of women, all in different stages of widowhood, getting together and forming their own support group of sorts. It was an effort by Becky to prove to herself and others that being a widow didn’t mean you had to sit around and mourn your lost husband forever. It was meant to prove that one could be a widow and still move on and create a new life.

As you know, the From Left to Write Book Club doesn’t write reviews on the books we read. We write posts inspired by the book. Last night, I was trying to put together ideas on what to write for this book. Nothing came to mind. I read posts by other members. Most of them were about the death or impending death of a loved one. I’m not feeling writing about the death or impending death of anyone. I’ve been there and done that. I want, like Becky wanted from the widows group she was kicked out of, a more uplifting post. Something that talks about life after death instead of grieving.

So, lets face it, it’s pretty inevitable that we’re all going to die at some point, right? (Unless you’re my dad who says he’s not going to die cause he’s got entirely too many people to annoy still.) But what about the people you leave behind after you die? What kind of things will they remember of you after you’re gone? This is what I want to write about for you today.

A few days ago, the kids and I were in the middle of our usual morning routine. Little Miss was at the table eating breakfast, I was packing Big Boy’s lunch, and Big Boy was off somewhere on his iPod.

Now, the day before, My Big Boy wasn’t feeling well and wound up giving back his breakfast after only eating it a half hour before. Ick. So he stayed home from school. Now I had a meeting that night and wouldn’t you know it, he spikes a fever. Dang it! So I pop him some Advil, and go to my meeting.

Next morning, he gets up, gets dressed, goes into the kitchen for breakfast. I didn’t say anything, he just did it.

Then…

I made the mistake of mentioning that since he had a fever the night before that I wasn’t planning on sending him to school. (I KNOW, I know… the rule is 24 hours fever free, but c’mon, he was FINE!) Well, as soon as he heard that I was originally wasn’t going to send him to school, he started.

“I HATE SCHOOL!! “

“IT’S TOO HARD!!”

“I don’t wanna go!!”

Sigh…

So this is my fault, I know, so how do I handle this?? I scream at him. I argue with him. He cries… I hang my head, defeated, he hides in his room.

Then, a miracle occurred! MY HUSBAND WALKED IN THE DOOR!!

“Oh, I’m SO glad you’re home!”

Puzzlement.

“Would you please go down there and talk to your son? He’s refusing to go to school.”

“But I thought you weren’t sending…”

“I know, but he got himself up, and dressed, and he had breakfast. He’s FINE.”

Husband goes into boy’s room.

I brace myself for impact.

Now, I get told that I yell, a lot. But when my husband is angry or the kids aren’t cooperating and he’s frustrated, he explodes.

Five minutes go by and I don’t have a crying boy in front of me yet. I need to investigate.

So I go into the boy’s room, and my husband is kneeling in the middle of the room talking to the boy. TALKING!! Not yelling.

And the words?? Oh the words!

“I need you to go to school and learn as much as you can. Show everybody up. Be smarter than everybody. Make me proud.”

That’s the memory I want my son to have years down the road. The memory of his father giving him the motivation he needed when he couldn’t go on. The memory of his father talking to him, being there for him, supporting him, when his world was crashing down.

Thanks babe. You did it. I love you.

This is an original ROSCMM post and was written for the From Left to Write Book Club. This post was inspired by Saturday Night Widows: The Adventures of Six Friends Remaking Their Lives by Becky Aikman a copy of which I received for free for the purposes of this book club. All opinions are that of Jennifer herself, and no, you can’t steal my content. It’s called Copyright, yo.

Copyright 2013. Mastermind Mommy

Categories: From Left to Write Book Club, i do love them even though they drive me insane | 2 Comments

Wanna play a game??

I know I’ve said this before… Losing weight is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do. (second hardest was quitting smoking, yep, heard that one before!!)
I was recently approached by the folks at Dietbet.com with an interesting way to “up the stakes” (ha ha) in my weight-loss and perhaps make it more exciting. (cause let’s face it folks… dieting is BORING)
HAVE FUN. LOSE WEIGHT. MAKE MONEY.
Have you heard of DietBet? It’s a clever new way to lose weight … they call it a “social dieting game.”By turning your weight loss goals into a competition, it turns losing weight into a fun sport. And by putting money on the line, they make it possible to get paid to lose weight!

DietBet is hosting an “NYC Moms Dietbet” that starts on February 12 and ends 4 weeks later on March 11. The buy in is $40. Each player’s goal is to lose 4% of their body weight. We use before and after photos that are privately submitted to DietBet to verify winners. Those who reach their weight loss goals of -4% will split the pot among the winners, not a winner-take-all model.

Like-minded Moms in the DietBet can support each other by sharing healthy family-friendly recipes, workout tips and words of encouragement.

Let’s make this citywide Moms game HUGE.

Get your friends to join — the more players, the more competition, the more fun, and the bigger the pot. This game is not exclusive to Moms in NYC, so feel free to invite your non-NYC Mom friends!

To join the NYC Moms Dietbet, sign up at http://www.dietbet.com/nycmoms-mastermindmommy

Now let me tell you a little about Dietbet.com

As per their website:

“DietBet is pioneering a whole new way to lose weight. We call it Social Dieting.

With DietBet, 90% of people lose weight. Why? Because we bring people together to lose weight as a community. The conventional approach to weight loss is to focus on the individual … “calories in, calories out”. Look around: it isn’t working.

As Drs. Christakis and Fowler write in their book Connected, weight gain is a social problem and it requires a social solution. We agree! By making weight loss a fun, social activity, DietBet provides accountability through competition, collaboration, and financial commitments. And because DietBet isn’t winner-take-all, players end up supporting each other and laughing their way through the whole experience.

Losing weight doesn’t have to feel tedious and lonely. Try it and you’ll see how a game can change your life!”

You can read about this and so much more on their website dietbet.com.

Now, who’s going to join me in this challenge??

Who’s up for a little friendly competition??

Don’t you want to win some cash while losing weight and having FUN??

Join me and the NYC Mom’s Diet Bet here : http://www.dietbet.com/nycmoms-mastermindmommy

This is an original ROSCMM post. All opinions expressed here are that of Jennifer herself. Full disclosure: the author has been compensated for writing this post and inserting specific links into it. She will also be compensated when others join her in the challenge.

Copyright 2013, Mastermind Mommy

Categories: Contests/Giveaways, DietBet, Sometimes I amaze even myself., Weightloss | Leave a comment

Stories From The Golden Age

It is with the deepest of apologies that I post this review.

A few months ago I was given a beautiful set of audio books from Galaxy Press from the collection called Stories from a Golden Age. They are a collection of stories written by L. Ron Hubbard which were beautifully transcribed into multicast audiorecordings with the voice and musical talents of many Broadway and Hollywood actors.

From the Golden Age Fictions website:

When you think of the word Pulp Fiction, you probably think of the blockbuster movie, but actually, Pulp Fiction was the literary phenomenon and leading source of entertainment in the 1930′s and 1940′s that produced thousands of short stories still influencing the writers of today’s most popular books and movies–character’s like Indiana Jones, Jack Sparrow, James Bond–all inspired by the these pulpwood paperbacks.

Now for the first time since their heyday, Galaxy Press has assembled the largest collection of stories from the most prolific writer of the pulp fiction era, L. Ron Hubbard. This collection, “Stories from the Golden Age”, includes over 150 audiobook stories spanning virtually every genre including: scifi, fantasy, western, mystery, adventure and more!

The award-winning, action-packed tales have also been brought to life in cinematically produced audiobook CD collections, performed by an all-star Hollywood cast. So get into the action!

Available in audiobook, paperback and digital download formats.”

I have personally listened to two stories, While Bugles Blow! and Killer’s Law, out of the six I was sent. I thoroughly enjoy Hubbard’s story-telling and his knack for weaving intricate plots that keep the reader (or in this case, listener) engaged throughout.

I especially love how Galaxy has recorded these stories to make them sound like radio programs complete with sound effects and actors playing parts instead of just one narrator narrating the entire story.

I’ve always been a fan of audiobooks.  They’re not just for your grandmother who can’t hold a book anymore.  They’re for busy people who like to multitask.  I enjoy audiobooks while I walk my giant furball, I mean dog, around the neighborhood.  I enjoy them on long car rides too, especially between states when there’s no radio signal and miles and miles of open, boring road.

I highly recommend this collection of audiobooks to anyone looking to expand their reading and listening horizons. And many thanks to Galaxy Press for the opportunity to try their product.

This is an original ROSCMM post and was written for Gallaxy Press who sent me several audiobooks for review.  These CDs, mp3 recordings, and books can be purchased at http://goldenagestories.com/.  All opinions are that of Jennifer herself and no, you can not steal my content, it’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright 2013, Mastermind Mommy

Categories: FAIL, Reviews | Leave a comment

Non-Fiction Ramblings

I need to read more.

I know, that sounds so dumb coming from me, right??

I mean, I’m always reading, right?

Right, but WHAT am I reading?

I have to say, I’m a little discouraged in my reading history. I took one of those stupid Facebook quizes that listed 46 banned books. Do you know how many I’ve read?

Ready?

4.

That’s it. And they were all for school. I’ve been out of school for 12 years. Most of them were for high school. I’ve been out of high school 16 years.

Really?

Guess I can’t say that I’m “well read”.

The reason for this rambling is because this month the From Left to Write Book Club is reading The Black Count by Tom Reiss. I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about this book. “It’s so engrossing!” said one book club member. “I love this book!” said another.

Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

Know what I say about it?

Zzzzzzzzzz…

Now I mean the author no offense. Please, Mr Reiss, I honestly can not say if my opinion of the book is good or bad because as soon as I sit down to read it…

Zzzzzzzzzz…

I don’t know what’s wrong with me!! I can’t seem to get more than a few pages into this book without feeling sleepy and oftentimes dozing right off!

Maybe it’s just that there’s a lot going on in my life and I’m just tired. Maybe it’s just that I can’t read a non-fiction book with out falling asleep!

I accepted this book this month because I had never read The Count of Monte Cristo and this book is based on the original Alexandre Dumas, the father of the author of The Count of Monte Cristo and the Three Musketeers

I’d been thinking lately that I needed to read more classics. Like Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice. I LOVED the Thursday Next series that told of a world where people could actually go INTO the books and live there and solve crimes there, so why not read the classics that these books were based on?

There are so many books out there to read, so many adventures to go on.  If I could spend all day, everyday, reading, I would,

but, of course not a whole lot would get done.  :)

I have every intention of finishing this book. Not sure if it will be sooner or later, but eventually, I will finish it.

And I will post my opinion of it when I finish it.

But for now…

I think I need to go to bed earlier.

What’s your favorite piece of classical literature? I’m up for suggestions!!

This is an original ROSCMM post and was written for the From Left to Write Book Club This post was inspired by The Black Count; Glory, Revolution, Betrayal and the Real Count of Monte Cristo,by Tom Reiss, a copy of which I received for free from the publisher for the purposes of this book club and no, you can not steal my content unless you specifically ask me for it first. It’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright 2012 Mastermind Mommy

Categories: FAIL, From Left to Write Book Club | Tags: | 7 Comments

Nervous…

Good morning… It’s about 4am and I am in my usual spot at this time. Awake and in front of the computer…

I have to be at swim signups at 8am so of course my internal clock is screwing with me. Woke up at 2am. Doesn’t help that I fell asleep before my kids at 10-ish but that has everything to do with the fact that I can not read lying down and I simply cannot get in to the new Odd Thomas book my Dean Koontz. But I digress…

I am up almost every night. I’m usually worrying about SOMETHING. Money, kids, husband, business, friends, blah.

Here’s my new worry.

And tell me if you’ve heard this one before…

I start a new job on Sunday. And actual go somewhere, do something, answer to someone kind of job. I’m super excited, but I’m also nervous and scared. I’ve been out of the workforce for almost 10 years. Yes, I’ve had my Tastefully Simple business for 6 of those 10 years, but I don’t answer to anyone except me (and sometimes my husband) when it comes to the business. And I can take a day off if I want to and not feel like I’m letting someone down in the process.

That’s not even what I’m worried about. The job is really no big deal. I’ll be a receptionist at my daughter’s dance studio for a couple of hours on the weekends. I’ll get to answer phones, answer questions, take payments, and shmooze with the dance moms.

Weekends.
When I do the bulk of my business. When I get to spend family time with my kids and husband. When my kids have birthday parties and swim lessons and religion classes and other extra-curricular activities.

I had to reschedule four parties. I have one that just will not budge too, so I have to see if my new boss will be flexible with me so I can do it, or I have to find another consultant to do the party. My hostess is the mother of one of my best clients. I don’t want to give up that party.

In all honesty, I’m not really all that worried about that either. Here’s what really bothers me…

You mean I’m not going to see you ALL WEEKEND??” my Big Boy whined…

Sigh.

It’s not all weekend, baby. It’s only for a couple of hours on Saturday and Sunday. You won’t even notice I’m gone.

Oh Mom, I’m going to MISS YOU!

Break my heart why don’tcha??

I’ve got three birthday parties this month and one next month that I can’t take my kids to because I will have to work. Hubs will have to take them. And I won’t have any full uninterrupted days of just the four of us unless one of us takes a day off or the dance studio is closed.

I addressed this concern with my husband before I accepted the position. His words?

You wanted this. Now you have to do what you have to do to make it work.”

He’s right. I did want this. I gave my resume to the director because I wanted to work for her. Now I have to deal with the fact that when she needs me is on the weekends.  In this day and age, I should be happy to even have something that I can call a job when so many others are without and can’t seem to find anything.  I should be happy that we are blessed enough that I have been able to stay home with my children for this long.

I guess I’ll figure it out. It can’t be THAT big of a deal. And we need the steady income.

I’m just nervous…

This is an original ROSCMM post. All opinions in this post come from Jennifer herself unless otherwise noted.   This post has no compensation level as I did not receive anything for writing this post,(visit my Full Disclosure page for more details) and no, you can not steal my content unless you specifically ask me for it first. It’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright 2012 Mastermind Mommy

Categories: Randomness... | Leave a comment

NOT the Baker’s Daughter…

This…

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is my mom’s Betty Crocker Cookbook.  She got it when she was newly married to my dad, about 40 years ago. Considering the condition its in, you can say it’s been used a few times.

I have one too…

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I got it from my Grandmother and aunt when I was getting married 12 years ago.

The difference between these two cookbooks? In the 12 years I’ve been married, I’ve opened mine, maybe looked through it…  I don’t think I’ve ever actually COOKED anything from the recipes inside.

My mom’s on the other hand… is falling apart.

It’s held together by a rubberband. If you take off the rubberband, the book splits right at the recipe for Baked Ham.

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The pages are frayed and yellowed and coming off the binding.  It looks the way any GOOD cookbook should.  Some of our favorite recipes are in there…

Here’s Mom’s recipe for Corned Beef and Cabbage:

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Any MY FAVORITE Chili con Carne:

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And Split Pea Soup:

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My mom was a stay-at-home mom for most of my life. She exemplified the definition of “stay-at-home mom”.  She kept the house clean, we had homemade meals almost every night, she was involved in the PTA and was constantly carting me and my brother to our various after-school activities.

Now that its my turn to be the stay-at-home mom, I try to follow in her footsteps as best I can.  I don’t know how some moms do it, working and still being able to run a household. I’ve always given credit where credit is due to all the working moms and the work-from-home moms who are able to hold down a successful career or business an still have time for their kids and husbands and keep a clean house and have fresh home-cooked meals for their families (almost) every night.  I envy you.  I don’t know how you do it without super-powers and/or drugs. But somehow you do, and I’m jealous. But, I digress…

This month the From Left to Write Book Club read The Baker’s Daughter by Sarah McCoy.  It’s a beautifully written book that parallels the lives of two women, one in a bakery in Nazi Germany just as the war is ending, and one in present day who can’t seem to get herself together.

While I read the book, I wracked my brain trying to think of a family recipe that I could share with you as the basis for the post.  Sadly, I couldn’t find anything I wanted to make that would not come out horribly, horribly wrong.  And then suddenly, my mom’s cookbook popped into my head.  All our favorites are in there, (even the cream puffs) but then suddenly, I didn’t want to share a recipe from this book with you.  It’s our closely guarded secret…  So much so that I even had my mom WILL this book to me! (I just researched it, and you can’t get this exact book, ANYWHERE!  You can get something similar, but not the same book.)

So, I will share a recipe with you…  however not from this book…  but from this one:

Yes, I know…  it says “diet”.  Shh…

Why am I sharing a diet recipe with you??  Honestly?  Because I’m PMS-ing and I want chocolate and this is the BEST chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten.  Nuff said.

Here you go:

http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Yummy-Chocolate-Cake

Of course, I made some changes to the recipe, substituting full-fat versions of the fat -free items and maybe an egg yolk or two. Who says diet has to be “diet”??  YUM!!  Enjoy!!

THE BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE EVER!!

This is an original ROSCMM post and was written for the From Left to Write Book Club and was insipired by The Baker’s Daughter by Sarah McCoy, a copy of which I received for free from the publisher for the purposes of this book club and no, you can not steal my content unless you specifically ask me for it first. It’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright 2012 Mastermind Mommy

Categories: From Left to Write Book Club | 5 Comments

Staying Strong

It’s 8:19am on Father’s Day 2012. I have been up since 6am trying to keep myself occupied. Today is also the day of my Mother-in-Law’s funeral. God, even watching those words appear on the screen, I still can’t believe it. It all seems so unreal (sureal?). I honestly never thought this would happen. Then again, I think I always knew this would happen. She’d been suffering for so long. The cancer appeared over three years ago, and even then we knew it would get her eventually. It’s never easy when a loved one dies. This I know. It’s even worse when it’s a parent or spouse. I can only imagine what my husband, his brothers and their father are experiencing. I don’t want to go into how much she meant to me, or how special she was or how lost I’ll be without her. If you know me personally, you know what she meant to me and how I feel about her loss.

This is what I want to share with you today… I am currently staying with my Father-in-Law, attempting to help everyone else who loves him deal with the death of the love of his life. I am also trying to be “the rock” my husband needs so that he can begin to cope with the loss of his mother. It’s not easy, I am learning…

Yesterday, I found this in the bedroom in which I am sleeping.


I like to think that this is a sign from my Mother in Law to hold on. To be strong. I know I have to be because if I lose it, so will everyone else. I have to stay strong for my husband, my children, my father in law.

Thanks Ma. I got your message. I’ll take care of them, I promise.

Categories: Randomness... | 1 Comment

We’ve been married HOW LONG??

So… this month my husband and I will celebrate 12 years of marriage. I can’t believe we’ve been married this long already and I haven’t killed him.

The happy couple.

In the book Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Amy and Nick are celebrating five years. Every year for their anniversary, Amy presents Nick with a scavenger hunt, leaving little clues around town ultimately leading him to his gift, usually in whatever material represents that year.

Keeping that in mind, I thought I’d send my own husband some hints as to what he can get me for our anniversary next week…

The 12th  Anniversary symbols are as follows:

Traditional: Linen/Silk

Modern: colored gems/pearls

Flower: Peony

Gemstone: Jade/Opal

So lets start with the Traditional…

Linen/Silk:

I’m not boasting to have this body…  Believe me, I am FAR from it…  but usually just the idea of… well, you know, gets him going.  :)  And it comes with silk panties.

Maybe I can cover it up with this…

You know…  when the kids come barging in…

AHEM…

Moving on.

Modern: colored gemstones/pearls

I’ll take this…

It has both colored gemstones AND pearls.  At least he won’t have to choose…

Flower: Peony

I don’t know much about flowers… but these are pretty

And finally…

Gemstone: Jade/Opal

I’m not a fan of jade jewelry… so I went with opal.  :)

Yes, please!!

I have included links to all the products in case some kind soul takes pity on me and wants to buy me something (cause you know he doesn’t read my blog).

And my anniversary is the 23rd, in case you wanted to know when to ship it by…

This is an original ROSCMM post and was written for the From Left to Write Book Club and was insipired by Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, a copy of which I received for free from the publisher for the purposes of this book club and no, you can not steal my content unless you specifically ask me for it first. It’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright 2012 Mastermind Mommy

Categories: From Left to Write Book Club, Sometimes I amaze even myself. | 6 Comments

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