A lot of parents get really freaked out when they find out their kid has some psychological neurological issues. Although I am not thrilled about the tantrums and the inability to modulate his volume, the OCD? It could be worse. 8 Reasons I am glad my son has OCD He brushes his teeth for 3 […]

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  • Yes, a lot of parents do get freaked out. For us, my son’s diagnosis was a relief because we finally knew why! I could definitely do without the tantrums, loud voice and messy eating, but I would miss his personality! I love that we can talk, at length, about semi-interesting topics like our shared infatuation for the Titanic!ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      Well we must have the same kid!! Isaiah LOVES the Titanic! He has since he was probably 5 or so? Ships in general have become a passion since then. And you are right, they are really amazing, smart and interesting kids who can converse on so many levels!ReplyCancel

      • Well, we should get our kids together and they can talk about Titanic, Naval Ships and Submarines all day long! They truly are awesome and interesting kids!ReplyCancel

  • Love this! And it would seem that out of all of the issues my own kid has that maybe OCD isn’t so much one of them. I mean a tag in his shirt has to has to go but I think that’s more sensory because him putting away his toys neatly? Never. Ever. Love this! Pinned and tweeted!ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      Well of course neither of us needs anymore “issues” and yes that sensory stuff still persists here. Apparently the lotion I use makes his hands feel funny now. I can use it on his body, but not his hands or he freaks out! And only Legos go away neatly, so don’t be too jealous!ReplyCancel

  • Vince Berryman

    Your kid sounds like a legend!ReplyCancel

  • I know that he struggles with this (and I can’t fathom the grand scale) — you both do — but the fact that you can find and embrace that there are positives within this monster of a diagnosis, is truly inspirational.
    You’re a great mom Jen. I can’t say it enough. I love that you allow him to brush his teeth for that amount of time…if Chase would OMG…and handwriting (sometimes it looks like it’s Egyptian hieroglyphics).
    You allow him to be him and to work the way he needs to — whether it takes him 50 pages of paper or one.
    All I’m saying is, you’re awesome. He’s awesome. And I’m glad that you’re trying to help other parents find positives in their situations too. XoxoReplyCancel

  • Great post! What a fun mom you are, finding humor in the life you both are living. That is the best approach to facing challenges. And I can tell through your writing how much you love and support him.ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      Thank you! I do, and we have so much fun together because of it!ReplyCancel

  • “And don’t get me started on how nicely he rolls up his toothpaste tube.” Oh, my God, your kid is ME! I have OCD too & those are all the things I do – except the garbage can bit (I don’t like germs so I don’t touch the garbage). But I brush till I’m drooling b/c Idk if I got all the spots. I rearrange the dishwasher after my son loads it b/c he doesn’t do it right & it’s all messy. And I put things back neatly & precisely. And I ALWAYS have my Purell. I’ll tell you what, it is nice to have a kid w/ OCD b/c they are usually neat & orderly (unless they’re hoarders), but it can be really debilitating for the OCD-sufferer. FYI for now or in the future you may want to look into cognitive behavioral therapy. It helped me tremendously. It saved my life.ReplyCancel

  • Sounds like he’d make a great college roommate! Not like me. I’m messy.ReplyCancel

Isaiah doesn’t get to watch real TV. It’s not because I don’t want him to have screen time necessarily. Let’s face it, when you’re a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom who blogs and designs, a little screen time is like a vacation in the tropics with a fou-fou drink. He doesn’t watch TV because I don’t trust what’s […]

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  • Omg I thought it was only my kids. Seriously my girls make videos all the time around here, especially with their Legos. I think our kids would get along perfectly – seriously!!! 😉ReplyCancel

  • That’s excellent! Good job Isaiah!ReplyCancel

You may not know who Frank Zappa is, chances are if you’re under 40 you don’t. Maybe you do, but are wondering why you should care about this total freak show who created vulgar über wacko performance art concerts before that was cool? I can’t possibly tell you everything you should know about him. I can […]

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  • Kristi Rieger Campbell

    OMG I love love love your new site design. I’ve been thinking of doing something like having a home page too. Hm. Also ZAPPAAAAAAA! And TMTT!!ReplyCancel

  • I love me some Zappa. Was just talking about him the other day. Gonna go listen to Joe’s Garage now. 🙂ReplyCancel

Tears. Last year was the year of tears. It was the year of me secretly wishing he would actually, really want to go to “real” school and actually really like it. It was also the year I knew he could not actually go to real school because I knew he could not read. Last year […]

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  • Kate Hall

    This is EXACTLY what I experienced with my son. I can still hear all those moms saying, “Oh, he’ll learn to read when he’s ready.” And I say, “SHUT UP!” 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Cassandra Delusion

    We were so lucky to have our son at a Montessori school with a very observant teacher and an amazing reading specialist. They spotted the problem at age four and worked with him all the way through elementary school. He’s entering Middle School in the fall (our first non-Montessori experience), and I am terrified. But I know we will figure out a way to help him thrive.ReplyCancel

  • This really hits home for me tonight, Jen. Not for Dyslexia, although thank you for the great information and for sharing your heart with us. But I had a difficult evening with my boys–just the normal fighting with each other, etc., that everyone experiences with their kids, but some days you just feel like a damn failure. I know I’m a great mom; I know my boys love each other, but I wanted the day and evening to be hugs and love and not fighting over Magna-Tiles, you know? I am forever thanking God for my days with my boys and also begging Him for another chance to do it right the next day–and a million days more. Thanks again for this, friend. 🙂ReplyCancel

    • I meant that THEY were fighting with each other; not that we were ALL fighting with each other, lol. I was just sad that summer’s coming to and end and they didn’t get along better tonight. We won’t have many more of these carefree summer days and I don’t want them to waste them fighting.ReplyCancel

      • Jennifer Kehl

        I love you Shay. I am so glad we are still around stalking each other. And I DO know exactly what you mean. When Isaiah is just pushing me over the edge and I want it to be done, I remind myself he’s going to be 10 next week!!! And he’s not going to want to be my little boy, and it’s going to go so fast and I need to slow down, and not care and be okay.ReplyCancel

Sitting across the desk from my son’s neuro-psychologist, I finally understood. This is what people are talking about when they hear news, but can’t process it. I knew he was talking, but the words didn’t make any sense. “This took him so long.” “And this one, it took him much longer than it should have.” […]

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  • I love your honesty, seriously. I was nodding my head when you said you felt like you were in a fog when the doc was talking to you about Isiah. That he then restarted the conversation to make sure you were hearing him….awesome. I know you will make Isiah a reader, it just will be in the Isiah way.ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      Thanks Kerri, I wasn’t sure how people would take this. But it’s honest, it’s how I felt. I know we’ll get there!ReplyCancel

  • Even if it’s an audiobook, it’s still reading. And there are programs and exercises that will help him read more easily. I have a dyslexic friend. Who’s a doctor. You got this.ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      Thanks Chrissy, I know you’re right. We’ve been spending a decent amount of time talking about all of the famous people who are dyslexic. I think he’s going to be the next Steven Spielberg 😉ReplyCancel

  • Halfway through your post, I was thinking of my Dad. He’s in his 70’s now, but 15 years ago when my boys were small and first struggling with learning to read, we discovered Audio books. Man did it open up a whole new world to my Dad – who has struggled with reading his entire life. Now it’s not just me and my mom – both avid readers – who have our favorite authors, my Dad has his own favorites too. I love it that your Isiah gets so much pleasure from Audio books too.ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      That’s a great story Vanessa. Audio books are perfect, and I love them too! We listen in the car and sometimes I can’t wait to get back to it.ReplyCancel

  • Jen, this made me cry.

    My son, Little Dude, has his issues. For so long, I struggled to understand them. When doctors finally give you a diagnosis that helps you understand why your kid is different, it’s NOT a relief.

    Because our kids are our HEARTS. We want life to be smooth sailing for them. Without any extra challenges.

    You love him so much, and yes, you will redefine whatever you need to, to see him as the beautiful and perfect boy that he is. You will prevail.

    And so will I. xoxoReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      Samara, thank you for sharing with me. You are right, we are still working through it all over here, but we have love and we have each other….ReplyCancel

  • Valerie Bender-Werth

    I’m dyslexic, and I needed help- even in college. I took all my tests in a special office with headphones and an audio track of a volunteer reading out each question. None of my tests were timed. I graduated with a doctorate. There is an HBO documentary on dyslexia that you should totally watch. Dyslexics are awesome- we are neuro atypical very much like people with autism. We think different and learn different and different is good. I suck at reading. I suck at writing. I love stories. I love learning- I love discovering. Dyslexia nslowed me down but didn’t keep me back. Let your son be himself and he will do just fine.ReplyCancel

  • Kate Hall

    Loved this too, Jen!ReplyCancel

  • Cassandra Delusion

    Dyslexia was less of a shock for us, as my son’s father is dyslexic and is a very successful chemist. So we know that he can be whatever he wants to be. It will just take a little more help with the reading along the way. We were also lucky enough to learn that our son has 99th %ile intelligence along with his dyslexia, so he has the tools he needs to overcome the trouble spots.ReplyCancel

I love Young Adult books. There is something about how quickly it gets in to the story, and how emotionally invested the characters are, that grabs me. Order of Seven by Beth Teliho is no exception. I cracked this book open (ok turned on my Kindle) about 9pm on a Tuesday night. At 2am I […]

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  • Beth Teliho

    *grinning* I LOVE that it kept you up at night and stayed with you for days! 🙂 Thank you for this. So happy you enjoyed it. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Lizzi Rogers

    Isn’t it great? And yeah – SO with you on how tough to review without spoilers.ReplyCancel

  • I love the review, and I adore both you and Beth, so I need to grab this book. Are hard copies available, too? I live in the Dark Ages and don’t have an e-reader. 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      Of course it is! Paperback even so you don’t have to break the bank. It really is worth it, I just couldn’t give it away, because you want the whole book to unfold for you!ReplyCancel

Lessons I Learned On My Journey for Success   Thomas Edison said, “Many of life’s failures are people who didn’t realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”  I didn’t want Thomas Edison’s words to define me.   I wrote “Worth the Climb” so that others who have been blocked from reaching […]

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Can you believe the average person wastes 244 pounds of food each year? I joined the #NoFoodWasted campaign wagon because….. well, I know I’m easily throwing away that much food every year. When I go through my bi-weekly ritual of cleaning out the fridge to make room for new groceries, I can’t deny it…. *hangs her head in […]

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  • Noelle Kaushik Snow

    Great post! I’m happy to say that I’ve started doing several of these things i.e. planning a weekly menu (and I post it on a white board in the kitchen so EVERYONE knows what’s for dinner), shopping from that menu, planning at least two dinners from those leftovers (saves me time), freezing bread heels (used those a few times already for recipes that called for bread crumbs), the tops to my organic celery and freezing leftovers that don’t get eaten that week. Funny how when they reappear a month later everyone likes them again. Oh and we’ve been composting for over 5 yrs and it makes me so happy to have place for my egg shells, peels, rinds, tea bags and of course dried leaves. DF also has community composting at the Township building. One tip I’ll add is doing an regular pantry and freezer purge – I tried this last year and it was eye-opening. I didn’t buy anything other than fresh produce or milk and focused on instead creatively using up whatever I had on hand. I realized then I’m a bit of a grocery hoarder – I stock up when something is on sale and then forget it’s in the back of the freezer or pantry.ReplyCancel

  • Ah! This is something I know I have to work on as well. Great suggestions here!ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      Thanks Louise! So many of them are things I definitely need to work harder at so I am going to give it a shot!ReplyCancel

  • Awesome tips! We sometimes cook a bunch more than we eat just to have dinner the next day without having to cook. I admit, sometimes single-servings of leftovers rot in my fridge, but more often than not we actually eat it. Or I simply freeze it for a quick dinner at some point.ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      Stephanie, it is definitely those suggestions that I excel at. And also menu planning. But I think I would love to get better at freezing the left over veggies, and composting!ReplyCancel