Pebble’s Poem

Pebble’s wrote a poem about our dog, Fighter. It’s actually a song but I have no idea how to write the music. Here are the words.

I love to look in your eyes.
I love to look in your eyes.
‘Cause I see love in your eyes.

What kind of dog are you?
Are you a Pomeranian?
Are you a sweet fox?
Or are you a weenie dog?

I love to look in your eyes.
‘Cause I see love.
Don’t hide them from me.
Oh, how I love to look in your eyes.

‘Cause when I look in your eyes
I don’t just look in your eyes.
I look at your whole face.
That’s why I see love.

When you stick your little tongue out
It is so cute to me.
Boop-a-dee-doop-a-dee-doop
Fighty.

© Pebbles Stone 2015

Pebbles' dog Fighter

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
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The Lazy, Nasty, Thieving Bullies of the Buzzard World. (Warning: Strong Stomach Required)

If you’ve lived in a city all your life you probably think of buzzards differently than country people do. Living on a farm has taught me to appreciate these horridly ugly birds.

Buzzards, along with coyotes, maggots and miscellaneous insects, are nature’s clean up crew. Without them our world would be one stinking mess.

As cattle ranchers The Rock and I have produced more than our fair share of buzzard food.

Our cattle raising knowledge was hard-earned, on the job. And I’m ashamed to admit that many cows, calves and steers valiantly gave their lives to help us gain that knowledge. May they rest in peace.

We were always grateful, and amazed, that nothing went to waste when we killed a poor cow with our ignorance.

About four years into raising cattle we discovered the ugly side of the buzzard world. I know what you’re thinking. “Is there any other kind?”

We learned – the hard way – that there are two types of buzzards. Ugly buzzards and ugly buzzards with dark, evil, empty, ugly souls.

Turkey Buzzards are the good guys. Ugly, yes, but they’re just doing their job, cleaning up carcasses after living things become nonliving things.

Then there are Black Buzzards. The bad guys. Lazy, opportunistic bullying thieves with heartless black souls. They all need to be shot.

photo comparison of turkey buzzard and black buzzard

Before you start thinking I’m all heartless and stuff, keep reading. But remember, I warned you up there in the title.

Black Buzzards don’t actually look for food. They look for Turkey Buzzards eating food. Then they get their Black Buzzard buddies together, gang up on the Turkey Buzzard, chase it away and voila! Dinner is served.

So that behavior explains why I called them lazy, opportunistic, bullying thieves. Now for the heartless black soul part.

Turkey buzzards eat dead things. Only dead things. You can tell where I’m going with this, can’tcha?

Food doesn’t have to actually be dead for Black Buzzards to eat it. Just accessible. And unable to defend itself or run away.

Like our downed steer whose rectum was eaten while he lay there helplessly unable to do anything about it. That was the day The Rock began to officially hate Black Buzzards.

The last straw for him was the day a flock of those stone-hearted birds discovered a heifer we’d been slowing nursing back to health.

She was getting stronger each day, but she couldn’t get up on her feet. She couldn’t get away or fight off the Black Buzzards. So they ate her tongue.

We’re pretty sure her eyes would have been next on the buffet if we hadn’t discovered them.

The Rock had to put the poor heifer out of her misery. Having to shoot her in the head affected him deeply. So he made himself feel better by unloading his pistol into a Black Buzzard he saw lurking nearby.

The next few days he hid in the barn with a rifle and picked off Black Buzzards sitting in trees around the corrals. Watching the pile of dead buzzards grow larger and higher made him feel even better.

He had to stop at about 18 because it turns out Black Buzzards are pretty smart. They stopped coming around.

Never being one to deprive buzzards and coyotes of food  he left the pile of Black Buzzards for them.

And the strangest thing happened. Actually what didn’t happen was the strange thing.

Nothing ate those dead Black Buzzards. Months later they were still laying there uneaten, unmolested, undisturbed.

Turns out Black Buzzards are so horridly nasty and evil that even other buzzards, Black and Turkey types, refuse to eat them.

The Rock said even the flies refused to get near them.

If you don’t live in the country see what you’ve been missing?

Black Buzzard photo credit: princer7
Turkey Buzzard photo credit: MandyJo Photo

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
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Trees – Alternate Views

tall tree viewed from the ground, with blue sky above and sunshine on leaves

up close photo of cracked tree bark

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
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Tell Daddy You’re Sorry!

Testosterone plus Y chromosone equals Car Control Freak

The Rock is amazing in so many ways and I love him dearly. But he does have this one extremely annoying personality flaw that I suspect he shares with many men.

In the car he’s an ABSOLUTE. CONTROL. FREAK. He rarely lets me drive when we go places together.

I kid you not. He drove the whole 2,500 miles of our last vacation, never once accepting my offer to give him a break.

I could be wrong but I suspect it has something to do with testosterone and that pesky Y chromosome.

But he was so sick last week that he actually asked me to drive.

Aaaannndddd it began…

“You’ve got your seat too close to the steering wheel. If we have a wreck your knees will be messed up for life.”

“You forgot to use your blinker back there.”

“GOSH!! Can you take it a little slower over the bumps?! Do you have to drive like you’re on a race track everywhere you go? You know that really cuts down on the gas mileage. Not to mention……”

I gently patted his leg and told him, “Just relax, Mr. Control Freak. You can’t always have it your way. We’ll be OK.”

Pebbles immediately gave me a tongue-lashing from the backseat. “That’s a mean and rude thing to say. You should apologize. I really don’t like it when you say that to Daddy. You need to tell him you’re sorry.”

I did. Because I’m Pebbles’ role model. But mostly to avoid getting into a long, drawn-out discussion with her.

But I’m not really sorry. Not one bit.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
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*~* Happy 2015!! ~*~ Flowers in the Sky *~*

fireworks in the night sky

fireworks in the night sky

fireworks in the night sky

fireworks in the night sky

fireworks in the night sky

fireworks in the night sky

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
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Christmas With Pebbles

Pebbles said, “Take a picture of me looking at the tree like this.”

4135

(Um, Underdaddy. Did you notice the BOO sticker still on the window from Halloween?)


I may have mentioned a time or two that Pebbles is not a girly-girl.

She loves to play dress-up but always in super-hero and boy-type costumes. Remember her Halloween Minecraft costume?

She doesn’t play with Barbies or babies, doesn’t own any tiaras or princess stuff.  It’s boy toys all the way at the Stone house.

With the exception of the 200 or so stuffed animals she has. But other than those, guy toys only. Kinda like Shiloh Jolie-Pitt. Without the boy haircut and masculine clothes.

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Pebbles and The Rock got a little competitive, trying to see who could shoot Baymax’s fist higher and further.

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Pebbles said, “Take a picture that looks like I’m flying.” This is the best I could do. How does it look?

Pebbles "flying" through the sky as Baymax.


There’s no better way to end Christmas Day than snuggling on the couch in your new kitty pjs with Baymax, Optimus Prime and an inflatable penguin, eating popcorn and sipping a mug of hot chocolate.

A4219

 Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!!

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
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You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
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First World Problems

I just recently was introduced to the phrase ‘First World problem.’ Yeah, I know, it’s been around awhile. But I’ve been busy.

Today I had a flash of inspiration (it happens…sometimes) when Pebbles was whining endlessly, on and on, about her colored pencils.

Pebbles: I haaa-te digging through my colored pencil box! It’s meeee-an that they make black and brown pencils look so much a-liiike!! It’s STUPID!!

(For some reason, and for which I have no explanation, everything Pebbles perceives as a problem is caused by someone, somewhere, somehow, being mean.)

Me: What you have there is a First World problem.

Pebbles: It’s not faaaa-ir…..huh?

Me: A First World problem.

Pebbles: What’s that?

Me: Well, remember the things we learned about people living in Third World countries? Do you think those children even have colored pencils?

Pebbles: Um. Probably not.

Me: Let me show you a photo of a child in Syria sleeping between his parents.

Pebbles: Okay.

staged photo of boy sleeping between  graves.Photo Credit – Abdul Aziz al Otaibi


According to Wikipedia:

First World problem
The term is used to minimize complaints about trivial issues by shaming the complainer.


Although I didn’t know it at the time I am now aware that this was a staged photo.

Doesn’t matter. It made a big impression on Pebbles and shamed her into stopping the whining. For awhile.

I’ll  shamelessly take whatever little victories come my way.


May we each be thankful for all our blessings during this holiday season.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
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Posted in Home School, Pebbles | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – Yellow Reminds Me of Summer

Love! Love! Love! the yellow beaks on these white ducks as they beg for bread tossed from our boat last summer!

My entry in the Yellow WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. Because it’s not even Christmas and I’m already missing summer. Can you tell I’m not a winter person?

white ducks with yellow beaks begging for bread

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
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Pebbles Wants to Start a Blog

When Pebbles saw the Herobrine avatar on my followers list she decided she wanted to start her own blog. I suggested she start out by writing a post as a guest author on my blog. So here we go with Pebbles’ first post. Enjoy.

I like puppies so I really want a stuffed animal that looks like my dog named Fighter. If I get a stuffed animal dog that looks like Fighter I want a collar for it.

Pebbles' dog Fighter

I like boy stuff even though I’m a girl so don’t give me really girlie stuff. But I like Hello Kitty though.

Hello Kitty Christmas charm

Merry Christmas Everybody!!
Love, Pebbles

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
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You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

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WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – Twinkle

I’ve punched up the glitter factor in this photo to enter it in this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge – Twinkle.

I couldn't resist the gold glittery goodness of the base of this merry-go-round ride contrasted with this fun party carpet.

Click the photo to enlarge it to really appreciate the gold glittery goodness of the merry-go-round’s base contrasted with the fun party carpet.

You can find the original photo in my previous post titled Magic Party Carpet Ride.

Thank you to ady for alerting me to the weekly photo challenge. You should check out ady’s beautiful photography, which she shares on her blog, ColorPalette

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

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Has Your Kid Ever Fallen in an Open Grave?

I bet that title got your attention. Maybe gave you some unpleasant feelings, as well. Welcome to my reality.

Underdaddy recently made a comment that got me thinking about how…um…how should I put this…uniquely different my children are.

From the day our oldest, Zani, came into this world until this very moment, The Rock and I can’t say there has been one moment of boredom in our lives.

The combining of our genes produced a bunch of rowdy ruffians, including our grandchild Pebbles.

However, since no one in my family behaves the way our kids do, I strongly suspect the hooligan gene comes from The Rock’s DNA. The wild stories he’s told me about his youth and that of his equally rowdy, rambunctious cousins is all the proof I need.

And our kids inherited that behavior. When they were young they always embarrassed the heck out of us everywhere we went. Every dining-out experience culminated in The Rock threatening to leave the restaurant without the kids.

I always thought he was overreacting. Now that he’s discovered Xanax he agrees with me.

Except, there was that one time at Pizza Hut when they got into a food fight. I definitely agreed with him that time about leaving them with the check. Hey, don’t judge. They were adults. They had their own money.

And then there are all the holes Magneto and Xander have left in our walls during their many wrestling matches.

In fact, everywhere we went, if we stopped moving for more than two seconds – you know, like standing in lines at the grocery store, getting the car keys out in a parking lot, that kinda stuff – those two started a WWF Smackdown.

They still do. Here’s a photo from last year, with Pebbles cheering them on from the sidelines.

Magneto and Xander wrestling in my living room.

Although it looks like Magneto is beating the crap out of Xander, in Xander’s defense he was wrestling with a really painful ingrown toenail. And trying mightily to keep it from being stepped on.

Which brings me back to the title of this post, Has Your Kid Ever Fallen in an Open Grave?

If you’ve read this far you’re probably gonna be super disappointed when I tell you that, no, none of our kids, nor any of the wild Stone cousins, have actually done this. But Pebbles came very close.

The day her momma, Sapphire, was buried Pebbles was a hyperactive almost-three-year-old. My cousin volunteered to watch her during the graveside service, which meant chasing her all over the cemetery in triple digit heat.

At one point – no doubt due to extreme heat exhaustion – my cousin briefly took her eye off Pebbles. Which was when we noticed that Pebbles was squatting at the edge of the grave, leaning precariously over to get a better look at “what’s down in that big hole?”

Someone managed to catch Pebbles just before she tipped over the edge, past the point-of-no-return.

Which got The Rock and I wondering how it was that none of the wild Stone bunch had ever fallen into an open grave. And thanking our lucky stars that it will likely never happen, now that they’re all grown up and Pebbles is older.

Except…that Pizza Hut food fight did happen when they were all grown up.

It’s a good thing The Rock has discovered Xanax.

Freshly gug grave with a keep out sign.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

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Magic Party Carpet Ride

The carpet in this indoor children’s playground always pops off the screen at me in photos, screaming,”LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! WHEEE! LET’S PARTY!”

The combination of the glittery gold goodness of this merry-go-round ride and the party carpet are magical to me.

A glittery gold merry-go-round sit on the magical party carpet.

Even better: A photo of Pebbles’ Hello Kitty shoe on the Magic Party Carpet. Whee! Let’s party, y’all!

Pebbles' Hello Kitty shoe on the magical party carpet.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

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Awesome Blog Alert

Underdaddy to the Rescue

If you haven’t yet discovered Underdaddy’s blog you really must hurry on over there and discover it now.

Underdaddy blogs about his life surrounded by females. All females. Even the family dog is female.

While sharing with humor and wit his experiences about raising four daughters, he’s man enough to admit what a tough job it is and that most of the time he has absolutely no earthly idea what he’s doing. He unashamedly admits that most of the time he’s flying by the seat of his pants and hoping for the best. Just like the rest of us.

I personally think he and Mrs. Underdaddy, who he refers to as Supermom, are likely raising perfectly well-adjusted, happy girls. They have to be when their daddy loves them enough to dress up in a silly costume and dance with them AND to video tape the dance and publish it on Youtube.

If you visit his blog you’ll be tantalized by post titles such as Black Market Teeth, Glow Stick Kids and Cleaning The Shotgun. All Underdaddy gems!

One of my personal favorites, though, is Perfect Parenting – A Timeline Approach. The How I Spend My Time pie chart is priceless.

But the post that started it all for me – and had me laughing till me sides hurt – was Knock Knock, Who’s There?

So if you haven’t yet discovered Underdaddy, you’re welcome. Pebbles on the Road to the rescue. (You’ll understand after you get there.)

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

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Face Behind the Moon. “I’m Watching You.”

Imagine my surprise when, downloading photos from my camera, I saw this:

A long shot of an eerie face behind the moon.

Every bit as creepy cropped and close up:

A cropped and close up photo of an eerie face behind the moon.

I know this image of a face behind the moon is simply a result of camera shake and poor exposure. But it still kinda creeps me out. Makes me feel like I’m being watched.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are?
Want to know why we’re raising Pebbles?
And who the heck is OCD Louie?
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Be Careful What You Wish For. Or Even Wonder About.

When The Rock and I were raising our four wild kids I often wondered, wistfully, what it would be like to raise an only child.

I love each and every one of our kids, and have always considered it a blessing to be their mother.

But there were times when the fighting and squabbling, the vying for attention, the arguing and whining, the “He’s touching meeee!!!” and “She’s looking at me weird!!!” and “It’s MY turn to sit in the front seeeeeat!!!” and the constant battle to get four kids to pick up their stuff and the endless rushing here and there and everywhere to get everybody where they needed to be when they needed to be there made me look longingly at mothers of onlies and think, “I really wonder what that would be like.”

The Rock and I actually planned to have a large family. In fact, we planned on having six kids.

Then our #4, Xander, came along and, what with his extreme bouncing-off-the-walls, hyper-out-of-his-skin ADHD, he was like three kids all rolled into one package. It felt all the time like we were actually raising six kids.

We decided that we had been unknowingly transported to an alternate dimension, where the laws of math that we knew no longer applied. In other words, three plus one now equalled six. Our magic Time to Stop Procreating number.

alternate dimension math problem, 3 + 1 = 6

Alternate dimension math

And I continued to wonder, at times when things were the roughest, what it would be like to raise an only child.

Fast forward 20 years after Xander’s birth and I got to find out. Pebbles was born.

Her mama, our daughter Sapphire, was, sadly, a drug addict and to protect Pebbles we had to take her away from her mother.

If you have never had to take your child’s child away from him or her, I don’t recommend it. If there’s any way to avoid it, that is. It’s heart wrenching.

But in our case there wasn’t any other option and so, at an age when we were way too old to be doing it all over again, The Rock and I once again became parents. To an only child.

I guess it’s true that there’s always a silver lining. If you look hard enough. At least Sapphire didn’t give birth to twins.

Pebbles has been an extremely difficult child to raise. Not because we’re old. Because she’s an extremely difficult child. I wrote about that here.

She’s also a pure delight and we love her to pieces. But there have been some indescribably, horridly rough times with this child. And then there are the as-yet-possibly-not-accurately-diagnosed disorders/conditions/challenges/disabilities. Which I also wrote about here.

So while I am actually getting to know what it’s like to raise an only child, maybe I should have been more specific when I was wondering what it was like.

You know what they say (whoever “they” are), “The devil is in the details.”

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

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The Book of Life

scene from the book of life movie

Last night the Rock, Pebbles and I went to see the movie The Book of Life.

Why, yes, The Book of Life did come out at Halloween. But we like to wait for movies to come to our local $2 theater. We’re extremely patient movie patrons. And also thrifty, which is code for poor.

But I digress.

If you haven’t yet seen The Book of Life I highly recommend that you do. With  amazing animation and breathtaking colors, the storyline is built around the Mexican celebration of The Day of the Dead. Which I used to think was a really creepy holiday until I understood its meaning.

I won’t give an explanation of The Day of the Dead or a movie review here because you can consult your favorite search engine for that. I do highly recommend the all-knowing Oracle Google for your internet searches, though. He knows all and sees all, in my humble opinion. But if you prefer a different search engine I promise not to hold it against you.

But, again, I digress.

Pebbles mommy, Sapphire, our daughter #2, died when Pebbles was almost three-years-old. Although we’ve tried mightily to keep her memory alive for Pebbles it’s been a struggle because Pebbles has no memories of her own of her mother.

Pebbles has shown little interest in photos of her mommy and the stories we tell her about Sapphire. The Rock and I are the only mommy and daddy Pebbles has ever known.

Manolo meets his mother in The Land of the RememberedBut tonight, at the point in the movie when Manolo dies and, in The Land of the Remembered, meets his own mother who died when he was young, I looked over and saw tears in Pebbles eyes.

Actual tears. Silent tears. Without screams.

I reached over and took her hand and she said, “That makes me think of Momma.”

Which is exactly what I was thinking.

So we sat there together, in the darkened theater, holding hands. And we both cried.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

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The Butterfly and His Shadow

butterfly floating in water casting a shadow

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are?
Want to know why we’re raising Pebbles?
And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answer to these burning questions and
more on my About My Blog page.

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Meet Magneto

If you’ve read my About my Blog page you know that for the purpose of the blog I call my oldest son Magneto. To find out why you can go read about that right now. It’s okay. I’ll wait till you get back.


That’s really all I’ve revealed about him so far.

A single post isn’t nearly enough to tell you about the fabulous life and the amazing adventures Magneto has had. But it is a place to start.

Magneto has always been creative and adventurous. He’s an adrenalin junkie, too. He gets that from The Rock. I’ll blog about that some other time.

When he was young Magneto was constantly planning things to do, building stuff he planned, creating more things to do and build and looking for exciting things to try. Always on the go. Full of ideas. And always drawing, drawing, drawing.

Not surprisingly, he’s now an incredibly gifted artist. And he loves skydiving. So what do you get when you combine those two seemingly unrelated things?

You get this:

Pause the video at two seconds and have a look at that beautiful World Cup of Indoor Skydiving logo. Magneto designed that.

He also designed the beautiful medals given to the winners of the competition.

indoor_skydiving_medal

This is a photo of the actual medal that Magneto got to take home, because his team won second place in the competition.

I wish I could tell you how to spot my son in the video. But there’s that pesky anonymity thing, you know.

Instead I’ll just tell you that I’m one proud momma. In case you couldn’t tell.


Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are?
Want to know why we’re raising Pebbles?
And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answer to these burning questions and
more on my About My Blog page.

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Fair Impressions

ferris wheel against a stormy sky

Ferris wheel - view from below

Ferris wheel shadow against building

county fair prize - goldfish in a plastic bag

Fair food - crispy, greasy, delicious fried potatoes

Wasp on root beer mug

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To Promote or Not to Promote? That is the (Nagging OCD) Question.

Ever since starting this blog I’ve been trying to decide whether or not I should promote it on social networking sites in order to reach a wider audience.

I’ve made some stabs at it –  signed up for Twitter, Facebook and Google+ accounts – then let them fall by the wayside, never following through.

I’ve been incessantly nagged received email reminders that I need to get on with promoting my blog. But I never feel quite ready.

I haven’t been able to put my finger on the reason why. Until now. Now I know why I’ve been hesitant to take that big step.

And it’s all OCD Louie‘s fault.

Louie’s been pretty quiet about my blog for awhile. Probably because he’s all worn out from nagging me about my income tax return.

Which I don’t wish to discuss right now. The wounds are still too fresh. Maybe later.

But now, since I’ve finished the taxes and filed the return, and am starting to think again about promoting my blog, OCD Louie’s annoying voice is starting to play in my head again.

“Ya know, if you really want your blog to be successful they say you need to promote it. So why aren’t ya doing that?”

Well, actually Louie, now that you mention it, I’ve been thinking about it. (Notice how I speak to Louie as if he doesn’t already know my every thought? Why do I do that? I have no idea. Maybe to show him who really has the upper hand?)

“Well, umm, I was just thinking. If you ever do get around to promoting, and then your audience grows, are ya sure ya have enough interesting posts in ya? I mean, it would be an awful shame to promise something ya can’t really deliver.”

 Thanks so much, Louie. How would I ever identify my worst fears without your helpful input?

Actually, Louie hit the nail right on the head this time. Do I truly have enough interesting things left to say to keep this blog going?

Am I the only blogger who encounters this fear?


Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are?
Want to know why we’re raising Pebbles?
And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answer to these burning questions and
more on my About My Blog page.

Posted in OCD | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Crystal Ball Could Really, Really Improve My Blog Stats

Guess What my Blog Stats and Charles Manson’s
Marriage Have in Common

The crystal ball says, "Next week's news."

If only I had a crystal ball that would let me see next week’s news. My blog stats would be off the charts.

You may have read or heard about Charles Manson’s upcoming marriage.  Yes, he’s actually getting married. In prison. To a beautiful young woman.

Crazy, I know. But since the whole U.S. seems to be pretty much off its rocker lately why should we be surprised?

I actually wrote a blog post two months ago about Psycho Charlie’s upcoming nuptials, titled I am Charles Manson’s Wife. You should go there just to see the photos of Charlie’s beautiful young bride. There truly are some things that defy all logic.

The tags on that post were extremely popular. You can view them in this post, What Do Blog Stats Say About My Readers? Prepare to be creeped out.

So Just How Much Did Charles Manson Help My Blog Stats?

Now that reports of the wedding are all over the news, my blog stats have skyrocketed. My site visits have increased 450% in the last two days. I kid you not.

And for the first time, most of my traffic has come from search engines, with people searching for….you guessed it: Charles Manson’s marriage.

So, yeah. About that crystal ball thing. Knowing next week’s news in advance would probably make this the world’s most popular blog. The possible subjects are endless. Royals – and murderers – marriages, celebrity news, the stock market, election results…..


Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are?
Want to know why we’re raising Pebbles?
And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answer to these burning questions and
more on my About My Blog page.

Posted in Other Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Will Microsoft Sound the Death Knell for Minecraft?

Microsoft Buys Minecraft

You know that saying, “No news is good news?” Well, I heard some news recently that, in my world, can’t possibly be good news. I heard that Microsoft bought Mojang, the company that owns, distributes and keeps delivering amazing updates to Minecraft.

If you aren’t in the Minecraft loop that little bit of info is probably meaningless to you.

If you, or someone you love, is a Minecraft-aholic however …..*ahem cough cough* Pebbles Stone….. and if you know anything about Microsoft products, that knowledge can only fill you with gloom for the soon-to-be-possible demise of a much-loved game.

Minecraft – Brought to You by Microsoft.
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Let’s face it. Has Microsoft ever actually improved anything? Remember how it butchered Windows XP by trying to replace it with a shiny newer model? Then wasn’t satisfied with doing it once, but over and over again, until finally pulling the plug on it in April 2014? Remember that?

Microsoft as the Grim Reaper hovering over Windows XP. Is Minecraft next?

Minecraft is an incredible game. Incredible in its simplicity. Incredible in its adaptability. Incredible in lending itself to being played creatively, and recoded, and tweaked, and developed, and modified, by anyone, anywhere. And incredible because it’s mostly free (under $30 US).

Have you ever thought of a Microsoft product in any of those terms?

When Microsoft gets its hands on a product it soon becomes a code-bloated leviathan, teeming with glitches, security holes and crashes that need to be constantly “patched” with “updates.” It also becomes a virus magnet. Which is nothing nearly as awesome as being a chick magnet.

Why, Notch? Why?

I don’t blame Microsoft for wanting to get in on a good thing. And according to minecraft.net/stats, owning Minecraft is a good thing. As of this writing:

17,250,927 people have bought the PC/Mac version.
In the last 24 hours, 12,076 people bought the game.

I don’t even really blame Minecraft’s creator and Mojang co-founder Markus “Notch” Persson. I’ve read that Notch hasn’t been happy with the notoriety he’s gained since Minecraft has become so wildly popular. He’s said that all he wants to be is a “nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter.”

He probably won’t mind that he’ll be a tremendously wealthy nerdy computer programmer. Microsoft bought his company for $2.5 billion.

Who can blame him?

We’re Gonna Be Watching You, Microsoft

I will blame Microsoft, though, if they ruin Minecraft and make Pebbles cry. Because, remember I told you she’s a screamer?

Hell week with Pebbles Stone

And then, of course, there will be these guys to answer to, as well.

Minecraft mobs guarding Mojang symbol. And they aren't pleased.

 

Footnote: Pebbles says, “LET’S SAVE MINECRAFT!! TOGETHER WE CAN DO IT!! WE’RE WATCHING YOU, MICROSOFT!!”


Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are?
Want to know why we’re raising Pebbles?
And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answer to these burning questions and
more on my About My Blog page.

Posted in Other Stuff, Pebbles | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dadmissions: The Kardashianization of Society

This my first time to reblog a post, so let’s see if I do it right.

Dadmissions hit the nail on the head with this post about false beauty and its effect on impressionable young minds.

Dadmissions

The Kardashianization of our society could derail the self confidence of a whole generation of girls. It’s THAT serious. We have spent so much time recently talking about broad backsides and exaggerated assets and oiled-up photo shoots. We have prized false beauty over true beauty and it needs to stop.

False beauty is born out of photoshop and magazine covers and rises to stardom out of reality TV, web clicks, and stage moms. It seems shiny and glossy and indeed it is popular. But even the shiniest car eventually rusts away. False beauty is no different.

True beauty is born in the smallest of details… a confident voice… a hopeful demeanor… a willingness to make the world a better place. True beauty can be brains. True beauty can be brawn. True beauty doesn’t make headlines on magazine covers or centerfolds. But it should. True beauty glows bright and never fades.

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“WHY Is Herobrine on Your BLOG??!!”**

Pebbles is obsessed with Minecraft
A few minutes ago Pebbles eyes lit up as she excitedly exclaimed, “WHY is Herobrine on your BLOG?!!” Nothing here ever interests her; she thinks it’s dullsville, man. Kinda like me. She certainly never expected to see anything Minecraft related.

small image of Herobrine's faceBut as she scanned the thumbnails in my Followers list her well-trained eyes honed in on something I hadn’t noticed. One of my followers uses Herobrine as his Gravatar! And Pebbles never, ever misses anything Minecraft related.

You see, Pebbles is a MINECRAFT FREAK!! The kid eats, breathes, lives and dreams Minecraft.

She dressed as her (current) favorite Minecraft character for Halloween.

She plays Minecraft Every. Single Day. When she isn’t playing the game she’s watching Minecraft Youtuber’s videos. When she isn’t watching Minecraft Youtuber’s videos she’s nagging me to install the mods they showcase in their videos so she can try them out.

And at least half of Pebbles’ meltdowns are Minecraft technical-issue-related. So yeah. Minecraft. The good, the bad and the hysterical.

Pebbles was so thrilled to see Herobrine on my blog that we had to check out who the gravatar belongs to. Turns out it’s on online journal written by a cool kid who lives in Canada who does lots of cool stuff. But the coolest thing he does is…..PLAY MINECRAFT!

Pebbles is now inspired to start her own blog.

Soooo, as soon as I get time to help her set that up……Yeah. Be watching for it.

Herobrine. He's watching you.
To my readers who aren’t familiar with Minecraft lingo, please accept my apology for not providing descriptions.

The all-wise, all-knowing Oracle Google can do a much better job than I can.

Here’s one to get you started.


P.S. Thank you to the young man who left a comment on my post about Pebble’s Minecraft Halloween costume. You and your Herobrine gravatar have instantly promoted me to “Cool Mom” status.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Pebbles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Why Attorneys Are Reluctant to Put Children on the Witness Stand

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

My mom says it's bad to swear.

Several months ago Pebbles and I were spending a few days visiting my parents. While they were out one day their handyman showed up to do some minor repairs.

Pebbles decided to check up on Handyman Kevin as he went about the house fixing things here and there.

Pebbles: My daddy has tools like those.
Handyman Kevin (who was really very nice and so patient with her): Really?
Pebbles: Yeah. He can fix lots of stuff.
HK: Well, it sounds like you have a smart daddy.
Pebbles: He is. But he’s not really my daddy. I just call him that.
HK: Oh. Why is that?
Pebbles: He’s really my grandparent (What? When did she start using that word? I don’t even know.) But I call him daddy. And that lady in there is my mommy, but not my real mommy. They’re both my grandparents but I call them mommy and daddy.
HK: Well, aren’t you lucky to have such good grandparents. Do you live with them?
Pebbles: Yeah. My mommy died.
HK: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.
Pebbles: I was two when she died so I don’t remember her. I was seven-and-a-half when Larry died.
HK: Who’s Larry?
Pebbles: He’s my real daddy. (WHAT?! NO HE’S NOT! Should I intervene?)
HK: Oh, I’ll bet you really miss him.
Pebbles: Not really. He was a bad daddy. He used to slap me when I was a baby.

==> OKAY. NOW it’s time to intervene. ==>

Me (yelling from the other room): Pebbles. Larry isn’t your daddy. He’s your uncle. And he never slapped you.
Pebbles: Oh yeah. Larry’s my uncle. He was nice. But my real daddy was a bad daddy. He slapped me when I was a baby so my real mommy divorced him.

Some explanation is in order here:

  1. Pebbles’ daddy is a bad daddy because he’s a deadbeat dad.
  2. However, he never slapped, hit or abused Pebbles.
  3. He was abusive to Pebbles’ mommy, though, which is why she left him.
  4. But she didn’t divorce him. Because they were never married.
  5. Pebbles doesn’t know any of these facts.
  6. So where the heck did she get all of this?
  7. I have no earthly idea.
  8. I’m pretty sure Pebbles adheres to the maxim, “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.”

So you see, this is a prime example of why attorneys are reluctant to put children on the witness stand.

And I don’t blame them. At all. Do you?

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Pebbles | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Pebbles and I Made a Minecraft Halloween Costume. OCD Louie Helped.

Remember I promised in this post that I’d post photos of Pebbles Halloween costume?

Remember how I told you that OCD Louie drives me nuts with his incessant nagging and whining? That he forces me to turn every project, no matter how simple it should be, into a huge time-consuming deal?

As I’ve come to expect, that’s just what good old dependable Louie did when he helped Pebbles and me make her Halloween costume. I really wish Louie would get a job or take up a hobby. Preferably something that would keep him too exhausted to bother me.

But I digress.

Pebbles is crazy about the game Minecraft. Actually, crazy is too mild a word to describe her obsession with the game. She lives and breathes Minecraft.

So a Minecraft Halloween costume was inevitable. A very complex Halloween costume was also inevitable, because Pebbles always turns every project into a huge complex undertaking. I really believe OCD Louie has gotten to her. I really, really hate OCD Louie.

So Pebbles shows me this photo:
FuriousDestroyer's Minecraft skin….and just knows that I can produce an exact replica for her to wear trick-or-treating.

I love that Pebbles has so much confidence in my artsy-craftsy abilities. But the child simply must learn to deal with reality at some point in her life.

I told her the photo gave me nothing. No inspiration. No ideas. Not a hint of where to start or even what the end product should look like. Because when I look at that photo you know what I see? A bunch of freakin’ squares! That’s it!

But bless her sweet, pebbly little heart. She drew a picture of how she wanted the costume to look. And it finally made sense! I actually saw a costume emerge from that previously scrambled maze of freakin’ squares.

And later, rather than sooner thanks to Louie’s help (Really Louie. You were a big help. No Seriously. I couldn’t have done it without you. Now please, go jump in the lake or play in some traffic. Okay?), an awesome costume emerged.

So without further ado I give you FuriousDestroyer, designed by Pebbles Stone and made by moi, from the original Minecraft skin of PopularMMOs. (I’m not giving Louie any billing here, because I’m seriously ticked off at him right now.)

FuriousDestroyer Minecraft Halloween costume front view

The coolest thing about this costume was that everyone assumed Pebbles was a boy.


Pebble’s was especially proud of the cape.

FuriousDestroyer trick-or-treating with her chaperone

Please Note: Your name may be FuriousDestroyer, but if you’re eight-years-old you still need a chaperone to go trick-or-treating.


I call this one
First World Problem.

FuriousDestroyer Minecraft Halloween costume in a car seat


happy_halloween


Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are?
Want to know why we’re raising Pebbles?
And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answer to these burning questions and
more on my About My Blog page.

Posted in Pebbles | Tagged , , , , | 29 Comments

One Cool Kid in a Dark Car with a GPS Unit Equals Awesome Spooky Photo Op

Pebbles was playing with Nuvi recently as we drove home in the dark.

We named our Garmin GPS unit Nuvi because she’s a Nuvi model. And we refer to her as a female. Because Nuvi sounds like either a name for a dog or a female GPS unit. What about that doesn’t make sense?

Pebbles was using the voice command feature, trying her best to drive poor Nuvi out of her electronic mind.

Pebbles: Find place
Nuvi: Please speak the name of a place.
Pebbles: Destroyer’s toenails.
Nuvi: Did you say Hopo’s Noodles?
Pebbles: Bwahahaha! NO! Find place.
Nuvi: Please speak the name of a place.
Pebbles: Enderman’s empire road. (You’d have to be a Minecrafter to get this one.)
Nuvi: Did you say Deano’s Tone?
Pebbles: Bwahahaha! NO!

And on and on it went. I suppose I should have stopped her before she made poor Nuvi blow a gasket.

But I couldn’t. In fact I encouraged her to keep going. Because when I glanced in the rear view mirror I saw this:

photo collage of Pebbles in the dark with light from GPS unit shining on her face

So, yes, I allowed Pebbles to continue abusing poor Nuvi for the sake of a good photo op, a spooky floating head apparition, just in time for Halloween.

If that’s wrong then I don’t wanna be right.


Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are?
Want to know why we’re raising Pebbles?
Find the answer to these burning questions and
more on my About My Blog page.

Posted in Humor, Parenting, Pebbles | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Two Words. Always Proofread.

I have to confess that I’m a bit of a Grammar Nazi. Okay, not just a bit. A whole lot. And a spelling, punctuation, capitalization and paragraph freak, as well.

It isn’t really my fault, though. These just happen to be on the list of things that OCD Louie takes delight in nagging me about.

He’ll go missing for days, sometimes even weeks or longer, and I’ll think, “YESSS!! I’ve got this OCD thing licked. Go, me!!”

Then, out of the blue, with no warning at all, Louie pops up and resumes his special nagging spot on my shoulder – right where he likes to be, close to my ear.

Louie doesn’t nag me about other people’s errors or mistakes, grammatical or otherwise. Oh no. In fact, he likes to point out things others do that are wrong and tell me it’s okay, just so he can lure me into a false sense of trust.


 “Look at those seams. They aren’t perfect, but no one even notices. They don’t distract at all from the overall effect.”

“Now, see there. It’s perfectly okay to have a misspelled word or two. Even professionals make mistakes occasionally.”

“Ya know, it wouldn’t hurt you to loosen up and live with a few mistakes.”


But enough about Louie. Just talking about him gets on my nerves. He and I just finished up our annual Battle of the Tax Return and I need a break from him. You can read about how Louie helps me with my tax return in this post.

What this post is actually about is something I came across while looking for local Halloween activities for Pebbles.

As I said, I can easily overlook typos, misspellings, etc. that other people make. But this one. I just don’t know what to say. I kid you not, other than changes to preserve anonymity and avoid embarrassment, I copied and pasted it exactly as it was written.

See if you can spot the error.

Event: Sometown Fall Festival
Date: November 1, 2014
Location: Some Street, Sometown, USA

Fun filled day for everyone!! Arts, Crafts,Entertainment, Local Food and Wine from two local vineyards. For the kids: Face Painting, games, activities including bounce houses. slides, obstetrical courses. For more information visit www.sometown,usa or call 555-555-5555.

Pebbles has entertained the idea of going into medicine. But I’m thinking a fall festival is neither the time or place to start her education.

So did you spot it? Leave a comment and let me know.


Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are?
Want to know why we’re raising Pebbles?
And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answer to these burning questions and
more on my About My Blog page.

Posted in Humor, OCD, Other Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Playing Twenty Questions with Pebbles – an Exercise in Futility

When we play Twenty Questions with Pebbles the person who is It states the beginning letter of the object they’re thinking of. Our way of sneaking in homeschool under the guise of fun.

Twenty Questions text

Pebbles: Okay. I’m thinking of something that starts with the letter D.
Me: Is it an animal?
Pebbles: NO!
The Rock: Do we have one in our house?
Pebbles: NOOO!!! (Like we were supposed to already know this.)
Me: Is it alive?
Pebbles: NOOO!! HAHAHAHAHA! (Like that’s the most ridiculous question she’s ever heard.)
The Rock: Is it something you can eat?
Pebbles: BWAHAHAHAHAHA!! NOOOO!! (Like that’s an even more ridiculous question.)
Me: Can it fit in our car?
Pebbles: No. Wait, yes. Wait, maybe.
The Rock: Does it…
Pebbles: Wait. It doesn’t start with D.
Me: What?!
Pebbles: D is actually the last letter.
Me: Okay. So what’s the first letter?
Pebbles: D.
Me: So it does start with D?
Pebbles: It’s actually two words.
Me: Okay. So what letters do the two words start with?
Pebbles: Well, it’s actually one word but it’s made out of two words.
Me: So it’s a compound word? (See how I snuck that homeschooling moment in there?)
Pebbles: Yeah. Okay. The first word starts with F and the other word starts with D.
Me: Is it FuriousDestroyer?
Pebbles: YES!!!

At this point it’s a good thing The Rock had zoned out and was no longer listening. He’d never in a million years have guessed the answer because, unlike me, he is not a Minecraft aficionado. And also unlike me, he isn’t making Pebbles’ Halloween costume.

Wanna guess what she’s gonna be for Halloween? I’ll give you twenty guesses. It starts with D. No, wait. It ends with D. Wait, it’s made up of two words.

How about I just post a photo later?


Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are?
Want to know why we’re raising Pebbles?
Find the answer to these burning questions and
more on my About My Blog page.

Posted in Family, Home School, Humor, Pebbles | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Evidence that the IRS May Be Run by a Bunch of Monkeys

You know how people say they have a love-hate relationship with someone or something?  Well, this isn’t one of those posts.

It’s about my unadulterated hatred for the United States Internal Revenue Service.

“Hate is such a strong word,” you might say.

“No one likes the IRS. But saying you hate it is going a bit far,” you may be thinking.

But you’d be wrong. Continue reading

Posted in Humor, OCD, Other Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Dr. Who Man Cave for the Dog

Pebbles made a cozy little hidey place for our dog, Fighter.

For the record, Fighter is not a Fighter. And a little hidey place is all he needs because he’s also not big. He’s about 8 lbs. of not big.

So the name Fighter doesn’t really suit him. But that’s what happens when you let an 8-year-old name the dog.

So Pebbles made a cozy little hidey place for our dog, Fighter. She calls it his man cave. I call it a doggie blanket fort.
Continue reading

Posted in Family, Humor, Other Stuff, Pebbles | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

What Do Blog Stats Say About My Readers?

My WordPress Stats page tells me that over the past week the most popular topics in my blog, in the following order, have been:

1) evil
2) crazy
3) psychotic
4) delusional
5) Charles Manson
6) sociopath
7) psychopath
8) murder groupies
9) prison marriage
10) manipulation
11) family
12) parenting
13) kids who scream
14) grandparents as parents
15) stay at home mom
16) gun show
17) brass knuckles
18) toy weapons
19) Sensory Processing Disorder
20) special needs
21) meltdown
22) sensory overload

Aside from the normal topics about parenting, family and special needs (none of which ranked as high as the scary, crazy categories) I can’t help but wonder, “What the heck sort of audience have I attracted?” and “Should I be concerned?”

Posted in About, Other Stuff | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Super Fun at the County Fair with Sensory Processing Disorder

The Rock and I took Pebbles to the county fair recently. Pebbles loves the fair.

She’s a total daredevil. She loves rides that make The Rock and me lose our lunch.

Like this horrendous thing.

photo of Zero Gravity carnival ride

That’s Pebbles in the striped shirt and the painted dog face. She rode this atrocity 8 or 10 times. And loved every second. Ugh.

Pebbles was having a blast when I took this photo, and for most of the day at the fair.

But Pebbles has an annoying little condition called Sensory Processing Disorder. SPD has the ability to intrude upon EVERY. SINGLE. THING. IN. YOUR. LIFE. and destroy all the fun.

Notice I said “has the ability to.” Which means that it doesn’t always, at least now that Pebbles is taking medication that somehow pharmagically tones down her over-reaction to soooo many things.

It also means that it can, and still does, appear out-of-nowhere. Just sneaks right up when we aren’t looking and slaps us in the face. And by slaps us in the face I mean Pebbles has an unexpected, out-of-the-blue, catches-us-unaware, screaming meltdown when her sensory bucket reaches the overload point.

You can read more about how delightful Pebbles’ screaming has been here and here. Here’s a preview.

Life with Pebbles

Life with Pebbles

Everything at the fair was going along like a peachy-keen smoothie. Pebbles rode lots of rides, we ate lots of delicious-but-unhealthy food, watched some bands perform.

Then IT happened.

A highly-trained carnival ride operator, otherwise known as a carnie, told Pebbles she wasn’t tall enough to ride, without an adult, this one ride she really wanted to ride.

It was one of the rides that would make The Rock and me lose our previously consumed delicious-but-unhealthy food. And we were the only adults available for Pebbles to ride with…..sooooo she went into an all-out screaming freak-out meltdown.

In addition to screaming she threw herself down, butt-first, on the ground.

When Pebbles was a toddler she used to do this every time she melted down. It was an important part of the meltdown protocol, which went like this:

  1. Pebbles couldn’t find something, or have something, or communicate something. Or some thing.
  2. She started to panic, began to breath heavily, her pulse quickened, and she went temporarily deaf and blind. I only assume the deafness and blindness part because she couldn’t see what she was looking for even if it was in her hand. She also couldn’t hear a word of help we tried to offer.
  3. The deafening screaming began.
  4. Although she’d gone deaf and blind at that point she somehow always managed to run, screaming, to wherever we were.
  5. As soon as her non-sight-and-hearing senses told her she’d found us she threw herself violently to the floor, butt first, legs straight out in front like she had been born with no joints from the hips down.
  6. The impact between her butt and the floor was always preceded by a perfectly timed extra-deep breath, allowing for an especially blood-curdling scream as the air was forcibly pushed from her lungs, out her mouth and into our already pummelled and abused eardrums.

There were several differences between the toddler butt throw-downs and the recent one at the fair.

Pebbles had the cushioning protection of diapers back then, she almost always did the butt-crash inside our pier-and-beam house on a carpeted floor, she didn’t weigh as much as she does now and she was closer to the floor then.

Pebbles did eventually eliminate steps 5 and 6 of the protocol once she learned a little more about the laws of physics. She hasn’t thrown herself down in a very long time. She must have regressed at the fair.

Unfortunately the temporary blindness I mentioned in step 2 still occurs. Because Pebbles couldn’t see that she was about to throw herself down on gravel.

Which she did. And in case you’re wondering, yes, it hurt.

Which only made her scream more. And louder. And longer than she originally planned.

I’m not really complaining because we only got slapped in the face once more by that sneaky SPD.

At exactly the minute the ride-everything-to-your-heart’s-content armband expired Pebbles was next in line for the funhouse.

This was apparently the first time the poor carnie guy running the funhouse had ever witnessed a full-on SPD screaming meltdown (accompanied once again, but this time on grass, by a butt throw-down). Really, an SPD-induced meltdown looks nothing like an over-tired or over-indulged child’s tantrum. It’s much more intense.

The carnie felt so bad he told Pebbles she could go in.

The Rock and I exchanged looks as we were both thinking that Pebbles had just learned an important lesson. Screaming gets you what you want.

Sorry, but some days we just don’t have the energy for anything but going with the flow. Especially after being slapped around by Sensory Processing Disorder. That dude packs a wallop of a punch.

I’ll forever hate this sign because it started the whole thing.

carnival ride sign, 42" to 52" must ride with adult

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Pebbles, Special Needs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Remember When I Told You . . .

. . . that Pebbles is a screamer?

Seriously. I don’t know why this child’s screams haven’t shattered all our windows. They should be measured on the Richter Scale.

We actually tried to have that done. Here are the results.

Pebbles' screams are off the Richter Scale

Pebbles can scream from several rooms away, with all the doors closed, and I can literally feel my eardrums vibrate.

Fortunately she doesn’t scream all day long, about any and every little thing anymore. If she did this blog probably wouldn’t exist because I don’t think personal laptops are allowed in psychiatric hospitals.

But Pebbles still has her moments, when she’s feeling out-of-kilter and isn’t handling the horrible injustices of life as well as she does most of the time these days.

Like five minutes ago. I heard a piercing scream from the living room. Actually I felt it just before I heard it. Kinda like when you feel, then hear, a sonic boom.

The Rock and I have worked hard to encourage Pebbles to “use your words,” rather than screaming bloody murder when she needs help with something.

But sometimes she forgets.

Like five minutes ago.

I’ve learned over the past eight years of dealing with the screaming, that just because it sounds like she’s on fire or being savagely mutilated, she’s probably not.

I think the dog would let me know in either case.

So I no longer go rushing to her aid when she screams. And sometimes she figures out how to handle stuff by herself.

That didn’t happen today, though.

The screams got louder and closer,  so I knew she was bringing some life-altering problem to me to figure out.

“WAAAAHHH!!! THE MOUSE STOPPED WORKING!!!!!”

Me: Did you check to make sure it’s still plugged in?

Pebbles: WAAAA . . . what?

I repeat the question, she resumes her screaming, and goes to check. Then I hear… silence. Blessed silence.

Ah, yes. Another catastrophe nipped in the bud.

So Pebbles goes back to watching Minecraft videos on Youtube or playing Minecraft.

I go back to my work. And prepare myself for the next onslaught.

Is there combat pay for parents of screamers? Or maybe disability for ongoing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Pebbles, Special Needs | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Brass Knuckles at the Gun Show, Violent Toys and Kid-Free Time.

So The Rock and Pebbles went to a local gun show recently.

First, let me say that I absolutely LOVE that The Rock and Pebbles enjoy doing things together.

He’s such an amazing daddy and I feel so blessed to have him to share this grandchild-raising experience with. I’m not sure where Pebbles and I would be in our Grandmother-as-Mommy journey if there were no Grandfather-as-Daddy in the picture. He truly is my rock. Which is why I call him The Rock.

But you already know that if you’ve read my About My Blog page.

What? You haven’t yet read about my blog? Well, get on over there and take care of that right now. I’ll just sit here and wait for you. Take your time. I’m not going anywhere.
Continue reading

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The Cheese Question

“Would you like some cheese with that whine?”

Oh, how Pebbles hates it when I say that. But not nearly as much as I hate hearing her whine.

Or, for that matter, hearing any child whine if I am responsible for raising them.

I can listen to other people’s kids gripe and moan, wail and whimper all day and not be bothered at all. Sometimes it even sounds kinda cute. Because I don’t have to respond. I don’t have to reply. I don’t have to actually fix anything. I can clearly see, because I can remain detached, that the poor child is likely hungry or tired.

nails_on_chalkboard_cat_face

But let one of my own start that brain grating, ear assaulting nasally whine that goes right through me like fingernails on a chalkboard, and I turn into . . . . well, I dunno.

Someone else, I guess.

Continue reading

Posted in Family, Parenting, Pebbles | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Why Are You Following Me?

No, I don’t mean like a stalker. Um, at least I don’t think you’re stalking me. Are you? Hmm. Okay. Maybe I’m a little paranoid.

But I digress.

I’m just wondering why you’re following my blog.

As I watch my number of followers grow, albeit as slowly as molasses in winter, I can’t help but wonder, “Why did you click that little Follow link?”

No. Really. I’m actually curious about your reasons for following my blog. Continue reading

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Her Compliments Went Downhill as the Day Wore On

Recently Pebbles told The Rock, “I hope I’m just like you when I grow up.”

One of the absolute BEST EVER compliments a parent can hear from their kid.

The Rock: Really? Why?

Pebbles: Because you’re funny. I hope I’m funny like you. And you play with me and you’re kind and you’re a good daddy. That’s how I wanna be when I grow up.

(Cue the “awwwws” now.)
Continue reading

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It Depends on What the Definition of Is Is . . . or Any Other Word, Really

Pebbles has a rather odd different way of interpreting the world. One of her diagnoses is Asperger’s Syndrome. At times it causes us to butt heads. Other times I’m amazed as I see the world through her beautiful baby blues.

What? You haven’t seen them yet? Well, gaze upon these little beauties for a few seconds and let all your troubles melt away.

blue_eyes

Sometimes I just need a gazing-at-the-pools-of-blue moment to help me cope with all the screaming.

What? You haven’t read about Pebbles’ screaming yet? Go ahead. I’ll wait for you to get back.


So The Rock, Pebbles and I are riding along in the car last week, and I’m telling him about an epiphany I had in a homeschool session that day.

Although Pebbles is smart as a whip and sharp as a tack she has difficulty reading the numbers 13 through 19.

She can count to 100 and beyond with little effort. But when she looks at the numbers, the teens stump her. Partly because of her yet-to-be correctly diagnosed learning disabilities and partly because, as it turns out, the naming convention for numbers between 10 and 20 makes absolutely no sense whatsoever!

Think about it. You have your 20s, which all begin with a 2 in the 10s place. Add a number to the ones place and it becomes 20-whatever-that-number-is. The same with all other 2-digit numbers. Except the freakin’ teens. What’s up with that anyway?

Whose idea was it to call them teens and to make it a suffix rather than a prefix? Like all the other 2-digit numbers.

Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense, and a heckuva lot easier for kids to learn (especially kids like Pebbles, who thinks in black and white and absolutes), if the teens were called the oneties?

. . . eight, nine, onety, onety-one, onety-two, onety-three . . .

Now doesn’t that make a lot more sense?

Or even if they just had to be the teens, then why not use it as a prefix? Like
. . . eight, nine, teen, teenty-one, teenty-two . . .

Like all the other 2-digit numbers.

But, no, someone at the English number naming convention had to go and make it all confusing for kids like Pebbles. Who, like I mentioned, thinks in absolutes and in black and white.

So when she sees the number 14, for example, Pebbles is stumped. She’s not sure if that’s a 14 or a 41.

As it turns out, her confusion is more common than I realized. The all-knowing Oracle Google informed me that many kids struggle with this confusion.

Which brings me back to our conversation in the car and how all this rambling I’ve done is actually tied together.

First: I’m awed and amazed whenever I glimpse the world through Pebbles’ eyes. I truly do not think like she does. Which makes for some interesting, and also some terribly frustrating, homeschooling moments.

Second: As I’ve learned how Pebbles’ mind works, and how to think more like her myself, I’ve had many epiphanies like this one about the teens.

Third: Because of her literal thinking, which I occasionally forget about, there are times when I think Pebbles is arguing or being a little know-it-all. When she is actually just telling it as she sees it.

Which is what almost caused a problem in the car as I was explaining my teen-piphany to The Rock.

Me: “It turns out that Pebbles’ confusion about the teens is pretty common. Many kids struggle with the same thing.”

Pebbles: “I’m NOT a little kid!!”

Me: “What? I didn’t say you were.”

Pebbles: “Yes. You DID!! You said I’m a little kid and I’m NOT!! I’m a big kid! I’m 8 years old!!”

Me: “I didn’t say you’re a little kid. I was telling Daddy . . . ”

Pebbles: “You DID call me a little kid. You said, “Mini-kids have a hard time with teens like I do. And I’m NOT a mini-kid!”

Ohhhhh. Yeah. Another epiphany moment right there. And a perfect example of that absolute, black and white, literal thinking I was telling you about.

Once I explained about homophones and many vs. mini it was all good. Incoming meltdown avoided. Phew.

It really does depend on what the definition of Is is. Or Many. Or Mini. Or whatever.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Pebbles, Special Needs | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

There Are Some Things Kids Just Don’t Need to Know

I’ve always believed that it’s important to fill kids’ minds with information.

When my own kids were growing up I introduced them to new ideas, concepts and facts to stimulate their minds and tried my best to answer their gazillion questions. I’m continuing that practice with Pebbles, both through homeschooling and just day-to-day conversations.

And Pebbles, like most children, is a veritable sponge when it comes to information. If a sponge had a mouth and could ask questions. Lots and lots of endless, never-ending questions.

But I’m fine with that because I’m an information junkie myself.

I’m a voracious reader and was, before Al Gore invented the internet, a frequent visitor of my local library. Any time my kids asked a question I didn’t have an answer for, off we went to the library to peruse the Dewey Decimal system for an answer.

I sincerely hope today’s children appreciate the convenience of living in the Information Age where the answer to almost any question is now just a few keystrokes away.

No longer a frequent library visitor (which in some ways is poignantly sad), I am now a devotee of the all-wise, all-knowing Oracle Google, at whose throne I worship and whose feet I would gladly wash. If Google actually had feet.

The all-wise, all-knowing Oracle Google never lets me down when I need to know something. Recipes, news, driving directions, medical information, movie reviews, are  Brad and Angelina having another baby. It’s all there at my fingertips, just waiting for me to access it from my computer.

It’s like having all the world’s libraries right here in my home. Without all the shelves and books taking up all that space. And needing to be dusted. I really hate dusting.

However, somewhere along the way, while raising four kids, I figured out that it isn’t wise to share some things with kids.

Until you know for certain your child is capable of hearing about troublesome events, i.e. murder, natural disasters, school shootings, do not, I repeat, DO NOT introduce those subjects.

Never tell a kid something that she will start to worry about happening to her. That’s Child Rearing 101. Which, as amazing as The Rock is with Pebbles, that’s a parenting course he somehow managed to miss.

Because he sometimes speaks without thinking of the repercussions.

Like the other day in the car. We’re happily driving along, having a pleasant conversation, when The Rock decides to share with Pebbles this interesting bit of science news.

“Scientists say that sometime today a solar flare is gonna hit the Earth.”

photo of the sun with solar flares

My immediate thought was, “WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!! DO YOU REALIZE WHAT YOU JUST DID?!! CHANGE THE SUBJECT!! NOW!!!” And I immediately thought it all in caps hoping the message would be telepathically loud and strong enough to reach The Rock’s brain before Pebbles started asking the inevitable questions.

Which it wasn’t and it didn’t and she did.

Pebbles (who already knows what solar flares are but, until this point, has never had a reason to actually worry about them) asked, with just a slight hint of panic in her voice, “Why is it gonna hit the Earth?”

More urgent psychic messages from me went unheeded as The Rock tells her, “Oh because this is gonna be a huge one.”

Me, telepathically: “STOP IT!! STOP IT!! STOP IT!! HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND??!!”

Pebbles, whose panic level, evident to everyone in the car but The Rock, is clearly rising, asks, “What’s gonna happen?!!”

The Rock: “Oh, all kinds of electrical problems. Lights are gonna go out in large area…..”

At this point he stops mid-sentence – because I’ve given him a hard, twisting pinch – looks at me and asks, “What?!”

Apparently that day The Rock was totally oblivious to my extrasensory messages and also unable to read lips as I desperately tried to communicate to him that Pebbles was FREAKIN’ WORRIED about this solar flare business.

So it was up to me to put out the panic storm in the back seat that The Rock had started with his solar storm comment from the front seat.

“Daddy,” I asked, helpfully, I hoped, “weren’t these just speculative reporters rather than actual scientists who said this?”

I obviously hadn’t pinched and twisted hard enough because he replied, “Oh, these were real scientists who study this stuff.”

The panic in the back seat had almost reached crying level.


Pebbles does not actually cry when she cries. She’s a screamer. Read about it here.


So if you just got back from reading about Pebbles’ screaming, you can understand why I didn’t wanna go there. And we were clearly about to unless I could do something to defuse the situation.

“But didn’t they say it wasn’t going to happen in North America? Where we live?” I defused, as I nodded my head toward the back seat while looking The Rock squarely in the eye.

Hallelujah!! He got the message.

He said, “Oh yeah. It’s only gonna happen in other countries. Not here.”

Phew. Catastrophe avoided. And hopefully The Rock learned a lesson, as well.

Then I only had to worry about what I’d tell Pebbles if our electricity went out that day. Which, thankfully it didn’t.

Posted in Family, Parenting, Pebbles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Puzzling Paradox That is Pebbles

Our granddaughter Pebbles has been difficult almost since birth.

She is a screamer.

Those four words so inadequately describe what we have gone through and still deal with, although (thankfully) to a much lesser extent now than when she was younger.

I know, I know. All babies scream. All children scream, occasionally. But Pebbles has never cried. She screams. And her brand of screaming has always been different.

So urgent. So angry. So glass-shattering, ear-splittingly loud that you can feel your eardrums violently vibrating in protest. Or in fear of actually splitting open.

And the So that sets her apart from most other babies and kids: So often.

I don’t think there was a single day in the first six years of Pebbles life that she didn’t scream,  at least once but usually a lot more than once, about something.

The Rock and I have spent the past 8 years trying to figure out why Pebbles screams. And what we can do to help her. Many times we thought we’d found the answer.

But we’ve come to accept that there probably isn’t one simple solution, one magic bullet that will just fix things, like we so desperately wish we could.

Thanks to modern day pharmaceuticals (to which I owe my sanity) Pebbles doesn’t scream as often as she used to.

Hell Week

Pebbles also has never literally screamed all day long. Except during what we came to affectionately call Hell Week.

image of a child's face, screaming angrily, surrounded by a background of fire, with the words Hell Week in yellow fire font

Which was every week she cut a tooth.

Twenty baby teeth. Twenty weeks of almost non-stop daily screaming.

Not crying. Screaming. Real, red-in-the-face, you’d-think-she-was-on-fire-if-you-didn’t-know-better screaming. Refusing to eat or to take a bottle. Refusing comfort, probably because she felt there was no comfort to be had.

And then a tiny new tooth would emerge and she was back to her normal screaming level, which was . . . well, very unpredictable, to be perfectly honest.

A Puzzle to be Solved

Unpredictable because, when she isn’t screaming, Pebbles has always also been the happiest baby and kid we’ve ever known.

She’s always been either super-duper-giddy happy, often with a good dose of hyper thrown in, or raging-against-life’s-injustices angry. Either using her whole body and soul to drink up life and enjoy it to the fullest or shrieking in indignant anger at . . . well, at whatever she was indignantly angry about at the moment.

Pebbles, a true paradox, our very own little modern day female Jekyll and Hyde.

image of the words Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde in red

Pebbles has always been, for us, a puzzle to be solved, swinging wildly back and forth between the opposite poles of her constantly changing emotions.

Part of the Puzzle . . .

. . . at least the reason-for-her-behavior part, can be easily explained by knowing her prenatal and neonatal history.

Pebbles’s mother, our daughter Sapphire, was a drug addict. We have no idea if Sapphire abused drugs during her pregnancy with Pebbles. But we do know that she was prescribed Lortabs – BY HER OBSTETRICIAN!! – while she was pregnant and have no doubt that she took them.

Thankfully, Pebbles was not born addicted.

While Pebbles’ little body and brain were developing inside of her, Sapphire inhaled massive amounts of second-hand, and likely first-hand, pot smoke.

After Pebbles made her entrance into the world Sapphire took LOTS of Lortabs and who-knows-what-else, while breastfeeding Pebbles.

She smoked pot with Pebbles in the room. A lot. We’re told that Sapphire thought it was funny to blow pot smoke and crack smoke in baby Pebbles’ face.

Spend a little time with your favorite search engine (the all-knowing Oracle Google being my choice) and you’ll understand the sort of long-term consequences any of this can have on a baby/toddler/child.

  • Impulsivity
  • Attention problems
  • Hyperactivity
  • Negative and externalizing behaviors
  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Oppositional defiant disorder
  • Deficits in problem-solving skills
  • Subtle deficits in learning and memory

Now isn’t that just a happy little package? But wait. There’s more.

Looking ahead to the teen years and beyond is truly frightening. Google tells us we can expect higher rates of delinquency, criminal behavior, and substance abuse.

Sapphire also dealt with a tremendous amount of stress throughout her whole pregnancy. Heck, throughout every single day of her adult life. And about that Google has the following cheery news:

During gestation, the fetal brain develops dramatically . . .

Well, it’s pretty wordy so I’ll just summarize.  What it basically says is if a pregnant woman is under a lot of stress it’s bad for her developing baby’s brain. Fortunately, an enriched environment and a secure parent-infant bond can reverse the negative effects.

Unfortunately, Pebbles didn’t spend the first 4 1/2 months of life in an enriched environment. Nor did she enjoy a secure parent-infant bond.

Then, to add insult to injury, the last month she lived with her mother Sapphire gave Pebbles Benadryl every four hours, around the clock. Except for the 4-6 hour-long stretches when Sapphire was passed out on drugs, leaving Pebbles to cry and scream unattended.

So we welcomed into our home a very beloved granddaughter, who was extremely wired and wound as tight as a banjo string. And we’ve been trying ever since to solve the puzzle of how to help her loosen up. While trying not to go out of our minds with all the screaming.

The Elusive Diagnosis

The other part of the puzzle, an actual diagnosis and treatment, has eluded us for years. Pebbles has been diagnosed, at different ages and by different professionals, with the following:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Disruptive Behavior Disorder
  • Anxiety Disorder
  • Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
  • Sensory Processing Disorder
  • Pediatric Bipolar Disorder (PBD)
  • Reading and writing disabilities
  • Asperger’s Syndrome

It feels like we’ve been swept up and tossed around inside a diagnosis whirlwind.

a word cloud depiction of Pebbles' multiple diagnoses

Word cloud created at Wordle.net

Each of these diagnoses have their own difficulties and issues to be dealt with. But the one that worries us the most is Pediatric Bipolar.

Welcome to Bipolarville

What does Pediatric Bipolar Disorder look like? For Pebbles it’s been all of the following:

  • Rapidly shifting moods, from extreme happiness or silliness to tearfulness for no apparent reason.
  • Need to talk non-stop. (I mean literally NON.STOP.)
  • Depressed or downcast mood, or showing little expression.
  • Manic, overexcited or giddy mood.
  • Feelings of superiority (i.e. she knows more than EVERYBODY. This one really endeared her to teachers when she was in school).
  • Heightened sensitivity to perceived criticism. (Which can trigger a MASSIVE meltdown if the adult doesn’t recognize the signs, which her teachers NEVER did, even though they assured us they knew “exactly how to handle it.”)
  • Far more easily frustrated than a typical child. (If she can’t find her blanket, or the TV remote, or anything-she’s-looking-for-at-the-moment it can turn into MAJOR. MELTDOWN. TIME.)
  • Impaired ability to plan, organize, concentrate, and use abstract reasoning. (Pebbles is the messiest, most disorganized, out-of-kilter kid I’ve ever known.)
  • Intense irritability.
  • Rages, tantrums, crying spells, or explosive outbursts that can occur with small provocations (such as being told “no,” or being corrected by someone she perceives is angry with her, or if Minecraft crashes, or if she can’t find her blanket, or if….if….if…..).
  • Aggression.
  • Belligerence.
  • Lying.
  • Manipulation.
  • Restlessness or excessive physical activity, which is often chaotic. (Seriously. When she’s in a manic state Pebbles paces, paces, paces, stands on her head, chews her clothes, walks on windowsills, the back of the couch, the coffee table, all while talking, talking, talking non-stop, and knocking stuff off of every horizontal surface she comes into contact with.)
  • Difficulty falling asleep. (Fortunately clonidine has solved this problem. However, before clonidine Pebbles literally wouldn’t fall asleep until 1 or 2 AM. EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. Recently we ran out of clonidine. She was awake for 30 long hours. 30 hours. Really. T.H.I.R.T.Y  H.O.U.R.S. And never slowed down or got tired. She just got more and more hyper and manic. IT. WAS. A. NIGHTMARE.)

You can read about that nightmare here.

  Life on the Bipolar Roller Coaster! Wheee! What a ride!

drawing of child riding the bipolar roller coaster

Image: Nick Galifianakis

More Puzzling Puzzles to Puzzle Over

Pebbles doesn’t always do the things I’ve just described. Since she’s been on meds to treat her bipolar she has days, and sometimes lots of consecutive days, when she behaves like a neurotypical kid.

All this time, while we’ve been trying to find out why Pebbles does the things she does, we’ve puzzled over this. Why does she function so normally some times and other times she seems so…well…so broken?

Bipolar disorder is episodic, which means the symptoms don’t always appear and may come and go at random times. So there’s the answer to that.

Who Can We Blame?

So why does Pebbles have PBD? Did Sapphire do something to cause it? Did we? Is it just the luck-of-the-draw?

Genetic studies have shown the risk of having bipolar disorder increases if there is:

  • a family history of bipolar disorder (Sapphire – check)
  • depression (check)
  • substance abuse (and check)

So Pebbles’s chances of having bipolar were incredibly high. So high, in fact, that if bipolar were a lottery, she’d hold a winning ticket. Woo Hoo!!

Some cheery news from these genetic studies is that, since early-onset BP appears to have biological origins, it’s considered a no-fault brain disorder.

YAY!! It’s no one’s fault. So we don’t have to feel guilty.

A Glimpse into the Future

So, what does Pebbles’ future look like?

The younger the symptoms start the worse the future outcome. Another risk factor for a worse outcome is the existence of additional (co-morbid) pathologies, i.e. ADHD, which Pebbles also has.

So we may be looking at a future in which Pebbles won’t be able to ever function without meds, therapy and lots of supportive adults in her life who know her well and love her immensely.

And that’s what worries us the most.

The Rock and I are now in our 60s. Pebbles is only 8 years old.

Who will be there to help her when we’re gone, to make sure she stays on her meds, to ensure she continues receiving therapy, to recognize when she’s becoming unstable, to know if she’s gotten out of control to the point that she made need hospitalization to get stabilized?

Bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness that will have to be monitored and treated for the remainder of her life. The suicide rate is extremely high for people with bipolar.

We worry a lot about our puzzling little paradox and her future.

Pebbles' name in colorful puzzle font

Image created with The Gimp

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Pebbles, Special Needs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

I am Charles Manson’s Wife

No. Not me. I am Charles Manson’s Wife is the title of an actual article – I kid you not –  about a poor, deluded and likely deranged young woman who is in love with Mr. Helter Skelter himself, Psycho Man Extraordinaire,  Charles Manson. And wants to become his wife. How crazy is that?

According to the article “Afton Burton was 16 and living with her parents in Illinois when she discovered Charles Manson. Continue reading

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John Denver Was Wrong. So, So Wrong

Maybe, when John Denver first read the words to “Thank God I’m a Country Boy,” he visualized an idyllic, simplistic and peaceful life on the farm, never realizing how very wrong he actually was.

John probably didn’t intentionally mislead us. More than likely he just really, really liked the song, really liked the idea of an easy country farm life, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Continue reading

Posted in Family, Farm Life, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder

I have a couple of confessions to make.The first is that I harbor a touch of nail-envy for people with naturally strong, beautiful fingernails.

You know who you are. You’re the ones who “complain” about how darn fast your fingernails grow and what a “pain” it is to have to clip them so often.

Please forgive me if I don’t feel empathy for your plight.

I have very thin fingernails that break, split and peel way too easily. I accepted long ago that I will never have beautiful nails. I’m fine with it. Most of the time. Continue reading

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The Ever Changing Face of My Blog is OCD Louie’s Fault

If you are one of the few people who follow my blog you may have noticed that I’ve been experimenting with WordPress themes.

And you’re probably thinking, “What the heck’s going on? Why does she keep changing stuff? Why can’t she just leave well-enough alone?”

Well, I can’t. And it’s because of my little pal OCD Louie, who has once again reared his ugly head.

And in his quiet, yet annoying and naggingly insistent way he keeps telling me, “Are ya really sure ya like the way your blog looks? I mean, have a look at blog X, Y or Z. Now they really have a sweet layout. So much easier for their followers to read. Maybe that’s why ya only have (XX) followers and others have sooo many more.”

SHUT UP, Louie! It’s my blog. NOT YOURS! Got it, mister? Got it? Louie. Come back here right now and let’s get something straight. You don’t control me. Louie. Where did you go? You little weenie.

Aaaaand he’s gone. Poof. Just like he always does when I stand up to him. The big chicken.

But he’s already planted the seed in the part of my brain dominated by OCD.

And so it begins: my experiment with multiple WordPress themes until I find the one that’s just right.

And guess what? I’m right back where I started. I’ve come full circle and am once again using the Twenty Ten Theme, which is the theme I started with. And loved the very first time I saw it.

When am I ever gonna learn to stop listening to Louie and think for myself? Sigh. Probably never since I’m 61 years old and still haven’t figured out how to ignore him.

OCD sucks big time. Such a huge time waster. Wasting time I really need to be spending homeschooling Pebbles. And figuring out how to advocate for her multiple challenges.

Which I promise I’ll blog about at some point. If I can figure out how to stop wasting so much time listening to Louie.

Any suggestions for how to do that are greatly appreciated.


UPDATE: Yay! I finally wrote that post about Pebbles’ challenges, which you can read here.

Posted in OCD | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Have I Told You Lately That I Love My Husband?

Cue music.
“Have I Told You Lately”
By Van Morrison

image of a few bars of sheet music for the song Have I Told You Lately by Van Morrison
Now, while you’ve got that lovely love song playing in your head I’ll tell you one of the many reasons why I love my husband.

It involves my sewing/computer room, Pebbles, thread and The Rock’s sense of humor. Which has softened more rough patches in our lives than I care to remember going through.

I know. I know. But trust me. I’m gonna tie it all together and it will all make sense. Continue reading

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So Louie and I Threw a Birthday Party

If you’ve read my posts about Louie you know the title of this post does not mean I had a good time. I’m pretty sure Louie did, though.

If you haven’t read about Louie yet, you really should. Go ahead. I’ll wait right here until you get back.

Meet My Little Friend OCD Louie

Do You Ever Wonder About A Blogger’s Gender?


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This Recipe I Found on Facebook Looked So Delicious But….

I love it when recipes show up in my Facebook news feed because I’m always looking for new things to cook for my family.

At first I assumed that whomever is sharing a recipe is endorsing it because they have actually made, eaten and loved the food. Because, isn’t that essentially the purpose of sharing something?

As it turns out, that isn’t always the purpose of Facebook sharing.
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Scamming a Scammer. SOOO Much Fun!!

If you’ve never heard the term phishing, it’s a techie way of saying, “I’m trying to trick you into handing over to me, a total stranger, sensitive information that you wouldn’t even give to your mother, like user names, passwords, bank and/or credit card info.”

So basically, a phishing expedition is an identity theft attempt.

Phishing is a continual threat in the electronic age and constant vigilance is needed in order to avoid getting caught by these scumbags who want, basically, to steal your money and/or to use your identity to get free stuff.

In my opinion there is a special place in hell reserved for identity theft scumbags. Email scammers, phone scammers, identity thieves, phishermen, Nigerian princes. They all belong in the same category.

How I envision identity theft hell. Email scammers, phone scammers, Nigerian princes, identity thieves and phishermen being tortured by devils. Continue reading

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Political Correctness Is Running Amok. Amok! Amok! Amok!

I happen to be of the opinion that political correctness has gone too darn far in the U.S. and is actually infringing on our Constitutional right to free speech.

I do understand that getting offended by every little nit-picking issue gives the PC police something to do with what must be their otherwise exceedingly dull lives. But in the infamous (at least to me) words of Mad Max of The Big Show with Johnboy and Billy fame, please mind your own dang business and “stop ruinin’ my life!”

Really. I’m serious. Can we please stop worrying about the names of sports teams, just admit that men and women really are from Mars and Venus respectively, consider that allowing the General Lee to make a lap around the track before a NASCAR race is NOT racist, and agree that believing in God does not automatically mean that you hate atheists and homosexuals?
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