Sunday, March 18, 2012


Now I am just copying an dpasting things :) No time to really blog but really want to share. But does any body still read this thing?? Probably not, so more like I really want to preserve....

A psychiatrist tells the truth -- it's OK not to be 'normal'

By Dr. Dale Archer


When Mark Twain’s hero Huckleberry Finn was forced to study spelling for an hour every day, he said, “I couldn’t stand it much longer. It was deadly dull, and I was fidgety.” His teacher, Miss Watson, threatened him with eternal damnation if he didn’t pay attention. Huck admits it didn’t seem like such a bad alternative. “But I didn’t mean no harm. All I wanted was to go somewheres; all I wanted was a change, I warn’t particular.”

If that had happened today, Huck would have been diagnosed as ADHD, put on Adderall, and forced to attend school, while the book about his adventures would never have been written.

The American Psychiatric Association invented the term "ADHD" in 1980 to give kids with hyperactivity, impulsivity, short attention span and easy distractibility a diagnosis.

Who would have thought that 28 years later, the National Center for Health Statistics would report that over 5 million American kids (8 percent) between the ages of 3-17 would receive this diagnosis? That’s 1 out of 12, with about half of those on medication.

William Evans, Ph.D., with the Journal of Health Economics found that a huge predictor for the diagnosis of ADHD was the age of the child with respect to their grade. In other words, younger children in a given grade, have more ADHD symptoms than older ones. No surprise there- younger kids clearly are more restless and less able to concentrate on a topic, or sit quietly in a classroom all day long. According to his research, “approximately 1.1 million children received an inappropriate diagnosis and over 800,000 received stimulant medication due only to relative maturity."

Let me quickly point out that I’m not opposed to medication to treat those with severe symptoms, but does 1 out of every 12 kids really have ADHD?

I wish this was just about ADHD, but that’s just what I’ve chosen to illustrate my point. I could have chosen bipolar disorder, OCD, generalized anxiety, social anxiety or many others because this is about the over-diagnosing, over-treating and over-medicating of psychiatric problems throughout America The first psychiatric diagnostic manual, DSM-I, in 1952 had 106 disorders listed. The revised DSM- IV in 2000 had 365!

The National Institute of Mental Health has found that 26 percent of Americans (1 in 4) have a diagnosable psychiatric illness.

The only word for that is “ludicrous.”

A disorder of any kind is by definition something wrong, screwed up, malfunctioning. A mental disorder is an irregularity in the functioning of the brain. If the brains of one quarter of the U.S. population are disordered then something is very, very wrong with the human mind.

Or with our mental health system.

In a Wired magazine interview in January 2011, Allen Frances (lead editor of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental disorders –IV) blamed the DSM- IV itself. “We made mistakes that had terrible consequences,” says Frances. One of these consequences, the article notes, is that diagnoses of ADHD have skyrocketed. Greenberg writes: “Frances thinks his manual inadvertently facilitated these epidemics— and, in the bargain, fostered an increasing tendency to chalk up life’s difficulties to mental illness and then treat them with psychiatric drugs.”

Here’s the problem: The profession of psychiatry has taken on the role of defining ‘normal’ in our society. Even Webster’s dictionary defines normal as being, “free from a mental disorder.”

As we purposely shrink the box called normal and it gets smaller and smaller, the abnormal universe expands to include almost everyone. But we say, “don’t worry, we can fix that with a pill and make you normal just like everyone else.”

My profession has not only redefined mental health by over-diagnosing and over-medicating an ever-expanding number of diagnoses, we are also taking away the hope of human nature by telling our patients that they are inherently "abnormal" and need to be fixed.

The psychiatrist’s office has gone from being the place no one would be caught dead the place where a pill could fix anything. And psychiatry itself has gone from being stigmatized to glamorized.

Psychiatric conditions don’t come with an on/off switch, but rather occur along a continuum. High levels of any given trait may represent a severe psychiatric diagnosis requiring medication, BUT in small to medium doses, these very same traits can represent your greatest strengths.

On a scale of 1 to10, what separates an ADHD 7 from an ADHD 10? Who gets medicated…..and why? How could one person use a set of "symptoms" as a springboard for success while another with the exact same symptoms needs meds and therapy? How are CEOs like Richard Branson (Virgin Airlines), John Chambers (Cisco), and Charles Schwab able to parlay their ADHD into tremendously successful careers, while others are searching for a magic pill and a cure?

David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue has said that if he found a magic pill to make his ADHD go away, he wouldn’t take it. Creativity and innovation are hallmarks of those with ADHD. When a child first presents with symptoms, why aren’t we telling them that they are 3 times more likely to form their own business, will thrive in disruptive situations, will embrace adventure and are adept at multitasking, as opposed to giving them a diagnosis and a pill?

We must stop thinking about how to give the “patient” what they think they want and start taking a look at what's good about what they have.

We must empower individuals to think it's ok to be "not normal" and change the mindset that everything can be "fixed" with a pill or a few therapy sessions.

We must help them understand that what they perceive as their worst trait, may in reality be their best.

It's time for a new order of business in mental health, based on the premise that when you try to conform to a perceived "normal," you lose your uniqueness—which is the foundation for your greatness.

Dr. Dale Archer is a psychiatrist and frequent guest on " Live." He is the author of the new bestselling book "Better Than Normal: How What Makes You Different Can Make You Exceptional"For more, visit his website:

Friday, March 9, 2012

No Carpe DIem

My mom send me this and I FINALLY just got a chance to read it. I LOVE it. So much that I woke my sleeping blog to share. Josh and I stayed up til 2 am talking last night. Me mostly crying. Feeling like I am the worst mother. Feeling like I should be enjoying this more. I told him, "I LOVE my children. But sometimes I really don't like them." I want to not yell at them. I want to not be frustrated with them. I want to love every minute. But I don't. After reading this I thought, hey maybe that's ok. I glad I had a moment to read this today, especially after a tearry night with the exact same thoughts. Here is the link, but I'm pasting the entire article here in case some day the webpage disappears into cyber space. I want to archive it forever :)


Every time I'm out with my kids -- this seems to happen:

An older woman stops us, puts her hand over her heart and says something like, "Oh, Enjoy every moment. This time goes by so fast."

Everywhere I go, someone is telling me to seize the moment, raise my awareness, be happy, enjoy every second, etc, etc, etc.

I know that this message is right and good. But, I have finally allowed myself to admit that it just doesn't work for me. It bugs me. This CARPE DIEM message makes me paranoid and panicky. Especially during this phase of my life - while I'm raising young kids. Being told, in a million different ways to CARPE DIEM makes me worry that if I'm not in a constant state of intense gratitude and ecstasy, I'm doing something wrong.

I think parenting young children (and old ones, I've heard) is a little like climbing Mount Everest. Brave, adventurous souls try it because they've heard there's magic in the climb. They try because they believe that finishing, or even attempting the climb are impressive accomplishments. They try because during the climb, if they allow themselves to pause and lift their eyes and minds from the pain and drudgery, the views are breathtaking. They try because even though it hurts and it's hard, there are moments that make it worth the hard. These moments are so intense and unique that many people who reach the top start planning, almost immediately, to climb again. Even though any climber will tell you that most of the climb is treacherous, exhausting, killer. That they literally cried most of the way up.

And so I think that if there were people stationed, say, every thirty feet along Mount Everest yelling to the climbers -- "ARE YOU ENJOYING YOURSELF!? IF NOT, YOU SHOULD BE! ONE DAY YOU'LL BE SORRY YOU DIDN'T!" TRUST US!! IT'LL BE OVER TOO SOON! CARPE DIEM!" -- those well-meaning, nostalgic cheerleaders might be physically thrown from the mountain.

Now. I'm not suggesting that the sweet old ladies who tell me to ENJOY MYSELF be thrown from a mountain. These are wonderful ladies. Monkees, probably. But last week, a woman approached me in the Target line and said the following: "Sugar, I hope you are enjoying this. I loved every single second of parenting my two girls. Every single moment. These days go by so fast."

At that particular moment, Amma had arranged one of the new bras I was buying on top of her sweater and was sucking a lollipop that she must have found on the ground. She also had three shop-lifted clip-on neon feathers stuck in her hair. She looked exactly like a contestant from Toddlers and Tiaras. I couldn't find Chase anywhere, and Tish was grabbing the pen on the credit card swiper thing WHILE the woman in front of me was trying to use it. And so I just looked at the woman, smiled and said, "Thank you. Yes. Me too. I am enjoying every single moment. Especially this one. Yes. Thank you."

That's not exactly what I wanted to say, though.

There was a famous writer who, when asked if he loved writing, replied, "No. but I love having written." What I wanted to say to this sweet woman was, "Are you sure? Are you sure you don't mean you love having parented?"

I love having written. And I love having parented. My favorite part of each day is when the kids are put to sleep (to bed) and Craig and I sink into the couch to watch some quality TV, like Celebrity Wife Swap, and congratulate each other on a job well done. Or a job done, at least.

Every time I write a post like this, I get emails suggesting that I'm being negative. I have received this particular message four or five times -- G, if you can't handle the three you have, why do you want a fourth?

That one always stings, and I don't think it's quite fair. Parenting is hard. Just like lots of important jobs are hard. Why is it that the second a mother admits that it's hard, people feel the need to suggest that maybe she's not doing it right? Or that she certainly shouldn't add more to her load. Maybe the fact that it's so hard means she IS doing it her own way...and she happens to be honest.

Craig is a software salesman. It's a hard job in this economy. And he comes home each day and talks a little bit about how hard it is. And I don't ever feel the need to suggest that he's not doing it right, or that he's negative for noticing that it's hard, or that maybe he shouldn't even consider taking on more responsibility. And I doubt anybody comes by his office to make sure he's ENJOYING HIMSELF. I doubt his boss peeks in his office and says: "This career goes by so fast...ARE YOU ENJOYING EVERY MOMENT IN THERE, CRAIG???? CARPE DIEM, CRAIG!"

My point is this. I used to worry that not only was I failing to do a good enough job at parenting, but that I wasn't enjoying it enough. Double failure. I felt guilty because I wasn't in parental ecstasy every hour of every day and I wasn't MAKING THE MOST OF EVERY MOMENT like the mamas in the parenting magazines seemed to be doing. I felt guilty because honestly, I was tired and cranky and ready for the day to be over quite often. And because I knew that one day, I'd wake up and the kids would be gone, and I'd be the old lady in the grocery store with my hand over my heart. Would I be able to say I enjoyed every moment? No.

But the fact remains that I will be that nostalgic lady. I just hope to be one with a clear memory. And here's what I hope to say to the younger mama gritting her teeth in line:

"It's helluva hard, isn't it? You're a good mom, I can tell. And I like your kids, especially that one peeing in the corner. She's my favorite. Carry on, warrior. Six hours till bedtime." And hopefully, every once in a while, I'll add -- "Let me pick up that grocery bill for ya, sister. Go put those kids in the van and pull on up -- I'll have them bring your groceries out."

Anyway. Clearly, Carpe Diem doesn't work for me. I can't even carpe fifteen minutes in a row, so a whole diem is out of the question.

Here's what does work for me:

There are two different types of time. Chronos time is what we live in. It's regular time, it's one minute at a time, it's staring down the clock till bedtime time, it's ten excruciating minutes in the Target line time, it's four screaming minutes in time out time, it's two hours till daddy gets home time. Chronos is the hard, slow passing time we parents often live in.

Then there's Kairos time. Kairos is God's time. It's time outside of time. It's metaphysical time. It's those magical moments in which time stands still. I have a few of those moments each day. And I cherish them.

Like when I actually stop what I'm doing and really look at Tish. I notice how perfectly smooth and brownish her skin is. I notice the perfect curves of her teeny elf mouth and her asianish brown eyes, and I breathe in her soft Tishy smell. In these moments, I see that her mouth is moving but I can't hear her because all I can think is -- This is the first time I've really seen Tish all day, and my God -- she is so beautiful. Kairos.

Like when I'm stuck in chronos time in the grocery line and I'm haggard and annoyed and angry at the slow check-out clerk. And then I look at my cart and I'm transported out of chronos. And suddenly I notice the piles and piles of healthy food I'll feed my children to grow their bodies and minds and I remember that most of the world's mamas would kill for this opportunity. This chance to stand in a grocery line with enough money to pay. And I just stare at my cart. At the abundance. The bounty. Thank you, God. Kairos.

Or when I curl up in my cozy bed with Theo asleep at my feet and Craig asleep by my side and I listen to them both breathing. And for a moment, I think- how did a girl like me get so lucky? To go to bed each night surrounded by this breath, this love, this peace, this warmth? Kairos.

These kairos moments leave as fast as they come- but I mark them. I say the word kairos in my head each time I leave chronos. And at the end of the day, I don't remember exactly what my kairos moments were, but I remember I had them. And that makes the pain of the daily parenting climb worth it.

If I had a couple Kairos moments during the day, I call it a success.

Carpe a couple of Kairoses a day.

Good enough for me.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Makes 4-6 servings
1.5 pounds beef cut into 1" pieces
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup red wine (You can use cooking wine, but seriously tastes better with real wine)
1 small onion chopped
1 can 4oz sliced mushrooms
1 package dry onion soup mix
1 tablespoon minced garlic

Freeze in Gallon Size Freezer bags. Crock pot on low 6-8 hours. High 4-6 hrs. Serve over spiral noodles (stroganoff?)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Easy Teriyaki Chicken (crock pot)

Quickly I'm going to answer a question. I pull out all my oven (in Pyrex) meals in the morning so they defrost on my counter top . So the cooking time is the same. If you pull them straight from Freezer to Oven, which is fine, it just keeps your oven on longer, cook for an additional 30-45 minutes. Oh and I don't preheat, I just plop the food in right when I turn on the oven. Some ridiculous part of me thinks this helps the frozenness adjust better to the hottness. Slowly getting warmer :)

Made this yesterday so I cannot tell you if it tastes good, but it smelled good :)
By Barbara Shie, Colorado Springs, CO

2-3 lbs skinlees chicken pieces.
20 oz can pineapple chunks. (juice and all)
dash of ground ginger
1 cup teriyaki sauce

With the chicken there are options, I bought at Harmons already cubed fresh chicken breasts. Same price per pound, why wouldn't you. They didn't have enough so I had my butcher cut more, so if your store doesn't sell it that way I bet they can do it for you. Or you can get the fresh chicken breast strips and then just have to cut the additional direction, or you can get the entire breast and cube it your self. cut into about 1-2" pieces.

To save dishes, I just pulled out my gallon size freezer bags wrote on them and then dumped everything in them. Seal TIGHTLY squish it all around to mix and plop in the freezer.

Place bagged goods in slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hrs or high 4-6 hrs. I'd serve over instant rice with a side of veggies:)


This one's going to be quick. You can freeze lasagna. So your favorite lasagna recipe will work.
Its a time consuming meal so I always like to make more then one batch and freeze extras. It is also one of the more expensive meals. This one you'll want the Pyrex for as well.
I'm giving you my friend Liz's recipe. You'll have left over sauce. Just put it in a freezer bag and use it for spaghetti. Sometimes I'm lazy and I'll just buy the already made sauce in a jar (Ragu, Prego...), but making it yourself is much cheaper.

"K so I don’t have measurements cuz I don’t measure anything…

This will make a 13x9 pan, sometimes a 13x9 pan and 9x9…

I generally have sauce left over, but I don’t know how much…


1 lg can of crushed tomatoes (at the grocery store – don’t know the size but it’s the lg can – not lg costco size:))

1 reg can of diced or cut tomatoes

1 reg can of tomato sauce

1 small can of tomato paste

Italian seasoning




Garlic powder

Chopped onions (fresh or dried)



(if you add a little bit of sugar it will make it less spicy if you like less spicy)

Simmer for a few hours to blend all the flavors (or as long as you can :). Simmer while you are preparing everything else. The flavors will blend during the weeks it spends in the freezer)

Brown Ground Italian Sausage and add to sauce (you could also do ground beef, or meatballs, or Italian links for spaghetti too:)) (if doing italian links squeeze out of the skin and brown then add to sauce)

Cook one box of lasagna noodles (you need 9 unbroken ones and can have an equivalent of 3 broken ones to fill a 13x9 so when you do a whole box you can generally do the 13x9 and 9x9 since you have enough sauce)

Rinse noodles and lay flat on the counter


1 tub of ricotta cheese (I like the lowfat precious brand – there are two sizes, you want the larger size)

1 egg

Italian Seasoning

Italian Bread crumbs

Parmesan cheese

-mix above ingredients together

Grate a ball of mozzarella cheese (I like the low fat precious brand)


Spread a little bit of sauce on the bottom of pan

Lay 3 lasagna noodles and the cut/broken ones to fill the bottom of 13x9 pan

Spread sauce over each noodles

Drop small spoonfuls of cheese mixture

Spread grated mozzarella cheese over top

Layer more lasagna noodles on top and press down to evenly spread cheese mixture

Repeat sauce, cheese mixture, mozzarella

Another layer of noodles again pressing to evenly spread cheese mixture

Sauce and mozzarella

Put in Freezer or Bake in oven 350 degrees 30-45 minutes till top is golden brown

Friday, January 28, 2011

Dinner tonight / Freezer Meal Meatloaf

Tonight we are going over to a friends house for dinner. Sales presentation dinner :(. But free food and a room for the kids to be away from me. SOLD. I however won't be buying anything. I will be thankful for that salesman in my prayers tonight though :)
I made up this recipe so if you hate it, you suck! Or mess around with it until you like it. It's fun to create.
This is one that you need to put into a pan/Pyrex/casserole dish.
Or sometimes I put it in a big loaf pan and then seal it with a food saver, if you have one.

1 lb. Lean Ground Beef
1/2 lb. Ground Pork
1 1/2 tsp. Crushed Garlic Cloves
1 Egg (slightly beaten)
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1/4 tsp. Basil
1/4 tsp. Thyme
1/4 cup Oats
2 tbsp. melted butter
1/4 cup minced onions
1/4 cup Parmesan
1/2 cup Mozzarella
1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 -1/2 cup Spinach (you can just put the leaves in whole. When you start mixing with your hands it breaks up the leaves. BUT if you really don't want your kids to know its in there, finely chop them up before putting them in the bowl)

Combine above ingredients in a bowl. Squish together with hands :). Shape into a loaf. once in loaf shape, poke a few finger holes through out the loaf. Pour another 1 tbsp, Worcestershire sauce into the various holes.
Surround with 3 cups (75% cooked) Wild Rice Blend. I under cook the rice because they with soften some with the cooking of the meatloaf juices:)

Note: My friend kept thinking this was not cooked because it was still pink in the middle. The pork makes it a little pink so don't keep cooking it until it's brown. It will not get completely brown :)
Also it's been a while since I cooked this. Just guessing here, 365 for 40-45 min (if its completely thawed) longer if partially frozen still....

Have you heard of this!!!!

Go to Sign up for the mom's club. Just type mom's club in the search box. That gives you free 2 day shipping, just wrap the kid in a dish rag if you are completely out of diapers. It's only two days. Or I bet if you are like me, you can scrounge up enough to last 2 days. Car, diaper bag, church bag, downstairs, moms house.....
Then sign up for "suscribe" next to the item you want to subscribe to, wipes are a great deal too. Mom's club saves you 15%, Subscribing saves you another 15%. Subscribing just sets it up so they are delivered regularly. Every month, 2 months 3 months or 6 months. You can ALWAYS change your subscription. I just got an email saying mine was about to ship, but I still have quiet a few, so I just pushed it out 2 weeks. AWESOME!