Monday, August 11, 2014

We are saving you the work! Buy an ice bucket for Logan and Morgan to dump on us and we will donate the $ to The ALS Association

Bucket Detail options
Shout out name with opt. 2&3

So you've been wanting to do the ALS Awareness Ice Bucket Challenge, but you just haven't been able to find the time- or you're a chicken! So Ash at Scarred for Life and I, The Crumb Diaries have decided to make this suuuuuper easy for you.

Instead of dumping ice water on your head and making the $10 donation, we are offering for you to BUY a $10 bucket of ice water here, and at the end of the week Logan and Morgan will dump every bucket bought on Ash and I. There are additional options as well if you'd like a shout out in honor of someone or to anyone else, and an option for us to sing. We should charge $100 for that! Buy as many buckets as you like, this should be interesting!

100% of the money earned will go to The ALS Association website. Also, Ash doesn't know about this yet

Monday, December 9, 2013

Take 5 minutes to read this. It's important.

Do you know who your child is talking to online? Chances are, even if you keep a close eye you don’t. It’s very easy to brush it off, to tell yourself that you don't have any reason to worry, your child is ‘good’ and your kid ‘would never talk to a stranger’. Or maybe it’s simple to believe they are just making ‘friends’ from out of town, or possibly out of state. You may believe that your child is ‘too innocent’ or possibly ‘too smart’ to be involved in anything dark or dangerous. You keep a good home, you give all the love and attention they need, they get good grades, they visit their grandparents and still go to Girl Scouts.

None of this matters.

The sad truth is, many children fall prey to very charming, very innocent seeming, very persistent predators. These hunters no longer need to snatch kids off the street, they can lure them in from the comfort of their living room sofa. They win them over with compliments, or a shoulder to lean on. They make promises of a luxurious life that maybe a parent can’t provide. They convince them they want to take care of them and love them like nobody has. Even if a young girl – or boy- has a wonderful home life with love all around them, some may find this very enticing.

“Jenny” comes from a stable household. She plays sports and studies hard. Her best friend has recently gotten herself a boyfriend and Jenny is finding herself alone in much of her spare time. She surfs online. One day she gets a friend request from “Rob” who saw her picture and thought she was pretty cute. She thinks he’s a good looking guy, and chatting is innocent enough, right? It doesn’t take long before Rob hones in on Jenny’s loneliness and picks up on her weaknesses. She doesn’t feel quite pretty enough, so she hasn’t had a boyfriend yet. Rob sees to it that he fills the void, showering her with compliments and telling her everything she hoped a boy would one day say to her. She’s beautiful, she’s sexy, he would love to have a girl like her.

One day Jenny has a fight with her dad and Rob is there for her to cry to. He suggests she come visit him, take some time away from her family, her strict school schedule. She has a little bit of birthday money saved but it isn’t enough for the bus ticket. Rob makes all of the financial arrangements, and before anyone realizes she’s gone she is hundreds of miles from home.

She meets up with Rob and he is everything she’d hoped. He’s handsome, he’s sweet, he will take care of her. They head to a hotel for their first night together and although still charming, he is putting pressure on her. Pressure to be ‘his girl’. When she resists, he becomes angry and she says she wants to go home. But you see, she has no money, she is dependent on Rob now and Rob wants the money back that he spent for her bus ticket to get her there.

Rob has an idea for her to make some quick cash. She starts to cry and says she wants to call home, her parents would send her a ticket, but you see Rob can’t allow that because then he will be in trouble. If she doesn’t do as he says there will be consequences to her and possibly to her family. He reminds her that he knows a lot about her, like where her little sister goes to school.

Just like that, Jenny is trapped. Jenny now belongs to Rob. Jenny is 13.

According to the statistics of human trafficking in the US is staggering :
“There are 100,000- 300,000 underage girls being sold for sex in America today. The average age of entry into prostitution is 12-14 yrs old. 1 out of 3 teens on the street will be lured into prostitution within 48 hours of running away from home. Minor victims are sold on average 10-15 times EVERY DAY, 6 days a week. 55% of internet child porn comes from the US. 1 out of 5 pornographic images are of a child.”


These are not bad kids. These are not ‘loose’, ‘wild’, or ‘screwed up’ girls and boys. These are confused, scared children who are victims.

Please not only pay attention, but WARN YOUR CHILDREN. So many people feel this can’t happen to them, or they believe this is something that happens in another part of the world. This is happening HERE to OUR KIDS.

Sit with your child. Go to and search American trafficking and watch. Be disgusted. Be sad. Be outraged. Be terrified.

For confidential help and information 24/7, call the US National Human Trafficking Resource Center: 1-888-3737-888 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Eulogy - Blogger Idol

Allyson grew up in the 70’s/80’s as a barefoot, mop-topped, street-wise kid in a neighborhood where doors were never locked and you played outside until the streetlights came on. She suffered her first of three broken left arms at the age of 3 and had a long standing relationship with the local E.R., including a facial plastic surgeon from a significant dog bite and a horrified pediatric staff due to one of the worst cases of poison ivy they had ever seen.

As a teen she rebelled in a big way ultimately leaving home at 17, having her daughter Abby at 18, then marrying her baby’s father who was her high school sweetheart. Still breaking the rules and having a good time, she found herself pregnant again at 21 and this time, the baby was sick.

Allyson never saw herself as a stereotype and fought tooth and nail to fight it. She was able to plow head on into the role of a mother, and learn the ropes of caring for a child with special needs. She later found herself blogging about this journey and sharing the good, the bad and the ugly with the masses.

Having these words read about her was her worst fear..leaving her son to live his life without her. She often worried, who would care for him as a mother would? Who will kiss him? Who will make sure he has his favorite things? Who will love him as much as her? If she were here today, these are the things she would be asking us.

If she were here today, these are the things she would be telling us; she had a good life. She was grateful for many things, including a man who has loved her since 1989 putting up with all of her crap, taking care of her when she was sick and just listening when she was sad. She had wonderful kids, and she hopes they remember every day how very much she loved them.

She was so thankful she was able to work, play, and love so hard for the years she had with us.  She would tell us to take care of ourselves, take care of each other, and please smile when you think of her. She leaves us with her legacy of being a kick-ass Slombie maker, an advocate for those in need, and a voice for a child who does not have one. Her house could have been cleaner, her bank account fatter, her vehicle newer, her pants a size smaller, but her heart could not have been bigger and her family could not have been more loved by her.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Summer Guest Post #5 by Heather of Wearing Some1 Else's Shoes

Summer Guest Post #5 by Heather of Wearing Some1 Else's Shoes
"Sometimes you just want to cry." my 13 year old Mikayla said this to me this morning when I was doing my morning chores. I can't imagine how she must feel. Hormones are surfacing for her. Plus Mikayla was diagnosed with the last year with bipolar and mild Asperger’s. Being a teenage girl is hard enough especially with body changes and your period starting and now she has to understand her moods aren't the cause, but her bipolar and her awkwardness is her Asperger’s. We don't use the word normal in this house since no one on this planet is. But most of all since my beautiful child is struggling to find normal I will not put a bar up for her to not be able to reach it. I couldn't reach normalcy if I wanted, after all I am a mother of three kids. 13, 3, 7 months. Mikayla, My 13 year old is the brightest star in my sky. That is what I tell her and that is the truth. She lights my world up. After she was diagnosed it was as if someone turned a light switch on and I wasn't in the dark anymore I now understood why she was the way she was as a child. She wouldn't talk to anyone without me going up to them and making them her friend.

She had no imaginative play. She would not try to learn how to do things like ride a bike or roller-skate. She just learned how to ride a bike last year. She smiles at awkward moments and laughs inappropriately. She doesn't understand jokes. She has hygiene issues. She would have outbursts that were extreme over something so small. I never really focused on all of these things till I had my middle child. They are very much different as children are but this is different.
My middle child, Emerald, has an extremely active imagination which makes me giggle when she is playing. Emerald is 3 and is fearless. Whereas Mikayla is afraid of everything and has to be forced to try new things. I am not comparing children only giving a reference so you can see how I started to notice a difference in her. I knew throughout her childhood that there was something going but could never put my finger on it. Until last year in October when she told me she had a plan to kill herself, this was after she had a screaming fit for hours. I immediately took this serious and called hospitals to get her accessed. I had to wait a few days and then she was accessed and put in inpatient. I did not like that hospital but I had no choice since other hospitals were full to capacity.

She was then evaluated and had testing to confirm their diagnosis of Bipolar and then she was put on medication. For a while it was good and things were back to the way they were before. (She has a counselor who comes to the house twice a week and does intensive therapy with her to make sure she doesn’t have suicidal tendencies, self-harm or homicidal thoughts).( I know I probably scared you with homicidal thoughts, but she was planning my death last year and had been extremely aggressive with me on a number of occasions.) Then June during counseling she  tells her counselor and myself that she attempted suicide and trying choking herself. I was terrified. It was during the day when I was home doing my chores. We took that seriously and she was put into inpatient again. This time to a better hospital and they upped her medication, re-evaluated her and diagnosed her with Bipolar again plus mild Asperger’s. They helped her out so much in the two weeks she was there plus they did two weeks of outpatient to teach her skills like how to stop negative thoughts. I loved how much she was learning and how excited she was about it. It has been a hard time for her and our family but it is getting easier. And we have a great team working with us.

I am very happy that we found the light in the dark tunnel so that we could communicate better and understand her more. I am so grateful for her. She is a great artist and a loving child. It makes me sad that she is having a day where she wants to cry. But I know that is her bipolar and sometimes she just feels that way. After talking with her she feels better.

Heather has a Blog and a Facebook Page

Monday, July 29, 2013

Summer Guest Post #4 by Becky of Mixed Up Mommy

Summer Guest Post by Becky of Mixed Up Mommy

I hadn't felt that sensation of jealousy and anger in several months, but last week, as we were waiting for swim class to start, the two little girls in Connor's class walked up to each other in excitement. The parents were joyfully greeting each other. They hadn't seen each other in a couple weeks due to the Fourth of July holiday and illness. But the real source of excitement was that girl #2 was now walking. Girl #1 had been walking for a couple months. Connor's age (16 months) lies somewhere in between the two. He is not walking and probably won't be for months. 


Connor was born with a genetic disorder (occurrence is 1 in 6,000 live births) called tuberous sclerosis complex. Never heard of it? Neither had we. It is characterized by the growth of benign tumors on the organs. The brain, kidneys, heart, eyes, and lungs are the most commonly affected. Two gene mutations have been identified so far as causes of TSC, chromosomes 9 and 16. Connor has a mutation on 16 and is considered to have TSC2. About 2/3 of cases are spontaneous mutations, meaning it wasn't passed down from a parent.


TSC presents very differently from person to person. Some people are fortunate enough to be so mildly affected that they don't know they have it, while others need full-time care. Difficult-to-control seizures are extremely common. Because of the brain tubers, risks  of learning disabilities, mental retardation and autism are very high. The reality is that he is too young for us to know exactly how he is going to be affected. We just have to wait and see.


Connor's seizures started hours after birth. It took five weeks in the NICU to get enough control to send him home, though he would need to return three months later for brain surgery. The tuber causing the majority of seizures was removed from his right frontal lobe, his progress sped up and we had a month of seizure-free life. Then came the infantile spasms. More panic. More meds. Finally control. Then came the return of complex-partial seizures. The seizure road has been full of ups and downs, but I'm still hopeful control is in the future.



Connor is developmentally delayed and receives physical, speech, music and aquatic therapy. But the last couple of months have been amazing. He actually rolled from stomach to back on time, but he refused to go the other way, fighting tummy time at all costs -- I guess he just really wanted to wear one of those cool cranial remolding helmets for a few months. Suddenly, several weeks ago he finally discovered that getting on his stomach opened the door to mobility. Since then his range of movement has exploded, and while he doesn't move in the way a typical 16-month-old does, he's still managed to create a path of destruction in the living room. He really looks like he's on the verge of crawling, too.



So I had my moment in swim class. But that's okay. My baby boy is crushing it every day with a smile on his face. Today I had to pull him out of the fireplace. And I liked it.

Rebecca Gaunt is a mom, a Blogger and a Freelance Writer
She is the Chair of the TS Alliance of Atlanta/North Georgia

You can find her on her Facebook page Mixed Up Mommy or her blog



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summer Guest Post #3 by Kelly of DeBie Hive

Guest post by Kelly of the fabulous DeBie Hive Facebook page and blog
I am honored to be writing today for Allyson, one of the people I am grateful to have "met" through this strange and beautiful online blogoverse.

When I was trying to decide what to write about for her, I knew almost immediately what it would be. Since she shares so much of her life journey with us, about what it is like raising a child like Logan, I thought I would share a piece of my journey in parenting as well.

I have four children, two of which have ADHD. Though it's a condition more often associated in many people's minds with boys, the girls are the ones in my family that struggle with it, which makes sense considering the fact that I most likely have it even though I have never been formally diagnosed.

My oldest daughter has the hyperactive version of ADHD, which basically means that her internal motor runs a bit faster than the rest of us. She rarely sits still for any length of time, and never has. When she was a toddler, she never actually sat anywhere. She perched herself on chairs in strange positions at times, but I wouldn't call much of what she ever did sitting.

She was a difficult toddler, often struggling with the ability to control her impulses. I'm thankful that she is a naturally cautious person because without that tendency, she probably would have hurt herself a lot more than she did. For years she was a walking bruise as it is.

When she started school, she learned very quickly that if she didn't control herself that she would be picked on, even by friends. Her teachers weren't sure quite what to do with her because her activity demands were closer to the boys in the class than any of the girls. She did good controlling it almost all the time, except for the rare occasions when she would jump up on her desk like a frog without warning or kick her legs out like a donkey in the middle of a lesson.

She worked so hard to control her impulses during the school day that the hours after she got out of school became horrendous at times. She lashed out, usually at me, often violently. She yelled, she screamed. It was literally as though the cork was removed and all the pent up bubbles had to come out at once. This went on for years, but I tolerated it because I knew I had to. She had (and she still has) the ability to control herself at school just means that I may have to deal with the Tasmanian Devil for a while after the day ends.

I learned a long time ago that she can't do homework right after school. She needs to unwind first, and for her that means she needs to run until her lungs burn. In a cruel twist of irony, she is the one with severe asthma. Hyperactivity + asthma = some very interesting days in our lives.

I also learned that when she gets that glazed look in her eye, she just needs to run. I know she won't listen right then because she can't. So I let her go. Fortunately, as she has aged, her symptoms have lessened. Either that, or she just does a better and better job of controlling it.

My younger daughter has the other version of ADHD, the inattentive type. This is the same version of it that I have. I'm sure looking back that I've always had it, I was just able to rely on my intelligence to mask it.  She did the same for many years until she couldn't anymore.

Starting in Kindergarten, she fell further and further behind in reading. An obviously highly intelligent child, we were all a little frustrated that she struggled so much with something like that. She was put on literacy plans. We tried reading with her at home all the time, but she fought us tooth and nail. Her stubbornness made it almost impossible to make any real progress.

After a while, it became obvious that she was glancing at the first letter of each word, then just guessing what the word was. It wasn't until about six months ago that I realized what was actually happening. Instead of reading along with her, I stopped watching the page and started watching her face. Her eyes darted everywhere, never actually looking at the words for more than a fraction of a second at a time.

As soon as I saw that, I knew. She wasn't even reading. She WAS guessing. And she was doing it because her brain wouldn't let her even look at the page long enough to read the words. I kicked myself heartily for not figuring it out sooner.

Once I saw it, I had my husband, her teachers and her doctors all watch for it. Everyone was in agreement. She had inattentive type ADHD, and any behavioral therapy to try and reduce it wouldn't help. She'd already been pulled out for small reading groups, away from the classroom setting for years. We'd already reduced every possible distraction at home, and for naught. She needed medication.

It was a decision I came to reluctantly, particularly after having already parented a child with ADHD unmedicated for years, but it was one that I knew I had to make. To reassure me, her doctor reminded me that we could just do a trial run and see how it went. If the medication didn't work, then it wasn't ADHD. If it worked, it would help her.

The first day she took it, she sat down and read.

There was no avoiding the summer school that she was inevitably being sent to this year, but she has become  a passionate reader now. She's just about at grade level, which is remarkable considering how far behind she was. As a parent, I beat myself up a bit for not figuring it all out sooner, but I know that we are doing what we need to do for her now.

I've been roundly criticized by many people for not medicating one of my children, for medicating the other. I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't. I don't honestly care what anyone else says. I do what I need to for the children I am responsible for, and I don't expect anyone else to really understand what our situation is. They aren't in my house, they aren't the mother of these girls.

I've been told that they are "just kids" and that they will outgrow it. Then I take a look in the mirror and I know that even if they get better at controlling it, they are never going to outgrow it.

I've been told everything would be better if we just eliminated x,y, or z from our diets or if we just took this supplement or that. What those people don't understand is that we have done a lot of diet elimination already, we've supplemented, we've exhausted all of that.

I look at my girls and I know that they are amazing. They are smart and funny and quirky and talented. They have already overcome so much in their short lives, and they are thriving.  ADHD isn't a curse. Quite the opposite. If you look at it the right way, it's an opportunity. I've had to parent my girls more because of it. I've had to interact with them more. I've had to learn more about them. They've had to learn more about themselves, and there is no possible way that's a bad thing.

You'll have to forgive us, all three of us girls in this house, if we need a few moments to refocus from time to time. It'll be worth the wait. I promise.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The wall

Last night we all piled into our 'camping out' room- my bedroom, the bedroom with the air conditioning. Me, Seth, Logan on his mattress on the floor and 3 dogs. The conversations are hushed, the light dim. The mood is so playful and relaxed as Logan and I joke with each other until I look down and he's asleep. I turn off the lights and sigh..I love this this moment, all is perfect in my world.

We wake this morning and as usual I go downstairs with dogs and get my coffee. I hear the door open and then footsteps to the bathroom. The shower runs. A few moments later he comes downstairs in full work attire, ready for his Thursday workday. I am looking forward to the elevator ride so I can show him the "Hello Logan" sign I secretly stuck in the empty phone box.

Just as we are set to leave, we hit a wall. A big, giant, cannot go around concrete wall. I have hit this wall before and I still bear scars from banging my head against it. This does no good. There is no way over it, through it or around it, you just have to endure the pain of hitting it, back off, and wait.

There is no explanation really. Its confusing and beyond frustrating. It was a small argument over something dumb, but it sent him stomping to the bathroom, the only room that locks- and *click* it was all over, he was barricaded in and done dealing with me. (That lock is coming off TODAY).

I hate these moments. I really, really do. We have missed important things because of this concrete wall. We've been late to parties, missed appointments, rushed to things we had plenty of time to get to...I glance at the clock and know if I wait too much longer, I will miss a spot in the limited parking lot at work. I have to make a choice. I have to give him a choice.

"Logan, we need to go. You need to come out of there so we can go. I know you're pissed off at me, we can talk about it on the ride to work."

So I leave him. I grab my stuff and go out to our shop to tell Seth "He's all yours". He looks confused because he had just been inside and all was well. I don't even have the patience to explain it all and he understands. He too has scars from the wall...
That frigging wall that separates us from our child. That horrible wall that prevents us from knowing what he really feels in those moments. I know he gets frustrated, I know he gets angry. He can't be happy and cooperative all the time. He is entitled to have those moments of being pissed off and having some time alone. It's just that damn wall...I hate it.
I drive to work in silence next to an empty seat that should have my co-worker in it. I realize my secret phone sign will go unseen. I wonder what he's doing or feeling. I worry that maybe I should have waited for him. I hate that wall for locking me out of his world. I am frustrated with this this moment, all is empty and confusing in my world.