Life with the Wild Things

Just another mom of 2 boys in a house full of energy!

I completed the Crazy Mom Holiday Challenge from January 4, 2015

I did it!  I mastered all 10 points on the list.  Not perfect at all times, but I tried and I did it.  This was the least crazy holiday I have ever had.  Which is surprising because I have so many changes happening in my life.

So… Here it is step by step….


1. Roll with it and don’t expect a perfect holiday.  Well… the week before Thanksgiving my husband received a promotion that requires us to relocate.  It has completely turned our house upside down.  Needless to say it has lead to a less than perfect holiday season.  It is a blessing, but it meant changing a lot.  We didn’t spend Thanksgiving together.  We only saw each other on the weekends during December… all of which were spent on the road!  But, we rolled with it and it turned out that it was perfect for us.

2. Plan, so you won’t have to rush around like a crazy lady.  I start shopping in September for Christmas gifts.  I love to buy things for family and friends.  So it is fun to plan ahead what to get them.  I also have to start early because I ship everything to our family in Mississippi in November that way the car isn’t packed to the roof when we go visit everyone in December.

3. Remember your kids are kids, not angels.  Both my boys have ADHD.  It is always chaotic in our house.  Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, basketball season started.  We just finished football before Thanksgiving.  The boys also take tae kwon do 3 nights a week.  So life is always hectic in our home.  I have had to repeat this one over and over to myself.  I want them to always be perfect little angels.  But I have to remember that they are kids.  I am way to uptight with them most of the time.  I feel like I am always on their case about something.  Number 3 is something I am going to work on for 2015.  Always remember the boys are boys.  That is one of my New Year’s resolutions.

4.  Cut your husband some slack, he’s not an angel either.  I have to work on this one too.  Sometimes I expect him to be able to read my mind and know what I need.  I have got to remember that he can’t do that.  I grew up in a house of girls and he grew up in a house full of boys.  Sometimes I forget that he doesn’t think like me… you know perfect.  just kidding.  But I think we did ok for the holiday.  We spent most of December on the road which is rough on everyone.  But we managed to enjoy each other and have fun.

5.  Spend less money on stuff and more time with people.  We nailed this one this year.  This year we stuck to a Christmas budget that worked.  We definitely enjoyed spending more time with our family and friends than we normally are able to and it was well worth it.  In the end it’s the relationships we have that matter, not the material possessions.  We enjoyed all our time with family this year.  There was a lot of love in the air!

6.  Be thankful for what you have instead of thinking you need more.  We nailed this one too!  This year we didn’t ask for a lot.  We surprised each other with some great gifts, but we were very thankful for what we have  We have 2 amazing boys and a solid relationship.  We have a great family and friends who are like family.  What more can a girl ask for.

7.  Enjoy that Christmas cookie and don’t beat yourself up for eating it.  Well, I ate my share of holiday food that is for sure.  I did have some guilty feelings about eating too much.  But I did enjoy eating with good friends and family and not worrying most of the time about what the scale would say.

8.  Get rest, so you won’t turn into the Christmas Grinch.  Oh I rested.  I took off from the afternoon of Christmas Eve until Jan. 4!  I took naps almost every day.  It was well worth each moment of relaxation.  For the first time in a year, I am ready to go back to work and tackle the world again!

9.  Love, and show it with patience and kindness.  I have to work on this a lot more during 2015.  I love a lot and I am normally kind, but patience is a virtue that I lack.  I am going to work harder on this.  I did try to show love through patience and kindness.  I think people who don’t know me well would say that I nailed it.  But family that spent the entire holiday with me… they would say patience was lacking and kindness could have been a little better.

10.  Think more about what the season really means.  The Thanks in Thanksgiving and the Christ in Christmas.  I definitely nailed this one this year!  For thanksgiving, we gave a lot of thanks.  The boys and I discussed what we were thankful for at length in our 4 hour car ride home from grandma’s house after Thanksgiving.  And to add Christ back into Christmas, we started praying together as a family again.  We prayed the Advent prayers around our table with the Advent wreath.  We started praying every night kneeling together in our living room as we say our night time prayers.  I started doing 10 minute devotionals each day that have expanded to 15 minutes or more each day.

Well, looking back, I think I did ok with this Challenge.  I can’t wait to look for another one to work on next.


the little things December 15, 2014

I haven’t forgotten to update you about my holiday challenge.  I just have been super busy enjoying myself!

Today, my devotional in my Small Steps for Catholic Moms book was…

Help me to see You in all my little moments today, God.   Open my eyes to the peace and the beauty that are all around,but I am usually too busy to see.

WOW!  Today I am slowing down to notice all those little things.


First we had this hard morning rain.  Right after, the sun came it out so bright and so beautiful.  I normally don’t even notice.  I have 2 huge office windows, but I get so caught up in my daily grind… I don’t see the beautiful sky after a rain.  It was so lovely.

Walking to my car at lunch there were birds chirping in the bushes out near our parking lot.  LOUDLY chirping.  It was so nice.  It was like they were saying slow down, listen to us.  So… I did.  I walked a little slower to the car.

I hope I can see all the other beautiful things I normally miss in a day.


ADHD and precertification for insurance November 27, 2014

Dear insurance company, government, and who ever else it may concern,

Thank you for your letter received by household Monday, Nov. 24.  Thank you for your response that did not help me at all on Tuesday, Nov. 25.  Here is my understanding of the current situation we are in…

Someone somewhere has decided that Daytrana (methylphenidate transdermal patches) will require precertification as of January 1, 2015.  In order for my son to continue using Daytrana to control his ADHD, our pediatrician must do the following.

1. Step therapy to prove that Daytrana is the best medication for my son.  If someone somewhere who made this decision agrees with our pediatrician, then we can continue to use the medication.

2. My pediatrician can write a justification and ask for an exemption to the step therapy.  Then someone somewhere will decide if my son can continue using Daytrana.  If said someone somewhere decides an exemption is not allowed then we must return to number 1 on the list.

So, please confirm that I understand this correctly.

Said someone somewhere knows my son and his needs how exactly?  See I didn’t know that said someone somewhere referred to as “invisible person” had been with me since my son was born.  I didn’t know that “invisible person” had watched my son suffer in second grade with his behavior problems.  I don’t recall “invisible person” sitting with me in the principal’s office discussing my son’s behavior.  I don’t remember seeing “invisible person” in the meeting to work on the behavior chart.  I don’t remember “invisible person” holding my hand in the pediatrician’s office while we discussed the medication options for my 7 year old.

You see I am having trouble understanding where “invisible person” was during all this.  I am fairly certain “invisible person” didn’t have any issues taking the money out of our check to pay the premium for my insurance.  But, I just don’t remember seeing “invisible person”.

Where were you when I realized that I would have to give my son a schedule 2 narcotic every day to help him succeed in school?  Where are you every month when I have to call in to the doctor’s office, travel to the doctor’s office to pick up the written Rx, go to the pharmacy and have it filled because schedule 2 narcotics require a new Rx every month?  I’m getting older so maybe memory is failing about where you have been during this process with me.

When “invisible person” decided that Daytrana requires all this extra work, did “invisible person” realize that my now 11 year old has excelled with his current medication?  My 11 year old has used Daytrana for 4 years.  He is an honor roll student, in Beta Club, on the science Olympiad team, a member of the first robotics team at his school, a first degree red belt in tae kwon do, and a member of the 6th grade boys basketball team.

My son is at a really good place in his life.  And you want me to take him off his current medication that is obviously working well and try other ADHD meds that you deem cheaper and work “just as well”.  Do you think that we didn’t try this already?  My son has a problem swallowing pills.  In addition, Daytrana patches allow my son to feel like he controls his medicine.  Which gives him a lot more confidence.

So someone somewhere, thanks for putting yourself in the middle of my son’s treatment.  I am sure you can understand my frustration.

Sincerely, Mom doing the best she can


Watching your ADD son learn

Filed under: ADD,Education,School,Teachers — jdkihlken @ 10:13 AM
Tags: , , , ,

My youngest wild thing is 8 years old.  He has ADD which has lead to a learning disability in reading and writing.  He is in third grade.  It has been a tough few years in school.  We attend a small Catholic school.  He receives a lot of one on one help from his teachers.  We have hired several tutors over the years.  All of them have been wonderful.

He excels at math. He can do almost any math in his head and just say an answer.  Numbers make sense in his brain.  The numbers connect.  Numbers are solid.  The rules are always the same.

Reading… well, the English language has a lot of exceptions.  The rules aren’t always solid.

Wild thing 2 tries very hard.  He wants it all to click.  He is frustrated when it doesn’t.  Each tutor has said he is just on the edge of everything clicking.  Of course the course work changes as we go up each grade.

Everyone who has ever helped him has lead to the moment that occurred last night.  While visiting family, wild thing two comes running in my room.  Mom, Mom, I have something for you.  He hands me a piece of paper with pen scratching all over it.  Look he says, it’s cursive.

UGH!  My job is to not encourage him to just scratch all over paper, but to try to write words.  It isn’t that he can’t do it.  It’s that scratching on paper is a lot easier and requires a whole lot less CONCENTRATION.

I then say… I love when you bring me things you work on.  But, I would really love to have a note that you write to me.  Wild thing studies me a little with that look that I know this can go either really well or into a fit of hysteria.  And it goes well!

After a few minutes, he appears in my room with the following…

Thank you to ever person who has ever helped my baby.  He did this on his own without being begged to please go write, please focus, please keep trying.  I am so very thankful.

IMG_2174 IMG_2176 IMG_2177 IMG_2178 IMG_2179 IMG_2180 Challenge day 5 and 6


Well, I missed posting on Day 5.  It was a long day at work followed by travel to God’s Country to see my family.  So I am going to catch up with a two in one post.

So how is it going now that we are knee deep in Holiday 1 of the Crazy Holiday Time of the Year?

Well, let’s evaluate the situation.


The original plan was my two sisters and I would come to Mom’s with our families and have a wonderful, traditional Thanksgiving.  However, that isn’t exactly how it has ended up.  Both of my sisters work retail.  So what was going to be a sit down at noon for Thanksgiving lunch has been changed to a split meal throughout the day.  My hubby couldn’t make it this year due to changes at work.  So we are going to roll with it!

My mom has cooked for 2 days.  It smells incredible here.  One sister is already at work.  She will come over at 4 tonight.  The other sister is driving in for lunch then hitting the road in the afternoon so she can work Black Friday.  My hubby will probably have dinner with friends at home that are like family.

So… it isn’t the perfect plan we had.  But, it is still going to be wonderful because we appreciate any time we have together.

Number 3 and 4 of the challenge I had skipped earlier because my kids and husband weren’t home.

3 – Remember your kids are kids, not angels.

4 – Cut your husband some slack, he is not an angel either.

WOW!  Things I must remember.  I have a tendency to lose my patience because I want things…..112714_1541_iMomcomChal4.jpg

Well, I wish I could say that number 3 started of better.  But, I am going to keep reminding myself that they are not angels.  Number 4 is hard too.  I hate when we aren’t all together.  So it is hard not having hubby here today to celebrate all we have to be thankful for.  But, I am a work in progress.  So I’ll just keep working on this part of the challenge.  I’ll report back to you how it goes.

Number 6 is the perfect part of the challenge for today!  Be thankful for what you have instead of thinking you need more.

WOW!  What could be better for today!

be thankful

We always want more of everything.  Today, I am going to stop and think of how very lucky I am.  I am so thankful for…

  1. A family that loves me and who I love so very much
  2. Parents that have given me so much in life both mine and hubby’s
  3. A husband who really is a great person
  4. Kids who make me laugh 90% of the time
  5. Sisters, Sister in laws, Brothers, Brother in laws, Nieces, and Nephews who make life richer
  6. Friends who aren’t just friends, but they are my family

I guess I am most thankful for the people in my life rather than the things that we acquire.

be-thankful 2

So my wish for everyone is that we can all be thankful today for our blessings big and small.  Happy Thanksgiving.


Challenge Day 4 November 25, 2014

Filed under: Family,Holidays — jdkihlken @ 7:12 PM
Tags: , ,

day 4It is day 4 of the challenge.  So far so good.  No meltdowns from expecting the PERFECT holiday this week.  That has to be worth something…

Which leads me to Number 7 on the list.  Eat the Christmas cookie and don’t beat yourself up for eating it.  Well, I didn’t eat the Christmas cookie, but I did eat a wonderful burger and fries.  And normally this close to the holiday, I would feel absolutely horrible about such a big meal splurge so close to the eat until you pop lunch on Thursday.  But, not this year.  I am going to savor every morsel of yummy food this year.  That’s what sweatpants are made for!

burger and friesHow have I been doing with the other numbers I have tackled so far?

Well, Number 1 – just roll with it.  So far so good.  I am not obsessing about who is getting where when and what we are all wearing or what I should have done to make it more wonderful.

Number 2 – Plan so you don’t freak out. Gifts for the sisters and nephew came in today.  Ready to be wrapped and delivered to God’s country tomorrow for them to take home to put under their trees.  Yep… planned ahead, didn’t stress when Amazon said it would be late Wednesday before it was delivered, paid off because it came in early!

Number 8 – Get some rest so you won’t be the Grinch.  The past 4 days I have been making sure I actually block out down time for myself.  WOOHOO!

It’s been a great couple of days.  Tomorrow I am on the road and then the big test is Thursday.  I think I can, I think I can!


The Crazy Mom Holiday Challenge Day 3 November 24, 2014

Filed under: Family,Holidays,moms — jdkihlken @ 10:03 PM
Tags: , , , , ,

day 3

Today is the third day of the Crazy Mom Holiday Challenge.  I have been trying to write about the challenge in order that the task are listed on the website.  But, Number 3 and 4 are about remembering that your kids and your husband aren’t perfect angels. Well, it is a rare opportunity that I get time alone…but tonight… WOOHOO.  I have a mom break.  The wild things are in God’s Country with grandma and the hubby is on the road for work.

happy mom

WOW!  What a day.  I very rarely have these moments where I get time to myself.  And I made the best of it.

What did I do?  I skipped ahead to number 8.  Get rest so you won’t turn into the Christmas Grinch.


I am the world’s worst person at getting rest.  Especially this time of year… I feel like I need to go go go in order to make everything perfect.  Not this year.  Not with this challenge.

This weekend while the wild things were away I took a nap Saturday and Sunday.  Oh it was wonderful.  Tonight when I came home from work and the house was empty…Oh what a peaceful night.  I watched movies, finished a book, and am about to get a great night’s sleep.

Number 8 – This may be my most favorite challenge yet!

good night


%d bloggers like this: