Monday, March 20, 2023

What I wish I'd had after thyroid cancer

 I used to catch myself saying " I wish I'd had that, or I wish I'd done that after thyroid cancer" . I had my thyroid removed at age 24, after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer during my second pregnancy at 15 weeks pregnant.

Having a baby in general and going from one child to two, is an adjustment in itself. Never mind navigating the whole no thyroid part!!

Looking back I wished I'd had a team of Dr's that talked and took all aspects of my care seriously. No thyroid, new medication AND postpartum, are you kidding me!! My gynecologist and my endocrinologist didn't take the other into consideration. Honestly I should have had a team supporting me. 

Let me tell you a little story. 

After my first round of of RAI ( radio active iodine)  I felt like I was spiraling out of control and had never felt that way before. I could barely function. I went to see my regular PCP, and I had to see his nurse instead. I walked in probably exhausted and upset carrying my brand new baby, just weeks after surgery. I was asking for help. 

Instead of going over what had transpired in the last few weeks, drawing thyroid levels or calling my endocrinologist to see if what I was experiencing may have been a side effect. The nurse looked at me, listened to why I was there and told me she would be right back. I remember sitting there thinking, she was coming back with a solution.

When the door to the exam room opened my sister walked in. My first thoughts was she must have seen my car in the parking lot and had an appointment too. I thought she tracked me down to say hi and see her brand new niece who was sleeping soundly in her seat next to me. But she had a puzzled look on her face, and asked me what was wrong. Confused, I said I wasn't feeling well and asked what she was doing there.  Turns out the nurse had called my sister to come pick up my newborn, she thought I was unsafe to care for her. I felt completely blindsided!! 

The nurse suggested I head down to the hospital that I had my surgery done, she was going call ahead and let them know I was coming.  I thought THANK GOD, people who will know what to do and how to actually help me. But when I got to the E.R. there was a psych team waiting for me. I was in complete shock. I had labs drawn as part of the protocol and was interviewed and asked questions for hours. Did I want to take my own life, did I want to hurt my children. Why was I teary. Why was I so angry. 

I just had a baby, my thyroid removed and started treatment for cancer, HOW THE FUCK WAS I SUPPOSED TO FEEL AND LOOK!!!! 

AFTER HOURS of being asked the same questions, a fucking interrogation. The E.R. Dr. came in, told them to leave and apologized to me. My Thyroid levels we off the charts. I was having major Hyperthyroid symptoms, something I figured medical professionals would've have been aware of considering what I'd been dealing with. Zero communication. 

Another thing I wished I done, is therapy!! I think therapy should be available for anyone with a cancer diagnosis. Or even talked about as something I should have been considering.  Support groups and social media weren't a thing back then! 

I think I also would've liked a clear picture of what I'd be up against. Side effects, symptoms to look out for. Things to do, Things to avoid. Holy Shit it's like they just cut you loose and you have to figure it out as this whole new person. It's Bullshit!!

I used to wish daily for my body back. No fatigue, puffiness , aches pains etc. Being able to shop and find things that would fit for a period of time. A size that stayed!!! 

Being confident in my body. I felt like I wanted to be invisible whenever I had to dress up, or even trying to feel like I fit in at the gym. I was always thinking, they don't know I don't have a thyroid. 

Having the drive to actually reach my goals with weight loss, I was convinced until just last year that if I lost weight, I'd feel happy and confident. 

How did I over come these?? It wasn't easy and it didn't happen over night. I slowly started to look into exactly what I needed to do to get where I wanted to be. I joined the gym and got a trainer to show me the best ways to train my body. I played around with meal plans and foods to figure out which ones worked and didn't. When I found something that worked I just kept repeating it. This is how I built my routine. I am STILL a huge planner, list maker and thrive on schedules. 

I didn't even start REALLY working on myself until a few years ago. And it wasn't the confidence I lacked, It was courage. The courage to show up as myself, no matter how I felt. The courage to keep showing up even when something wasn't working. The courage to try over and over AND OVER. 

THAT is what gave me confidence. I still have my moments in the gym etc. But I can tell you I no longer worry what people think. 

Last year I pushed myself and completed 75hard, I'm getting ready to start and do it all over again this week. The program taught me many things about myself, but the take aways relating to body image were eye opening. I was so self conscious and losing 15 lbs did NOT bring me happiness. What it did help me do was love myself for being strong. And learn to love the entire process of my body changing and being capable of hard things and pushing limits.

You CAN do hard things. The secrets of gaining that courage and being successful is 1. Detach from the outcome, and any time frame expectation you have. Don't focus on the end result, instead focus on the steps you need to do in-between. Build yourself a plan to follow. 2. Just keep trying, thats all you have to do. 

Xo Ash

Monday, March 13, 2023

The top 5 things I struggled with after Thyroid Cancer

 The top 5 things I struggled with after having my thyroid removed in 2001

Energy & Fatigue

It always seemed to hit out of nowhere and I'm not talking a little yawn like when you're tired. I'm talking about when you can't even think straight tired. I think thats where all my brain fog came from, mental fatigue! I was constantly reaching for a pick me up, a quick fix, ANYTHING that I thought would help. But they were all temporary, I needed something permanent. 

I worked on routine routine routine!! I go to bed early. As soon as I'm feeling tired and have nothing to do other than sit and mindlessly scroll social media, I go to bed. I also rarely watch t.v. in my bedroom. I'll occasionally read if my kids are being loud downstairs. But science says, that if you only use your bedroom to sleep, it's trains your brain to fall asleep faster when you lay down. I typically fall asleep in minutes. 

I get up early, even on my days off. This was not something that came natural. I LOVE sleep. But I'm much more productive if I'm up hours before I need to actually do anything. Also after listening to a podcast about morning routines, I learned that hitting the snooze button actually F*cks up your whole day!!  I was hitting the snooze button at least 4 times every morning. I'd set my alarm purposely so I knew I could hit it over and over. And I was actually screwing myself up every damn day. Apparently when you fall back to sleep, your body starts a new sleep cycle, and a sleep cycle can take up to 70 min to complete!! So when you disrupt it,  your body wants to go back to bed!! Then you're groggy and dragging ass!! So I started to get right up with the alarm, and now my body just naturally wakes up before my alarm ( most days) and I'm good to go!! 

Fresh air and sunshine, as much as I can get! Outside walks daily, or any daily movement that is intentional. Not standing or walking at work. Or cleaning your house. Something intentional that you're choosing to do for yourself. I also don't wear headphones on walks outside. I feel more engaged and connected to myself. I'm forced to be with my thoughts and ides without distraction. Sometimes I even walk and talk out loud to myself, I use this time to map out goals. This was a game changer. 

Food. I figured out the foods that work well in my body and the ones that don't. This takes TIME. It's taken me years to figure this out. Good carbs vs not so good carbs. Realizing carbs aren't always the enemy and listening to my body when it needs a carb load day. My body runs better, and feels better eating lower carb and high protein. On the days I need extra, I treat myself to eating out or grab a pizza!

Weight Loss

OMG I feel like I'm still trying to figure this one out. But, what I have learned and trained myself to do and really feel this is key on being able to keep going even if somethings not working. FALL IN LOVE WITH THE PROCESS!! And YOURSELF along the way. I can remember all the years I spend avoiding mirrors, dressing rooms etc. It was like torture, staring at myself and seeing all my flaws. And don't get me going on all the negative self talk. If you're guilty of this STOP RIGHT NOW!! There are studies that show, your brain believes what you tell it!! You can't shame yourself into a positive way of life.  Think about it, you bash yourself and then realistically you feel like shit. You don't feel happy. I've never called myself fat in the mirror and walked away feeling pretty. So cut it out!!    If you don't already have one go buy a full length mirror. I have one on the inside of my closet door. Use it to take pics, just for yourself. You can delete them later, but trust me when you start to make progress you will  be glad you have the old ones. Because progress isn't always measured on the scale.  

Speaking of scale, before I weigh myself I always ask this questions. Will what I see hurt me or help me today? Then I decide. My scale is also in a really out of the way spot in my basement, I have to intentionally go to that spot if I want to weigh myself. 

Sleep, I feel like this ones obvious but maybe not. When you're not dragging ass you're more likely to follow through with your healthier habits because you feel better. The more you're dragging, the more likely you're gonna grab an extra coffee or a soda for an afternoon pick me up. It's also way easier to say screw it to a workout when you're tired. 

Gym Program, or workout program. There are plenty of at home programs if you're not a gym person. Having something to follow is key. You might have to try different things, YouTube is awesome. I hate fast paced dancey type workout videos. If I have to follow them I quit!! But there are tons of free ones. 

I paid a trainer to give me a gym program and show me how to run through it, best thing I've ever done. I also paid for a meal plan in the beginning. I was clueless and wanted to learn. It's worth paying someone to get you started, based on your needs and body type etc. I also started following people on instagram that have a  similar body type as me. I'm never going to be a curvy model type. I'm built like an awkward teenage boy. Follow people with your goals. Take their advice and watch what they do. 

Play around with meals. I am happier eating 4-5 meals per day with snacks, I LOVE snacks! I don't mean junk. I mean I'll have a full meal protein shake, cucumbers, pickles, rice cakes with almond butter and my newest obsession is magic spoon cereal and cereal bars! I just recently cut out dairy, I was having some digestions problems and even after cutting out yogurt and cottage cheese it took me 2 weeks to feel better. I will eventually add the yogurt back to see if it really made a difference.

I do not suggest changing everything all at once, because if you end up feeling shitty you won't know what to change. It takes time, and you might get frustrated and quit before you see any progress if your try to change everything at once.  I also mix up my plans and meals every few weeks so I'm not bored. Be patient with yourself, goals don't happen over night. 

I added weight training and cycle in cardio. I also found my fav online home programs and invested in them so I could download them and have them. If I'm not feeling like driving all the way to the gym, I can still get in a good workout with weights. If you go this route, go get yourself some weights. You don't have to get crazy. All I have at home are 10's and 15lbs. Those are all I use and still get in a great workout. 

Giving myself a break

I used too beat the shit out of myself and my mind if I wasn't pushing at 100mph all the time. I'm still trying to figure out where that comes from. Realizing I needed to accept myself and work with what I have as far as not having a thyroid took me forever.  And once I started to see results, I had this mentality that if I wasn't pushing and driving myself every min I'd fall right back into thyroid hell. That terrified me!!  Now I know it's healthy to rest and that you need some sort of balance. I have to remind myself all the time that a day off is not failing. 

Mental Health

I used to be so angry. I actually wasn't originally going to list this one, but I was really angry and all of a sudden had mental health issues I'd never had before. Brain fog & memory loss were things that really wore me down. Nobody prepared me for what this ride was going to be like. All of a sudden I was hit with all this chaos in my head and I didn't know what to do. And I was pissed, all the time!! On top of physically feeling like shit, my head was all kinds of screwed up. And you have ZERO control, if your medication is just a little off. If you're not having your labs checked all the time, it's a slow progression and can kinda just creep up on you. You might not even realize your mood swings, but the people around you most likely will. And that used to make me feel even more mad!! 

Now I am very diligent with my labs and medication. Thats another reason why my routines are so important. If I start finding I'm forgetting my medication, I know I'm off. That actually does happen and it's  something I notice. If all my boxes are checked off and I'm still struggling, I go have my labs drawn. If you don't have a doc who is willing to check them when you feel off, find another doctor. 

Self Worth

Not feeling enough, I'm still working on this everyday as well and thats ok. I think we lose some of our identity with a cancer diagnosis or maybe I didn't want thyroid cancer to be part of my identity. I don't know. My body changed so much, and I wasn't ready for that to be my new normal. Weight gain, hair loss and the hair I had left turned gray at the age 24!! Trying to navigate all of that, I lost my self confidence somewhere along the way. Then I found I was using the "I have no thyroid" crutch  for years. 

Well GUESS WHAT, you get to reinvent yourself any time you want!! And if you're living with no thyroid, or a cancer diagnosis. You're a fucking badass!!! I know you might not feel like it right now, but you are and you will your power in this. 

I'm literally a totally different person than I was 5 years ago. And my biggest person growth has been just within the last year. I'm not even the same person I was a few months ago. Just keep growing!! 

xoxox Ash

Monday, October 13, 2014

Morgan ~ The missing Pieces to her puzzle

Freedom and relief is what I expected to feel this past Friday when we left Morgan's appointment at Children's Hospital in Boston. We were there just two weeks before, for neuropsychological testing. Last Friday we were given the results.

I didn't feel free or relieved when I saw the pain on Morgan's face and the frustration in her voice, when she looked at us and said " I have to stay like this?" And later found out, that she thought we were there to "fix" her rather than find out something was actually wrong  different about her brain. She heard words we had never said to her before, and I cannot imagine how confusing and scary that must have been.

I feel we made the right decision on having her tested and now only wish I'd listened to my heart sooner, and done this years ago.  I've looked up her "quirks" for years and always found myself reading about kids on the Autism Spectrum and thinking, could she be? And felt it was a possibility.

The Doctors at Children's explained that she does have a lot of the characteristics of A LOT of different disorders, but she always seemed to be lacking the key piece they use to make the actual diagnosis. Except in two things that seemed very obvious.

"Your child has a very complicated profile" ..."how she has gotten this far in school, we don't know."

"Morgan suffers from communication impairment in the ability to receive, send, process and comprehend concepts of verbal, non-verbal and graphical symbols."

"She has a speech and language impairment of the articulation of speech sounds, fluency and voice. Impairment comprehension and or use of spoken written or symbols systems."

"Morgan also has Dyslexia, a learning disorder characterized by difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to other words."
"By the time a child is a certain age they have developed a word bank in their brain of commonly used words. Morgan's word bank is underdeveloped."

"We also believe this is causing her to have anxiety and making her feel as if she is out of place, or socially awkward as she calls it."

"How she has gotten by so well in school, is amazing."

How in the world didn't I realize this....

For years I watched as Morgan was misunderstood, by teachers and eventually friends and even family. It was heartbreaking, for me.

And I feel terrible for not realizing what it must have felt like for her.

I never had any answers for why she did the things she did does.

But now, it makes so much sense!!

Over the years, mostly since being in middle school.

Morgan has been referred to as being "rude & "snarky"
(by a teacher)
The same year was compared to a baby (again by a teacher) has been singled out in front of the class (by another teacher) has been accused of lying, withholding information and purposefully ignoring people.
All by people who know her and see her on a daily basis.

Watching someone trying to have a conversation with her is sometimes painful... I cannot imagine what it is like, for her.

Morgan is in the 7th grade and is unable to use a dictionary effectively...but can build just about anything and make it work.

She doesn't measure anything..but she can design a costume better than most adults.

Calendars don't make sense to her. Neither do weeks and months. But she can fly a plane.

As we walk down our new path, I will continue to share about Morgan as long as she's comfortable with it.  In time I'm sure she will open up about how she feels about all of this new information. Until then she has given me permission to share my feelings on it, as long as I consider letting her have a puppy!

These are the things that make Morgan who she is, guaranteed she will not let this stand in her way!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Unraveling Strands

Ever watch your child unravel and as hard as you try you can't stop it...watching each strand of what calm and understanding they have, break one by one???

That was our morning...

Morgan is 12 and is currently on the waiting list to be tested for Aspergers Syndrome... The idea of her possibly being on the spectrum is not new to me. It's something that was pushed aside for many years while I searched for reasons why she does the things she does.

Now that we have taken the steps to put her on the list and say the words out loud and to her face, it's opened my eyes wide and it's given us all more of an understanding about how Morgan's mind works. Sharing Morgan has been great and connecting with other parents that let us into their lives has also been amazing!

Parenting my oldest daughter Sarah was so much different. She was stubborn, but you could reason with her. She would spout off and maybe we would yell, but once we said what we needed to say it was usually over and it was case closed..She is still like this at 15, very reasonable and even though she is a teen I'm very lucky she is able to communicate her frustrations in a mature way.

Parenting Morgan is totally different..

This morning was frustrating, it took everything I had not to yell in her face because she was being unreasonable... unreasonable to who?? ME... Her thoughts in her mind were valid and here I was telling her they weren't because she couldn't see it my way...

I forget sometimes she thinks differently and I need to approach things in a different way...Somedays I can catch it and somedays she just starts to unravel and there's nothing I can do...and then it's over. She shuts herself off and there's NO getting through until she is ready.

Sometimes it's lasts for hours and sometimes depending what it's about it can go on for days until it's rectified. I have to remind myself that in her mind everything has to have an absolute concrete matter of fact reason why it is the way it is..there can be no maybe.

This morning we ran out of chocolate chips for the pancakes that was strike one...I will get more today, don't worry!! Strike two was me starting the dishes at 7:25, we leave the house around 7:30 and we take the long way to school. We have found this is a extra thing she likes and it helps us get out of the house on time in the morning..we take the long way to school and she listens to the oldies station. Like her pancakes she looks forward to this everyday. So me doing the dishes 5 minutes before we should leave, she thought we wouldn't have enough time for her "loop".  Third strike was she ran out of yarn and I didn't post the 3 scarves she made on Etsy yet..she knows she has to get paid to buy more yarn and today in her mind that is the dumbest idea..cue full blown argument..

We manage to get out the door the whole time she is mumbling under her breath..she is mad and her reason for being mad is not making sense to me which is MAKING HER MORE MAD!! I'm trying to be as matter of fact as possible and I'm getting nowhere..and I can feel myself starting to get angry and now my voice is getting loud.. it's a recipe for disaster and I'm the one throwing in all the ingredients.

I am slowly realizing everyday things with my girl are real..Arguments and silent meltdowns are far and few between but they do happen. And I'm just starting to understand why..she processes things so differently, that I can't even comprehend sometimes..and my heart breaks thinking of all the times I became frustrated and yelled or shut her down because of our miscommunication.

The ride to school was tense..we got in the truck and she wanted to radio turned to 105.3 "The Shark" she usually does this herself but today she mumbled it under her breath so I could barely hear her, but I knew what she wanted. Every muscle in my body was tight..what an irritating way to start our day. And then I looked over and saw her face. She looked defeated and sad.. I know asking her whats wrong is useless and I know pulling over to hug her like I would do with Sarah would be unimaginable.

Instead we take our drive in silence and I pull up to the curb..she fumbles with her things as usual..I remind her to take the bus home and I will be there. I will not get a hug..I will not get an I love you..I get an emotionless "bye" and the door slams.

I fully expect my letter this afternoon firing me from my job as her mom.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Time to make the pancakes!!

I was surprised at the many different reactions and responses I got the few times I've mentioned making Morgan pancakes in the morning, So I thought I'd share WHY I make them everyday.

You might remember Morgan going to her friends house for a birthday sleepover and the mom made pancakes in the morning. They may have been homemade, fresh, frozen..I have no idea but Morgan thought it was the BEST thing ever!!  Now, I don't know if B's mom really makes her 3 kids pancakes everyday but for some reason Morgan got stuck on these pancakes.

Before the pancakes she ate nothing for breakfast and I hated the idea of her going to school with nothing in her system..I have tried everything but you all know you can lead a horse to water but can't make it drink..yup Morgan is the same way.

You may have not caught on in the above paragraph but I used the word STUCK..and that is exactly what happens in Morgan's mind..once she gets stuck on an idea..there is NO GETTING IT OUT!!  So we try to do the best we can to make her ideas happen, and this time it's just pancakes. So what.

I'm used to the advice and welcome ALL of it..I love hearing from everyone and how you do things with your kids...I really do!!  But I've also gotten used to the eye rolls or the comments about Morgan being a "little bit spoiled".. really?? Because I make her breakfast everyday?? Something she enjoys??

It's become part of her routine and if you live with Morgs you know how important those familiar things are and WHY we do them.  She doesn't switch gears easily. If I didn't have maple syrup or if I ran out of batter, would she survive??..of course she would.. But it doesn't end there..see she needs an explanation for's not as simple as I forgot to buy it, or we ran out have some oatmeal her mind there has to be an absolute reason for everything and it could go on FOR DAYS!!

We have routines to make it easier and our mornings are set by these 6:30 she gets up and gets dressed. By 7 I'm making the pancakes and if I'm not she is reminding me, calling up the stairs making sure I didn't forget and if I happen to be working that morning and running late SHE makes the pancakes.

We mix up just enough batter for two small pancakes and she has chocolate chips in between  (whatever you do DON"T bake them into the pancake!!!)  While she's eating I make her lunch...Imagine that.. I make her lunch too!! Basically for the same she knows what to expect and what her choices are going to be during the day and at's easier for her this way.

Just as any adult might look forward to their morning drive-thru coffee, she likes her pancakes!!

Cue the eye rolls...

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Dear Daughter....who doesn't listen

Dear daughter,

Today you are mad at me, but you brought this on yourself....You take me for a joke and I'm sick and tired of it. I've said it until you don't even hear me anymore and I warned you months ago this very thing would happen...maybe you thought I was have had plenty of chances and I've been much more than lenient...maybe that was the problem.

I know you are are good in school and you play an after school sport..I get don't think I do..but I get it.

I do not make rules to be a "beast" I make rules so you will know how to act and succeed in life when you are older...there are rules in school..rules when you get a job..and rules in life...the consequences of breaking those rules are far worse than the ones I have here at home...

You continue to not follow the simple rules I am asking of eating/drinking in the living room...leaving cups and water bottles in your room..not picking up your stuff...and the biggest one, leaving your clothes all over your floor.

You can plead that my room as a kid was a can tell me it's your room who cares...well guess what??? I CARE.

I bought those clothes and find it disrespectful to see them thrown on the floor... this is not the first time we have talked about this...this has been going on for months...your closet is big enough to easily fit everything you have no excuse beside being lazy and not giving a rats ass what I have asked of you.

For the past month you have begged and pleaded for a few new things (clothing)..again your father and I both have repeatedly told you once you can keep the clothes in the closet and not on the floor, you would earn a trip to the mall.

Even though you did NOT do your part, I decided to cut you a break...I would give you one last chance and this past Sunday I surprised you with a trip to the mall..just you and me.

We started off at Dunkin Donuts for our favorite iced coffees and then stopped for lunch before we shopped. It was a fun day. I haven't had a Sunday off from work in over a month and decided I'd love to spend it with you..

The amount of money you were able to spend in 2 hours...takes me almost two 12 hour shifts to earn..

You got what you wanted, I was no longer the "beast" I was the day before...

It is not my fault you wait for weeks until you do your have a set laundry day that YOU CHOOSE to would rather wait until you have nothing to wear and then complain that other people are using the washer... that is YOUR CHOICE.

I told you the easiest way to complete the entire laundry task it to fold it right out of the dryer and then put it's actually very assured me and promised I would not see the hundreds of dollars worth of clothes I'd just bought on your floor.

It's now obvious to me that you do not give a $h@t about what I say...ask...or do for you, because this is what I walked into this morning when I was going to vacuum YOUR room.

You claim you did your laundry last night and didn't have time to fold it and put it away.....Last night while I was at work, away from my family..working until all hours..and tired, I vaguely remember receiving a text saying how tired you were from having to stay up and finish your laundry and an English assignment...then if I remember correctly that same person standing next to my bed this morning asking for an extra hour of sleep because you were up late doing laundry and homework...and what did I do???? I LET YOU SLEEP IN and drove your ass into school late!!!!!

 I warned you this would happen....I told you I'd had chose not to listen to me and that is your own fault..NOT MINE....I work damn hard for those clothes you have and the things you do...I will not feel bad because there are rules in my house...I will not have guilt when you are mad at me...I am your mom and the rules I have in MY HOUSE are for a reason..I'm sorry if you don't like them...but chances are in your life you will encounter much harder rules, than just having to fold and put away your own clothes.
Don't bother looking for your clothes...don't worry, you will get them back.. 
when you decide how to earn them.

Love, Mom

Monday, June 10, 2013

The great grocery experiment....

Probably like a lot of mom's, I do most of if not all the grocery shopping..there are times John comes with me but I never bring my kids. Brining my kids works me into a lather. I'm usually flustered to the point I can't remember anything and the backs of my ankles are almost always bruised from being rammed into with the cart..and, I spend twice as much if they are with me.

Just after the new year I decided to take a break from my job and cut down my hours..this would be the first time in years I didn't have a regular income coming into the house to help. I knew it would be hard, I'd have to get creative and cut some corners..a small price to pay for my sanity.

But it seems like every week I hear the same thing.."there's nothing to eat"..."wheres all the food".."I don't like that"...I've tried all sorts of things like letting them each pick a night and I make the meal of their choice... letting them give me a list of things they would like....I try to spend around $150 weekly and that usually doesn't include many meats, I buy those at a butcher. I am getting sick and tired of my fridge and cabinets going from packed to bare in 3 days..

John and I have brain stormed a million times about how to get through to them...I want them to realize I could be making them fill up water bottles from the tap..instead of buying their fancy school drinks..that shits not cheap, and when you have two kids with friends and they are sucking them down that gets expensive!!...Still, they look at me like I'm just this nagging mother who will bitch and then just continue to go and buy the stuff they want anyway..and you know what....I do.

I bitch..they ignore me..I go do it all over agin the very next week...OMG I have spoiled bratty kids!!

The girls are now 15 & 11..they are to young for real jobs (most places here you have to be 16 or older) so they really don't have a clue how long it takes to make $150. They don't realize how hard we work to make that money.

When I asked them if they thought $150 was a lot of money they both thought it was...So where's all the food you buy with it??? I wanted them to see exactly how much things cost and what it was like to follow a budget...I announced that they would do the grocery shopping!!

They both looked at me like "yeah right" I'm pretty sure they thought this was just another bitchy moment and it would pass..I have to admit I don't always follow through and bringing them to do the shopping was already sounding like a disaster...I told them to come up with a menu, figure out what they would need and write a list..

Today is grocery day..I told myself if I wanted them to learn..I HAD to do this...The teen weaseled her way out of it, she had to study for finals..I cannot say no to studying..and taking just one would be a little it was Morgan and I...When I picked her up from school, she was thrilled about going..she had her menu planned and knew what she might need..

We get into the grocery store and the kid is clueless...I decided I just couldn't let her run wild and buy anything she wanted..I gave her the $150 budget and reminded her that we have to buy for everyone in the house, not just her. We also needed toilet paper, sandwich bags and a big bag of cat food..that all had to be included in the budget..she assured me $150 was a TON and she could get everything we needed...ok this was going to be good.

She had her list..her calculator and we were good to isle 3, I saw the total creeping up and reminded her we still had whole store to go and we hadn't gotten anything for her recipes..She had decided on corn chowder...chicken pot pie..and meat cakes (mini meat loaf) She was surprised to see what her usual snacks cost and quickly realized that the Store brand 2/$3.00 was the best deal...if she couldn't get the deal, she didn't buy it...she was careful to choose things everyone liked and she chose things that were even amounts so she and Sarah could split it evenly...

I wasn't sure if this was good or bad..I thought for sure she would get to the snack isle and that would be it...she was passing by things she loved..I was actually TRYING to get her to buy junk..."what a rip off" she was saying..."I won't have enough money to buy things for dinner"...                                          

What the fuck was happening!!!

The kid who can't walk and chew gum and obviously couldn't push the cart and use the calculator was telling ME that the bigger pack of hamburg for her meat cakes was a better buy and I could use the left over for something else...

There was still one snack isle and we hadn't hit the produce yet, which is her favorite...I was almost becoming determined to prove her wrong..I wanted her to have to put something back..make a big decision ..chips or carrots..and when we run out of food and are eating chips and cereal for dinner I could say "I told you so"....I watched her cruise through the isles carefully choosing what she wanted..

We get to the produce which was the last leg..I was not looking at the calculator..I thought for sure she was probably over the limit...she got the rest of what she needed and said she was done...we headed to the check out..past the bakery with the cookies she loves and she didn't even give them a second glance..

As I was loading the items up onto the checkout I was excited for her...I knew she had done her best to make sure she got what she thought was important and I was proud of her for that...

I watched as the girl scanned each thing and when she hit total I was in shock..$152.88!! I told her I was pleased and asked her if she was too..."yes, this was fun and next time I'm clipping coupons!!"

I don't know if will have bare cabinets by Thursday...I don't know if we will be eating captain crunch for dinner one night...but what I do know is, my kid was capable of pulling this off...When they are complaining and eating an complaining and eating they are just being kids...I realized today they are listening deep down inside...Today wasn't just a lesson for taught me something too...even when you think your doing a bad job and your at your wits end with your kids...they are watching and listening to you..Today Morgan taught me I'm not doing such a bad job after all.