Back again…..Meneire’s does not own me!

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:19 am by Administrator

After many years of not blogging, I have been prompted by a good friend to give it another try…..

Being on the computer or really any device is not always awesome for me. My body has something called Meneire’s Disease, which is an autoimmune disorder that causes a whole host of crappy symptoms; the worst of which is vertigo drop attacks, deafness and constant ear ringing.

You may have noticed that I have said that my body has Meneire’s Disease. I have felt very led to not claim Meneire’s Disease as my own and not allow it to become the definition of who I am.

This is very, very hard because with a chronic illness, daily life often becomes all about waking up and immediately assessing how does my body feel, what do I have to do today that is going to tax me, what do I need to do today to control my symptoms, how do I not become self-focused on MY self.

So I do not claim Meneire’s Disease and I will not allow it to claim me. It is something my body has, but it does not have me. I took this picture of myself today as a reminder of how strong I actually am inside and out. Even as I write this I have flickers of vertigo from being in front of the screen. But I will persevere and hopefully others will be encouraged!

Worth Reposting: ADHD – Are you sure?

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:00 am by Administrator

Many, many kids with developmental trauma have a diagnosis of ADHD. A diagnosis of a child that truly has clinical ADHD is hard to come by because so much of it is based on anecdotal observations and observational checklist. I had some fabulous training from Dr. Ed Hamlin of the Pisgah institute in Asheville, NC. I’ve heard this same explanation backed up by the work of van der Kulk and Bruce Perry.

When children experience developmental trauma (DT) it fundamentally changes the blueprints / wiring of the brain. Both in the way the brain wires (mylination) and in the brain chemistry (neurotransmitters). The amygdala is like the watchdog of the brain and acts much like a filter for incoming signals. So the example I always use is, if you are sleeping, the amydala is always keeping watch for you and filtering out all the routine sounds in your house. If though, a window breaks in your house, then your amygdala is going to wake you up with all the fight, flight or freeze responses. You check out the problem and realize it was just a branch hitting your window, not a life-threatening situation. Your body eventually restores to homeostasis and you eventually go back to sleep.

For our kids with DT, they have lived for periods of time in fight, flight or freeze. Their brain then gets wired to stay in this state. So the brain is always “on” keeping watch, being in fight, flight, or freeze. They have lost the ability to return to homeostatis. This hyperaroused state is their normal. So this looks very much like ADHD because they are unable to be still and attend because of the hyperaroused state.

ADHD drugs primarily work on the neocortex (frontal lobe) to stimulate activity in the frontal lobe. Truly we could all take Ritalin (or whatever ADHD med) and perform better. BUT ADHD drugs do not reach the amydala and so therefore are not reaching the root cause of the issue.

Truly kids with DT must have neurotransmitter support (supplementation and diet), therapeutic parenting, processing of trauma at the body level, and time.

I hope this helps explain some of the mechanism of what is happening in the brain of kids with DT.


Melissa R.


Issues with Wheat? It just may be most of us!

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:16 am by Administrator

The incidence of celiac disease and wheat / gluten sensitivity has skyrocketed in the last 60 years.  I am of the belief now that even if you do not have a sensitivity that wheat / gluten should be consumed in moderation.  Check out this fascninating article about wheat.

Blessings!  Melissa


Don’t Reward Kids With Food!

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:07 am by Administrator

I thought this was a great blog about how rewarding kids with food can be detrimental.  Having kids who at one point in their lives truly were hungry (in an orphanage), we have purposely been very careful about having no power struggles around food since this can really trigger trauma.  I began to think though that it is probably detrimental for all kids to have food used as a reward.  Think about what we are setting kids up for later on in life for if we tie good behavior to some kind of food reward.  I know that there have been times in my life where I did something good OR I had a really bad day and I felt that I “deserved” some kind of treat.  Food should be used to nourish our souls not to modify behavior.

Blessings, Melissa




Teaching lifelong habits: Don’t use food as a reward

Friday, September 30, 2011


You have heard that there is currently a childhood obesity epidemic. More than 16 percent of children are overweight. Over the past four decades, childhood obesity rates have tripled.

Today many kids are overwhelmed with sugary food choices. This increases their chances of obesity and a future of serious health problems once seen almost exclusively in adults, including Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnea and orthopedic problems.

At home, school, and throughout the community kids are offered food as a reward for “good” behavior. Food is an inexpensive, easy choice that can cause immediate short-term behavior changes.

These food rewards are typically “empty calorie” foods high in fat, sugar and salt with little nutritional value. They provide extra calories and replace more healthful food choices.

Using food rewards teaches kids to eat when they aren’t hungry and can cause them to develop lifelong habits of rewarding or comforting themselves with unhealthy foods. They also may tie food to emotions, such as feelings of accomplishment. “I did a good job, so I deserve to treat myself to a piece of double chocolate cake.”

Kids view certain foods are used as rewards to be better or more valuable than other foods. As a result, they learn to prefer unhealthy foods that are given to them as rewards (e.g. candy, cookies and soft drinks) over healthy foods (e.g. vegetables, fruits, milk and dairy products).

Rewarding or punishing kids with food can lead to eating disorders. Withholding food for punishment may stimulate kids to overeat when food is available, because they are afraid they won’t have enough to eat later.

Kids naturally enjoy eating healthy and being physically active. Parents, schools and communities should provide kids with an environment that supports healthy behaviors and teaches them lifelong healthy eating habits.

Parents can provide non-food rewards at home. Respect and words of appreciation can go a long way. Saying “You did a great job” or “I appreciate your help” is often underestimated. Simply recognizing kids for good work or behavior is a great motivator and is always appreciated.

Here are other ways to reward a child’s good behavior and academic excellence while generating fun and great results:

• Allow your child to have a few friends over after school to play sports or watch a video.

• Invite a few of their friends to a sleepover.

• Let the child help plan a special outing.

• Read a bedtime story of your child’s choice.

• Have a family game night, and let the child choose the game(s).

• Allow the child to pick a movie that the family will watch together or an outdoor sport that the family will play together.

• Keep a box of special toys, computer games or art supplies that can only be used on special occasions.

• Set up a system so the child can earn movie tickets, coupons, gift certificates or discounts to skating rinks, bowling alleys and other entertainment outlets.

• Add your own ideas. Consider the child’s age, interests, skill level, etc.

• Recognizing kids with respect and words of appreciation are better motivators than rewards of food.


Posted in Uncategorized at 2:09 pm by Administrator

End of School Year Blues

New Life 91.9 Radio post about end of school year school difficulties.


Life on the Hamster Wheel?

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:38 pm by Administrator

Do you ever think that you are living life on a hamster wheel (just like our little hamster, Cutie)?  Man, I do at times.  Until something will just smack you between the eyes and make you jump off and take a look around.  I had such an experience today when I had someone ( a salesperson) be rude to my sweet precious older daughter.  It took that moment for me to step off that wheel and realize how many times a day I miss connecting with my children.  It can be done in the simplest of things, like just bending down to get eye to eye when I am talking to them. 

I often rush through the tasks of life, spending most of my mental power ticking off what I have gotten done and what needs to be done next.  I also spend a great deal of time worrying about if they are learning enough, doing enough/right activities, and getting the right exposure to things.  Wow!  If I spent that worry time connecting instead there would be no need to worry about all of those things!  Has worry added one day to your life?  It has probably taken away days off mine.

Stop worrying everyone, and start connecting!

Blessing, Melissa


Radio spot dealing with dinnertime food battles

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:21 am by Administrator

Newest 91.9 radio spot dealing with dinnertime food battles.


Healing Requires Love

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:50 am by Administrator

“Healing requires love.  When someone is hurting, whether it be emotionally, physically, or spiritually, it takes being loved in order to find a way out of the pain.  So as a parent, when your child is emotionally hurting and demonstrating the hurt through behavior, remember that the behavior is simply a communication to say: ‘I need to be loved in order to find my way out of the pain within me.’ “.

by Heather T. Forbes, LCSW “100 Daily Parenting Reflections”

Blessings, Melissa


Lucky Charms

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:48 pm by Administrator

I watched a John Cusack movie the other night.  Cusack is one of my favorite stars and he has been in such a wide variety of movies.  I saw the listing for “Martian Child” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0415965/ . A story of a recently widower who adopts a six-year old boy who was abandoned and now thinks he is from Mars (his parents abandoned him at a planetarian) and will only eat Lucky Charms.  Even though there is this magic “turn-the-corner” breakthrough at then end (not totally realistic), the movie has some great parts.  Once of the best scenes,  did and Martian boy are taking their first trip to the supermartket together.  He tells “dad” that he will only eat Lucky Charms and “dad” puts a box into the basket and Martian boy shakes his head no, he needs more.  So they fill nearly the entire basket with Lucky Charms boxes.    They get up to the check out counter and the cashier looks at them with huge surprise and John Cusack just says something like, “we’re Lucky Charms guys.”  Priceless!  What a great example of how to meet your child exactly where they are.  He didn’t worry about what the cashier thought or anyone else and just met his child where he was.  There are some other great examples of this as well in the movie.  Of course it was a plug for Lucky Charms, but a great lesson none the same.

Blessings, Melissa


Homeopathy – My Personal Story

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:37 am by Administrator

If you have kept up with my posts, you know that a few years ago I was diagnosed Meneire’s Disease (an inner ear dysfunction that causes vertigo, brain fog, tinnitus, and hearing loss).  Needless to say the disease started to progress and I was having more hearing loss, vertigo etc.  There is no cure for Meneire’s Disease in conventional medicine and all care is palliative.  I decided to turn to homeopathy to address the issues.  I am so happy to report that I am almost asymptomatic and have absolute faith that I will be cured of Meniere’s Disease

Our dear daughters are also being treated for their early trauma experiences with homeopathy as well.  The effects have been very good.  We are slowly seeing resolution of some emotional issues and a greater level of maturity (more cognitive function).  As I’ve written before supplementation and nutrition is one of the four important parts of children’s wholeness and healing.  There is no magic bullet for healing for non-neurotypical children, but homeopathy pushes the body to heal.  It is not about suppressing symptoms.

For the thousands and thousands of dollars we have spent on various therapies, this has definitely been worth the money.  The homeopathic remedy is under $20.00 a month and we spend about $100.00 a month now on follow-up visits with Dr. Michael Smith our homeopath.  And we run our expenses for this through the flexible spending account.

The cool thing is that homeopathy can be done long distance.  It is very easy for Dr. Smith to do the initial evaluation and follow-up appointments via phone and webcam.

Dr. Smith’s initial consultation is free, so it is well worth investigating.

If you want to read more about homeopathy, read my my other post about the subject.

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »