Sluts And Allies Unite! SlutwalkJHB Is Happening!

Right bunnies!

I have invited everyone on my Facebook friends list and I have blogged about it before- because I am asking that even if you can’t make it to the walk, that you spread the word. There is most likely a walk taking place simultaneously in CT!

The reason for the Slutwalk– which is a worldwide phenomenon- is because the general public’s mindset has to change.

We have to stop blaming the victim, and start blaming the perpetrator!

We have to stop teaching how not to get raped and start teaching that rape is unacceptable. No matter what you wear, or what you look like, you have the right not to be sexually assaulted, and if you are, you have the right not to be blamed for someone else’s actions.

The South African statistics are very scary. One-in-nine women are victims of rape, but one-in-nine is not just a statistic. One-in-nine is a woman I know and love and respect.

You can wear stilettos or six-ups, a miniskirt or jeans, it doesn’t matter. Come and make your voice heard along with mine at 11am on August 20th 2011 (the starting point is still to be announced).

…come play on my roller coaster…

Why Consider Meds!?

All too often in the years since my son was diagnosed, I have wondered if medicating him is the right thing to do, even when I saw the good results with my own eyes! Second guessing ourselves seems to be something that parents to ADHDers are cursed to do forever.
I get asked over and over again- by parents of ADHDers, by people who don’t have children yet, even during casual conversation- whether medicating a child diagnosed with ADHD is the answer, or the right thing to do.
I cannot tell you how many times I have wished my son could tell me what the difference is for him, how he feels on meds and how he feels off meds. I have wished over and over again that I could read his mind, especially since he’s not a big talker.
Reading blogs written by adults with ADHD gives me some insight into the battles my son has faced and will still go through, and I get a little glimpse into what he may be thinking and feeling.
I’m not a doctor. I’m not a shrink or a counsellor. I’m not a professional anything. And I often have a hard time answering that question “Why medicate?” Its not the WHOLE answer for anyone, and for some children its not even a part of the answer. But for a lot of children- and adults- its a very real part of a very real solution.
In this blog post by Zoë Kessler (who is fast becoming one of my favourite adult ADHDer bloggers), 42 year old “Ken” sent an email to Zoë after he was newly diagnosed and started his treatment in which he said: “Started Concerta yesterday. Well. Normal people have it f*cking easy don’t they? Amazing.” And then Zoë mentioned how often she thought, “They should have drowned me at birth.
It just broke my heart!
I found myself instantly praying that my son had never thought that about himself! I know my son battled at school, and still battles in social situations and the like, but seeing it in words like that makes me wish I had done more to help my son! Can you imagine a child- one who does not battle with depression- thinking that they would be better off dead!?! Children with ADHD know there’s something different about them, but the nature of the society we live in means they are all too often labelled as trouble makers, failures or naughty from a very early age, and if you tell someone the same thing often enough they come to believe it.
If you are a parent- or you are simply someone who cares- and you wonder whether medication is the right thing to make a part of your ADHDers treatment, I implore you to put aside your concerns about being ridiculed and judged, and imagine the repercussions of not considering every option when it comes to treating your child’s disorder. When medication is properly prescribed and monitored it can be a hugely successful and important part of treating ADHD in adults and children.
Be sure to read part 2 and the epilogue
…come play on my roller coaster…

Very Exciting!

One of these days I’m going to get my grubby little paws on a brand new Windows Phone 7 phone from Microsoft South Africa!

I am going to be playing with this phone for one week- which is going to be interesting since its a touch screen Samsung Omnia smartphone and I am an out and out BB slut- and I will be Tweeting about it using the hashtag #WP7Experience and then blogging about it before give it away to one lucky reader!

I’m going to be posting regular tips and tricks right here on my blog for the next few months so once the winner has the phone in their hands they can come back here to gain an advantage in using the phone.

So keep your eyes open bunnies, I will be announcing the competition late next week. In the meantime, head over to www.windowsphone7.co.za and read up on it a bit because the competition will encompass a little something about the phone itself *hint hint*…

Don’t you just LOVE social media!!?!?

…come play on my roller coaster…

A Knucklehead Update

I haven’t spoken much about the knucklehead here of late, and I can’t really put a concrete reason down for that… I spose his age has something to do with it. If he were a cute little toddler or we were still doing homework and the school run and such I might have more to blog about as a mommy… But he’s a grown up and we hardly see him! He comes home from work- where he is doing REALLY well- and immediately dashes off to a friends’ house. Weekends he spends with his friends and once in a blue moon he spends time with biodad*. He hardly ever goes anywhere with myself and my Glugster at all, and if I would like him to attend a family “do” I have to tell him well in advance and remind him several times leading up to the day. He had no problem going with us somewhere if I ask him to, but he has his own plans more often than not.

I do believe that the “empty nest” syndrome people speak about- and which (about a year ago) I swore I would never battle with- starts long before one’s child actually leaves the home to live elsewhere.

We get on well, and he’s still my darling boy, but things have changed a LOT!

And what about his ADHD then? Well, he was last diagnosed with ADHD in mid-2003, which was also the last time we changed doctors. I say “last diagnosed” because he had several diagnoses before that, the first one back in about 1997 or so…

I don’t know how many of you- as parents to an ADHDer- have experienced this, but in all likelihood your child will be reassessed every time you change doctors. No doctor will accept another doctor’s diagnosis or treatment strategy as correct and simply go ahead with what was being done. Whilst this can be costly and dreadfully time consuming, it is actually a good thing.

One Tuesday morning a couple of weeks ago, we were back in a two hour diagnosis session with the knucklehead’s doctor.

Let me update you.

The parents who have attended my support group meetings may remember that my knucklehead wasn’t taking his ADHD meds. He was taking it on and off after I took him out of school, but his sleeping late and being home alone at the time meant that even when I reminded him he often didn’t take it. And then we’d have arguments about him not taking it and the implications thereof. And then he’d take it for a few days again, and then just tell me he’d been taking it even though I knew he hadn’t.

And then my Glugster arranged a job for him. Its full day, its physical labour, and he wears himself out good and proper- and healthily. He’s been working there for about 6 months, and he as disclosed his ADHD to his bosses as well. He’s actually quite happy to talk about it because he knows how it affects him- and this is a big part of what frustrates me when he doesn’t take his meds!

Anyhoodle, his distractibility and tendency not to complete given tasks was an occasional problem at work. A very occasional problem. But enough so that his boss spoke to the knucklehead- who then spoke to me- about going back onto his meds. At a much lower dose than he needed when he was at school though.

So I contacted his doctor and we made an appointment for him to go back and be reassessed as an adult.

The assessment is a lengthy process with a modified Conners rating chart being filled in by the knucklehead and myself, and a series of questions about his behaviour and history, but because his doctor already had most of this information after the years of treating him, we actually had it a little easier than most new patients. After the initial interview and reassessment he went back onto Ritalin for about 10 days to work out what Concerta dosage would work best for him. He had to take full responsibility for his meds because he had to take it to work with him and set reminders on his phone and everything! I was very impressed with how he handled it. He’s now back on Concerta which is just one tablet a day and he’s much happier that way. And he says his boss has noticed a difference too which is great because it makes him feel better about starting his treatment again.

He has grown and changed so much in the last year or so… The other day we went to pick him up after work and he came running towards the car and for a split second I almost didn’t recognise the young man coming towards me.

I love that he will still give me a hug and a kiss hello when he gets home from work. I love that he still laughs at my jokes. I love that he wants to spend time with his biological father.

He’s such a good natured easy going kid and I love that about him. I may not have many cute moments to blog about anymore, but I could not be prouder of my son and who he is becoming.

*this is not a derogatory term!

…come play on my roller coaster…

The Amazing Race – Ford Figo Style!

Tuesday dawned crisp and cold when the cow and I were already well on our way to O R Tambo International- the instructions we had said to head for the Woolworths and find the Ford representative.
We knew we needed an overnight bag, that we would be driving the new Ford Figo, that we would be flying somewhere at some point during the day and that we would be home about 24 hours later.
And that was all we knew! Where we were going and how we were going to get there was a mystery! This was the first leg of The Amazing Race – Ford Figo Style!

🙂

Once we met the rest of our competitors and Mr Figo (as we dubbed him) outside the Woollies at OR Tambo, we immediately set off for the Gautrain where we were issued with blue envelopes containing cash for each of us to buy a one-way gold card ticket to Sandton. The Gautrain is fabulous, I’m a big fan and it was Anelle’s first time! Of course the Gautrain got us to Sandton very quickly and we then made our way to the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel where we were met by Ford execs and issued with lanyard name tags. Over a buffet breakfast we were told what the point of the race was and what the rules were, before Nokia did a presentation and issued us with Nokia goodie bags! You know how I love a goodie bag, bunnies! The bags contained either a Nokia C7 or a Nokia N8 and a whole lot of attachments to make their easier for us- Bluetooth earpieces, a Bluetooth speaker for the car, a plastic phone case and a bracket to mount the phone on the dash!

Awesome!

The Twitter hashtag for the rally is #FordFigoRally (the race ends this Friday) and Anelle and I quickly tagged ourselves #TeamCupcakeCow after christening the Nokia C7 we were given as “CupcakeCow”. Another pair of drivers called themselves #TeamJustCurious! There were a lot of Twitter users on this first leg and it made for some entertaining tweets with none of us wanting to give away any clues! And I got to meet some truly awesome people! The twits I was racing with- @Anelle472 (my team mate), @I_envyLepito33, @FHMSouthAfrica, @PulpOnline, @MaBlerh, @JustCuriousZA, @denphat and @JUCYAfrica!

So Anelle was the navigator for the day so she very quickly got down to working out how the Nokia worked. This was a challenge since we’re both out-an-out BB sluts! We also are self-confessed social media sluts which proved to be an entertaining idea for some people. Had I known I was going to be interviewed on camera I woulda put some make up on and lost about 15kg… hells bells!

Anyhoodle, after signing forms saying we’d be responsible for any fines or damage incurred we were given our car keys and our first clue! In the basement parking lot of the Radisson we found car #1, a Ford Figo 1.4TDCi Ambiente!

We really battled with the map feature on the C7 and ended up phoning Anelle’s hubby and giving him the coordinates so he could tell us where we were supposed to go! The first clue took us to a Ford dealership on William Nicol where we had to do a 10 point safety check before we were given our next clue, and Anelle tried to have a cigarette before I drove away from her!

🙂

From there we headed for WITS where we had to photograph someone from the Figo’s target market standing next to our car, and finding a student was a mission ‘coz they were all in a hurry to get back to class! Who knew students were so diligent!

😛

Then it was off to another Ford dealership near Eastgate mall- after a forked up detour via Marlboro road thanx to the bloody C7 map- where we had to answer questions aout the Figo before we were given our next clue and a Garmin GPS! I was very relieved to hear we weren’t the only team battling with the Nokia’s GPS function!

From there we set off for Harrismith and encountered our second traffic jam of the day on the N3 trying to get out of Joburg! Little did we know this would be a trend for TeamCupcakeCow for the day…

🙁

On arrival in Harrismith we were given the task of measuring the capacity of the window washer bottle using a measuring jug, a pipe and a syringe… blow that for a bag of marbles! Anelle had read the car’s manual on the trip down and she knew it was 2.5L! No soapy mouthwash for us, thank goodness!

Then we were given our detour, which was to find a monument that someone had built to his heroic son. Whilst Anelle fought with the C7 maps, I Googled it and found a link to van Reenen’s Pass’s “Littlest Church”! The knucklehead and I had stopped there once before on our road trip so finding it would be no problem for me! Off we go just before 4pm, only to get held up for just under an hour in another bloody traffic jam! A truck had lost its load and they closed the highway to clear it up! Urgh! We took pictures and chatted and looked at the scenery and Anelle made the most of the opportunity to have a relaxed cigarette! We finally got moving and took a picture of car #1 in front of The Littlest Church as we had to do so we could MMS the picture and get our next set of coordinates. Then we were off to a Ford dealership in Maritzburg and we were pretty sure we were last by this stage, considering the time wed spent on waiting on the N3…

🙁

On the way there we were looking at Twitter and the other teams were showing their fuel usage- our was on 519km completed and 290km left in the tank! Phenomenal!

Once in Maritzburg we were given a killer mathematical brain teaser to complete before we could get our next clue and I wanted to die! I got given boobs people! I did not get given a maths brain! Thank goodness they took pity on us because it was late and gave us most of the answers! Another team had been given the GPS from hell, whom they named “Regina” and opted to follow us to our next stop, which turned out to be a Ford dealership in Ballito! There we were stuffing our faces with some hot snacky things because we hadn’t eaten all day and someone asked if we had eaten all our car snacks!!?! There was a little cooler bag in the boot filled with water, snacks, cooldrink and sweets and we hadn’t found it!

Major facepalm moment people!

We then had loads of photos taken before heading for a garage in Ballito to refill our sealed fuel tanks for the next competitors, and were then sent to the Caledon Hotel and Spa for our overnight stop and some proper grub.

Team Cupcake Cow came 4th overall with a fuel economy rate of 5.2kmL/100km (certainly not aided by spending 30 minutes in 2nd gear early in the race), and whilst everyone was made to drink a shot of some kind as a forfeit- like the guy from Ford who came up with the math quiz- Anelle and I incurred absolutely no penalties on the race which we are very proud of- and had to do a shot as a penalty instead!

😀

Anelle and I are both more than impressed with the Ford Figo! It’s comfortable, it accelerates easily, it has fantastic fuel economy and it goes like a bomb! It handles much better than I expected such a lightweight car to do too! Naturally it’s noisier than a petrol engine, but it certainly doesn’t sound like a tractor- not by a long shot!

On Wednesday morning we were shattered when we were flown back to Johannesburg from King Shaka Airport the next morning, and we had the time of our lives! This little roadtrip was a wonderful treat for a couple of petrol heads like Anelle and I!

Thank you Ford, Nokia and Ogilvy for a phenomenal 24 hours!

You might also want to read FIGO’S AMAZING RALLY by JUCY and Sabotaged At The Ford Figo Rally by just CURIOUS