If You Fall Through the Cracks… Mom Will Catch You

autumn-leavesToday I am honored to have Karen from Baking in a Tornado as my guest blogger.  I recently guested on her blog with my post She Who Microwaves.  I still think it was meeting up with Karen that really got me going in this great big world of blogging! 

I don’t think she needs much introduction.  Karen is the mastermind behind such things as The Secret Subject Swap and the Fly on the Wall series.  If you are interested in finding out more about these or how to participate, don’t hesitate to go to her blog to find out more or ask the lady herself! 

I won’t keep you waiting any longer.  Here is Karen’s post!

I hate Guest Posts. Probably not the best way to start a Guest Post. Maybe I should have started with “I’m sorry, Sarah”. But Sarah’s known me for close to a year now so she knew what she was in for when she asked me.

I think I hate them because I’m really possessive of my blog. I want to control everything that goes on it. Even when the words aren’t mine, I feel that they reflect on me.

On the rare occasion that I’m the Guest Post writer, I’m just as possessive of my own work. Writing a piece, making a graphic, baking, taking pictures, writing out a recipe, I want that post to go up exactly as I intended. Anything less is like going out in public and forgetting to wear a bra. No one’s gonna die, but the possibility for extreme embarrassment is there.

Baking in a TornadoMaybe I better start over:

I’m sorry, Sarah.

OK, moving on. I asked Sarah what she wanted me to write about, and she said she’d like to hear more about my younger son. Oh, and dessert.

I think Sarah wanted to hear about my younger son because “J” has a lot of the same traits as her son The Professor. But J is a Senior in High School, so it’s kind of a look into the future. I’m walking a thin line here because I want to speak to the issues but I also want to protect J’s privacy.

So lets make it all about me, shall we? Here’s what I’m willing to say about J. He has fine motor issues and when he fights for fine motor control he has a tremor. His handwriting now is the same as it was in Kindergarten and the school system repeatedly refused to work with him (don’t get me started). He has visual-spatial issues so when he was little he used to orient himself by standing on my feet. Walking into walls happened more often than not. He has some gross motor inefficiencies. Not enough to affect his life, but he’s not going to be a pro athlete. When he puts his mind to something, like I saw with skiing, his stubbornness serves him well. There’s so much more but you get the picture.

Here’s the “all about me” part: From the name of my blog, Baking In A Tornado, you probably have guessed that I take refuge in the kitchen. And J has a Hyperactive Gag Reflex. Take a minute. Think about it. Yes, it’s what you think it is. Any time he doesn’t like the taste, texture, look, smell of anything new he . . . well . . . releases the offending morsel. And I don’t mean that in a pleasant way. He has never “objected” to a single thing I’ve baked but I will say this: I will never again, when in my dining room with 25 guests on Thanksgiving, insist that he just taste the turkey. Smores

Smores 2 S’mores on a Stick

The other piece? J has a disorganized brain. He doesn’t process like we do (like categorize information). I had to spend hours with him coming up with organizational tools and strategies so he wouldn’t be overwhelmed by multiple class assignments and deadlines. And now he can do it himself. He has over a 4.0 GPA, including Honors and AP classes, top 5% in a class of over well 600 students.

I was trying to figure out how many FB “likes” I’d need per day to get to 5000 by my page’s 1 year anniversary: “J, what is 5000 minus 4220 divided by whatever number of days there are from now until August 13th”? And he told me. Yes, I nonchalantly grabbed the calculator and went into the bathroom so he wouldn’t think I was questioning him and yes, he got it. Imagine what he’d be capable of if the schools had ever agreed to help him reach his personal optimal capabilities instead of their minimum requirements.

So he is left brained, which makes him concrete and literal. The all about me part? I am dry and sarcastic. He didn’t get me. At all. He couldn’t read facial cues or see subtext. A meal is for eating. Period. I had to teach him to look up, make eye contact, converse, that if someone at school offers you one of his cookies, chances are good he wants you to offer him one of yours; all the mechanics of social interaction. Seeing him now laughing with his friends can almost bring me to tears. So does the fact that he “gets” me. He gets me!

It can all be very frustrating. But over the years when my boys have grown exasperated with the things that challenge them, this has continuously and consistently been my answer:

Everyone in this whole wide world has something and this is yours. If it’s not fatal, we’ll take it.


S’mores on a Stick


12 Graham Crackers

3/4 cup plus ¼ cup chocolate chips

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 cup Mini marshmallows

Multicolored sprinkles or nonpareils

NOTE: You don’t need to put these on a stick, but if you want to, you’ll need craft sticks.


*Carefully break the sheets of graham crackers in half along the perforation.

*Place 3/4 cup chocolate chips and 1/3 cup heavy cream into a microwave safe bowl and microwave 45 seconds, stir and repeat at 10 second intervals until completely smooth.

*Add mini marshmallows and stir. Let cool slightly.

*Put half of the graham crackers onto a piece of wax paper or parchment paper.

*Put 1 TBSP of the chocolate mixture into the middle of the flat side of one graham cracker half. Gently press the flat side of the other half on top just barely pushing the chocolate mixture out towards the edges of the cracker.

*Holding a hand on the top of the graham cracker sandwich for stability, gently press the craft stick up into the center of the chocolate mixture. Repeat until all of your sandwiches are made and your craft sticks are inserted.

*Melt the remaining chocolate chips in the microwave. Drizzle over the s’more sandwiches. Immediately sprinkle with nonpareils or colored sprinkles.

*Do not touch them until they have set (may take a few hours, but you can speed up the process in the fridge.

Welcome to blog therapy. I’m Karen, a semi-sane Mom; a baking, blogging, beach, ballet, Boston and booze fan. I bake to relieve stress, take pictures as proof, and blog to vent.

baking in a tornadoWasn’t that an awesome post?  Be sure to go over and visit Karen’s blog.  Your tastebuds and funny bone will thank you! 

44 thoughts on “If You Fall Through the Cracks… Mom Will Catch You

  1. THANK YOU SO MUCH for writing this post. It really helps to know that there are other kids out there that are similar to one of yours. Your description of J reminds me a lot of 2 of mine, including the hyperactive gag reflex. It’s nice to know that not only does he “get” you but that you “get” him. 😉

  2. I know how hard it was for you to write this post. I can’t imagine the trials both you and J have faced over the years. But he is quickly becoming a man to be proud of and you are seeing that hard work you both put in pay off. You’re an amazing mama……just thought you should know!

    • I’ve been so nervous about this post and you just made me laugh. Thank you, Ashley.
      And since I know you’ll have fun eating the popsicles I won’t even tell you that you can just buy the craft sticks.

  3. This is incredible—I loved you before but now I love you even more. I know how hard this must have been for you to write but I am so glad you did. A lot of moms out there probably going through something similar. You have handled it beautifully–you really are an amazing mom, Karen. Sending you big hugs today. XO

  4. I think you are both very lucky to have each other.

    You’re lucky because this man-child has challenged you and made you stronger, and we always have extra love for the things we have to work hard for. His successes are your successes.

    He’s lucky because he has a mom who doesn’t give up, who finds solutions, who loves him no matter what.

    I’m lucky (and proud) to have a friend like you. Inspiring post!

  5. I admire you more and more each time I read a post of yours, Karen. That’s the truth. Keeping with the privacy for kids thing, one of mine has Ocular Albinism. Google it, but the images are far worse than the case he has, thankfully. He had surgery when he was 3 to align his eyes center. It has left him with far-sightedness and a nystagmus. It’s all he’s known; kids adapt and are so resilient! So far, the challenges are little to none in sports/school/life, but we expect them to surface as he gets older. Of course, we’ll handle them hand-in-hand with him. He’s a tough kiddo. Not worried one bit. Me on the other hand….

    My kids LOVE smores! Must try this one! I know they’ll adore it!

    • Thank you for sharing, Beth, I know that your son is lucky to have you. I’m not particularly familiar with Occular Albinism, but J had a nystagmus, amongst other issues I just didn’t go into here.

      Moms worry about their kids, but we also are the ones who catch them when they fall through the cracks. We are empowered by the strength that, in many cases, we get from them. Their needs bring out the best in us.

  6. Thank you for sharing such a personal story! It is a moral booster to know that we are not the only ones going through struggles with our kids and trying to help them overcome their struggles. It truly gives someone who is going through some of the same things hope! My son is severely ADHD & every day is a struggle. I have learned that most of these kids are super intelligent and it takes a lot to find just the right thing that works for them & brings helps to bring out the best. Thank you for the encouragement and the moral boost to never give up (even when you really want to)! 🙂

    • I’m grateful to you for sharing too. I know that it’s hard and it takes a lot of trial and error, but i also know the power of a mother’s love. You’ll find what works best for your son, I know you will.

    • Thank you for your kind support. My stomach was in knots today knowing I was letting go of this piece of my personal life for the first time. But the support here has been overwhelming. I appreciate it.

  7. “Everyone in this whole wide world has something and this is yours. If it’s not fatal, we’ll take it.” That’s just beautiful, Karen! So happy to know more about your brilliant boy!

  8. And I think I’m a Super Mom! Thanks for sharing such a personal story with us! My hats off to you you I truly admire your courage, patience and dedication! I love the Smores on a stick idea!

  9. And I though I was a Super Mommy! My hats off to you I truly admire your courage, patience and dedication (not including love in there because all the love is so obvious! Love the Smores on a Stick Idea!

  10. I really wish I lived closer, cuz I’d come over and give you a big hug and a giant Hi-5, and a cocktail. Ok ok, I’d have YOU make ME one of your famous cocktail creations because they’re awesome. But I would serve you and then wash the glasses. How brave of you to open up and put something out there that is much more comfortable being held close to your heart. As evidenced by Stacy’s and Ashley’s comments above, you have connected with readers with similar challenges and brightened their day. I admire you even more. xoxo

  11. Hilarious Sarah, I’m so glad you’ve introduced me to hilarious Karen. I feel like this is a classical case of “show me you blog friends and I’ll tell you who you are”. Awesome post.

  12. Pingback: If You Fall Through the Cracks… Mom Will...

  13. Karen, thank you for bleeding on the keyboard for us. You are . . . You’re not only my Fairy Blogmother, you’re my hero.

    Your son is so intelligent, and he will be fine in this world. A bit like Sheldon, perhaps? But that’s okay, people love the Sheldo’s of this world.

    If you’ll excuse me for cutting this short, it’s after midnight when I start to eat my emotions and these sound easy and delicious.

    Love you. ❤

  14. Pingback: Weekly Wrap-Up: The Double Extra Special Edition | The Sadder But Wiser Girl

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