December 16, 2010

No Dairy Today and All is Well

Could it be my imagination? I think not! My older kids see it, too. The rough red cheeks on my little boy (3yo ds) are a little less rough and a little less red than they were yesterday. He talks more like a normal 3 year old, too. There is less repeating and more conversational speaking. It's not perfect like it was a few months back before we added the dairy, but it is definitely better than last week or even a few days ago. I'm convinced! Yet again!

Trips to the bathroom were easier. He listened a little better and stayed focused on what he was doing, so less mess to clean up, except for this morning when he had to go so very bad and could not get there fast enough and left a trail from the vanity room door to the potty about 8 feet long with puddles here and there along the way. Man, that boy can pee! He sure did his best to get there, but he really needed help and no one could drag themselves out of bed to help him. I was out of bed in a flash, though, when I heard all of the piddling in my vanity/bathroom. Looking back, it's quite funny. Ha ha! I digress. This has nothing at all to do with dairy sensitivity. Hmm.

It's a Bug

Something is going around. It looks like we got what everyone and their dog seems to be coming down with these days. I know it's a contagious bug because it is going from one person to the next to the next. They are falling like flies. I'm fine for now. I pray I will stay well so I can keep things going. I have been drinking lots of broth and eating lots of soup. I increased the FCLO and added and increased vitamin C for everyone.

My father says it lasts for 11 days. My hubby says he read something about an 11 day flu bug. We will see. I suspect we will all be well much sooner than that. I hope so. Christmas is not that far off. I hope everyone is well by then. Whatever. We will deal with it, wherever it takes us.

KES' eczema is slowly getting better. She still itches, but not as bad and her scabs are healing a bit. She is not as achey in the arms and legs and she was much more cheerful and agreeable today. Yay!

Soup/Casserole Recipes for Intro and Beyond

I wrote these out for a friend and thought I would post them here as they may be helpful for others. My kids LOVE these recipes now that they are not addicted to sugar and refined carbohydrates.

We like Hamburger Soup:  I never measure or write things down.  I am learning to just throw things together, so here goes... Let's take 2 pounds of ground beef, 2 pounds of carrots peeled and cut into chunks, one onion chopped, 1 pound of frozen green beans, beef broth or filtered water to cover, 1-3 Tbs beef pâté (made from the marrow and soft tissues blended up), 1-2 Tbs of Celtic sea salt.  You can also season with fresh whole peppercorns, garlic, or any other fresh herb you like.  Only use fresh herbs in the beginning.  Bring to a boil and cook until carrots are soft.  If you like a thick soup, you can blend some of the soup and add back to thicken (no flour needed).  Further along in full GAPS you can sauté the onions and brown the meat in your favorite fat before putting them in the pot.  Yum!

Chicken Soup is a weekly soup at our house:  I boil chicken almost daily to make meat broth.  We eat some and use the rest to add to soups or make pancakes/panpuffs, or whatever we can think of to make.  We blend the skins to make a chicken pâté to add back to soups for flavor and thickening.  We save the bones in the freezer and use them to make bone broth.  Now that all of that is out of the way...let's take 2 pounds of carrots, 2 pounds of yellow squash and/or zucchini, 1 pound frozen green beans, 1 onion, 8-12 oz of sliced mushrooms, 1-3Tbs chicken pâté, 1 Tbs Celtic sea salt (or more to taste), chicken broth or filtered water to cover.  Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook until the veggies are done.  Add cold cooked chicken to cool and serve.  You can cook chicken in the soup, too.  I like to add it at the end.  You can also season with peppercorns from the beginning and/or parsley added near the end.  Further along in full GAPS you can sauté onions and mushrooms in ghee or coconut oil for more flavor and fat.  Serve with sauerkraut and/or mashed avocado.  Yum!

Ground Turkey Soup:  My older daughter and I thought this one up together... Take 2 pounds of ground turkey thigh meat, 1 onion chopped, 2-3 celery sticks for flavor (too fibrous to eat early on), Celtic sea salt to taste.  Cover with chicken broth or filtered water, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook until all meat is done and celery is tender.  Season with fresh parsley.  Further along in full GAPS you can sauté the onions in ghee or coconut oil for more flavor and fat.  You can also brown the meat first.  Later, skip the soup and just eat the sautéed onions and browned turkey as is and served with sauerkraut and avocado, and lettuce, too.  Be sure to drink sauerkraut juice and broth with meals.  It is delicious this way.

Beef Soup is pretty easy, too:  I cook a large roast in the crockpot with several soup bones to make meat broth.  We eat the meat with veggies on the side for one meal and use the rest of the meat to make casserole or soup.  Reserve whatever meat is left over to add to the soup once the veggies are cooked, 2 pounds carrots and 1 pound zucchini peeled and cut into large chunks, 1 pound frozen green beans, 8-12 oz sliced mushrooms, 1 onion chopped, 1-3 Tbs beef pâté made from the marrow and soft tissues/fat from the bones and roast, Celtic sea salt to taste.  Cover with beef broth or filtered water, bring to a boil, simmer until veggies are cooked.  Add meat back to the soup and serve.  You can add some garlic, pepper corns or other fresh herbs for more flavor.  Further along on full GAPS you can sauté the onions and mushrooms in ghee or coconut oil for more flavor and fat.  To thicken, remove some of the veggies, before adding the meat back in, blend, and return to the soup.

You can turn any of the soups into casseroles by separating the broth from the meat and veggies with a strainer or a slotted spoon.  If you use a strainer, you can drink the soup broth as a beverage.  It is warm, delicious, soothing and healing.  Put the meat and veggies in a casserole dish.  Blend some of the veggies to pour over the top, drizzle with any fat, sprinkle with course sea salt, and bake for 30 minutes.  You can cook cauliflower for your blended top layer.  Later, you can drizzle with ghee and/or coconut oil.  Use any veggies you like.  We are rather limited in our choice of veggies, but you get the idea.

December 15, 2010

She Cheated, and It Shows

When KES cheated on the 5th, nine days ago, she ate lots of deserts when we weren't looking. I was perplexed that she seemed to be fine that day and for several days. I was perplexed because she reacts to a little bit of honey or a bit of fruit almost immediately. I reasoned that her little body must have gone into shock and put everything on hold to see what else would happen. A few days later, she started to itch a little and her arms and legs began to ache. Then, six days after the big cheat, she got sick with a sore throat and a cough.

Her eczema has gotten worse and worse. She has scratched her forehead raw. She has scabs there. Her hands are always up there, scratching, hitting, rubbing, pressing. She can't get any relief. She is miserable. She says it itches in the muscle. It's deep and intense. It causes her to go into fits. It would be funny if it were not so sad.

Today, she threw a fit like we have not seen since early on in GAPS. I took a video. It's crazy to see a six year old act in such a way.

Tonight, and for the past few nights, at least, she is having a hard time sleeping because of arm and leg cramps. She remembers now how she felt before we started GAPS. She realizes that this is why we are doing GAPS. She says she knows I love her very much to cook GAPS food for her. It's not worth it to cheat. I think she knows this now. I hope she will remember the next time she is tempted to cheat.

To me, the stuff people eat these days is not food. I don't even want to put any of it in my body anymore. I hope my children realize this, too, that it's not food and that it is not to be desired. It does not tempt me anymore because I do not want to eat chemicals, petroleum, preservatives, antibiotics, hormones...

Bone Broth or Bug?

I have added bone broth to our broth for several weeks now and have increased the amount just a bit this week. Now everyone is getting sick - all the kids, anyway. Before we started GAPS, we started to make broths and we started to have healing reactions to this powerful healing food. When we started GAPS everyone got sick. It looked like the flu, but it wasn't. When we restarted intro, the kids got sick again. Now I have backed off of and removed dairy and increased this bone broth and all of the kids are sick. However, it could be a bug. It might be strep throat. They have croupy coughs, runny or stuffy noses, a little diarrhea at the beginning, a sore throat, and a headache. One child also hurts all over, but she is the one who cheated a week ago. I think it's probably a bug.

I am so glad to be eating bone broth, finally. Before, when we would add it, I would get very angry over every little thing, things that did not bother me on other days. I am short on sleep, kids are driving me crazy with the regressions/reactions, it's impossible to keep up with it all and do extra things, but I am handling it all in stride. Yay!

Definitely Dairy

We quit the butter almost as soon as I figured out that dairy was the problem. Things got better right away. We backed off on ghee. Things improved a bit. We were completely dairy free for a few days. Things were definitely better. I can sleep. I am not so very swollen in the morning and I can get my ring off of my finger. I can breathe through my nose in the morning again. CKS has had rough and rosy cheeks. This morning his cheeks were almost smooth again for the first time in months. Yay!!!

We finished off the leftovers for lunch today. It was food I had prepared to get us through the end of last week and through the weekend. It was cooked with ghee and coconut oil. Sure enough, CKS' cheeks were rough and rosy before the end of the meal and his hands were back up in his face again. It was immediate. I had a bit of nausea after lunch. It didn't last long, but I suspect it was my body saying, "Oh, no. Not again."

Dairy is definitely out for now! I think I will wait at least six weeks and try again with only grass-fed dairy. I have a source. It just did not occur to me that my butter needed to come from grass-fed cows, too.

December 9, 2010

Bone Broth/Cauliflower/Brussel Sprouts

I have been serving up some bone broth for the past two weeks, mixing it in with the chicken meat broth that we drink everyday. So far, so good. Nothing like before where I just went ballistic on everyone. We tried brussel sprouts last week and I think we will try them again tomorrow because that seemed to go over well. Yesterday we tried a little cauliflower. Yum! Everyone loved it and wanted more, but I would only let everyone have a very small serving. Today was a great day!

I did not lose my temper. My oldest got up early and started his schoolwork, completed it an hour early, was cooperative on all of the subjects where he had to work with me, helped out where needed without having to be asked, and on and on. CKS seemed better today than he has been in a long while, though far from the normal we enjoyed a few months ago. Everyone was happy, except KES, but she cheated over the weekend, so I guess I don't know for sure about her.

It was a good day, despite the washing machine not working. It is never the circumstances that make a day good or bad. It is always how we receive and react to those circumstances that makes it a good day or a bad day. Today was a good day.

Raw Dairy

OK, so I am determined to take the dairy out. I am not willing to live with the regressions and the discomforts if it is from an intolerance, which I am sure it is. Yesterday, I served no butter and we used very little ghee. I slept better, was less stuffy, and I could actually get my ring off in the morning, although I was still a little swollen. CKS also seemed to be a bit better today, just a bit. He did not look like he felt miserable all day. His eye contact was a bit better (I think), and he had better control of his emotions. Yay!

This morning I was thinking about how it took about a year before we could tolerate egg yolks and how, when we finally tried again after re-starting intro, they were eggs from Farmer Brown's pastured chickens. I am still afraid to try yolks from store-bought eggs, even if they DO claim to be free-range. The regressions were not fun to see my little boy suffer through.

I also read in the GAPS book that when you introduce yoghurt, that it is best to use raw milk. I started to think about the fact that the organic butter I buy from the store is not raw. It is probably made from pasteurized milk. MAYBE, if we try again with raw butter and ghee made from raw butter, we will finally be able to tolerate dairy. Oh, I hope so!

Anyway, the first step is to take the dairy out and get back to 'normal' again. The second step is to try to add more variety of vegetables to our diet. The third step is to find some raw butter and try again. I could also try yogurt and kefir made from goats milk, if I can find a good source of fresh raw goats milk. I do NOT like the taste of goats milk that I have purchased from the store, but I have heard that fresh raw milk from a healthy goat is good. I am a city girl and know nothing about these things.

No more dairy for now (well, maybe by next week, as I have already cooked some meals for this week and we will need to eat it up).

Washing Machine is SO Wishy-Washy

I have four kids who wet the bed. Sometimes all four leak out of their diapers/pull-ups on the same night. With regular laundry for a family of seven and all of the pee pee laundry, we run 3-6 loads of laundry a day on weekdays and 0-3 loads on the weekends.

My washing machine is very useful, but it is NOT reliable. I had to have it serviced two years ago to replace a sensor. I have a repairman coming tomorrow to do the same, I think. It is the same problem. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't work. You just never know. It's so wishy-washy! Arghg!!!

December 6, 2010

I Think It's Dairy, But I Don't Want to Give It Up

I think normal evades us because we are still sensitive to dairy.  I added all of those many things in a while back and butter was one of them.  No obvious and horrible symptoms to point directly to dairy being the culprit, but more subtle ones (in my mind).  Anger, aggression, serious regression would be obvious and horrible symptoms that would make me turn back and even redo intro.

Here is what we are dealing with:

I had several months without any symptoms from hormonal changes.  I didn't even see it coming and there was no pain or discomfort associated with the cycle.  These past two months, I have been irritable, bloated, tired, achey, and I have been experiencing insomnia.  I feel agitated and I have this sense of urgency, like nesting before a baby is born.  Also, I can't sleep a full night because I sleep horribly after a few hours and I wake up swollen and hurting.  My wedding ring is impossibly tight.  Normally it is falling off.  I have finally gained weight.  Less nursing and more butter.  Hmm.  More nuts and honey, too.

MKS, 12yo ds, can't keep his mind on the task, doesn't hear all of what I say and what he does hear gets mixed up in his head, is forgetful, and he talks too much like he has no control and he just has to tell.

KRS, 9yo dd, seems fine, but has more trouble with getting up in the morning than she used to have.

KES, 6yo dd, can't keep her mind on the task, doesn't hear all of what I say and what she does hear gets mixed up in her head, is forgetful, and she talks too much (nonstop) like she has no control and just has to tell.

CKS, 3yo ds, is mildly rigid, tactile (hands and toys and everything in his mouth, hands always holding himself so he looks like he has to pee constantly, rolling on floor, leaning on or at least touching me almost constantly if he is in the same room with me, rubbing his arms/shoulders on cars, doors, walls as he walks), no focus, eye-contact is forced (he can do it for a few seconds when you ask him to, but he does not look at you when he talks to you, which is constantly), panic is first reaction, lots of things are upsetting, seems to not feel well a lot lately (tummy aches), oppositional quite a bit, wakes up crying or in a panic because he needs to go potty, says everything that comes in his head, repeats questions over and over, repeats lots of things over and over.  There's more, but...anyway, normal eludes us for now.

SSS, 20 month old ds, just a bit more fussy and clingy than usual.  No normal poos lately.  Come to think of it, no one is having lovely brown poos anymore on a consistent basis.  Hmm.

Back to me, I have been a bit stuffy in the nose on a consistent basis for several months now.  I should mention that the only pregnancy where I did not feel nauseated was the last one so long as I avoided dairy and sugar.  That would mean that dairy intolerance affected my hormones without a doubt.  If it helped to avoid it during pregnancy, then it would make sense that it would help PMS symptoms to avoid it now.  Oh, yes, I should also mention the reoccurrence of acne.  It's mild, but present.  I had enjoyed having none.

Now I know that much of my children's behavior is normal for kids these days, but I know it is not normal behavior for healthy kids.  I have seen them behave beautifully.  I have seen them think clearly.  I have seen them make good decisions.  I have seen them look beyond themselves and consider the needs of others.  I have seen them play nicely with each other and with others.  I have seen so many wonderful things as a result of this diet.  I know what is possible.  I want that to be permanent in another year or two, no matter what they eat.

I know that my current PMS symptoms are normal by today's standards and can be somewhat surpressed and controlled by medications, but I have experienced life without PMS and I know it is wonderful and good.  I want the good life back!!!

I know it's dairy because of the no nausea during pregnancy thing and because MKS' symptoms are the same as when we removed and added dairy in several times before GAPS.

I DON'T WANT IT TO BE DAIRY!!!!!  I love dairy.  Calcium?

We can't tolerate bone broth, spinach, broccoli, etc.  Where will we get our calcium.  I am certain we must be deficient.  HELP!

Lord, I want to eat good food.  I want to tolerate and enjoy the food you provided for our health.  Say the word and we can eat it.  You have the power to make it so.  Please let us be able to eat good food.  I do not want to worry about everything we put in our mouths anymore.  Heal my children.  Heal me.  Make us happy.  Make us content no matter what the circumstances.  That's the problem.  Our food sensitivities make us agitated.  Our minds are not at peace.  Your Word says that we will find peace in Christ.  We are to cast our burdens on Jesus.  This is a burden to us.  Jesus, take it from us, please.  Help us to be good.  Help us to live for You and not to be always so focused on what we can and can't do, and on what we can and can't eat.  Amen.

December 5, 2010

"My Not Happy"

When CKS doesn't feel well or when things are not going his way, he says, "My not happy."

So I am here today to say, "My not happy."

Our younger dd, age 6, ate lots of desserts at a pot luck lunch at our church today when we were not looking. We are talking wheat, sugar, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, and pasteurized, homogenized, non-organic milk products. Let's not forget the unhealthy kinds of oils used, too. I could cry. What I don't understand is that so far there seems to be no obvious reactions. She did mention her arms aching, but that it would come and go. Where's the eczema?!? Give her a bit of honey and some fruit and she almost instantly itches on her forehead and in the warm, moist places on a girl's body. What's up with that?

The only thing that I can guess is that her body is in shock and does not know how to respond to what just happened and it will deal with it later. If she is fine all week, then I should just give this whole venture up entirely. That's how I feel. This doesn't make sense to me.

Really, I won't quit! She used to wake up nightly, even before the obvious vaccine injury, with leg cramps, tummy aches, worries, and bad dreams. Now she sleeps through the night 99% of the time. She used to throw angry, hateful fits over the smallest things. Now she is pleasant and helpful, kind and considerate. She used to be a picky eater. Now she eats what we serve.

She likes our food, at least most of it, but she longs to be done with the diet and be able to eat anything. She needs more variety?!? She is concerned about appearance?!? I know it embarrasses her to have to eat differently. I can't do much about that other than just not put her in a position where she and/or others are eating together. No more pot luck dinners. It's too much work for me anyway, and with five kids, two little, I am not free to mingle much anyway. It is WAY too much trouble!!! No more birthday parties! Maybe the reason her sister And I are fine with fruit and honey and she is not is because we have never cheated and she has. She used to cheat. Maybe she still does and this is the first time we caught her. Oh!!! I am sooooo not happy!!!

What to do?!? What to do?!?

We have let her go to friends' houses and birthday parties because we thought we could trust her, finally. We thought she was finally understanding. Today, I let her sit with a friend at the pot luck because I thought she would be fine. Now I know she can't be trusted yet. Oh! Oh! Oh!! I do not like this! I want to trust my kids. I want to give them freedoms. I do not like this feeling of not being able to trust her!

I really need to go to the Lord with this. YES, that's what I need to do.

Heavenly Father, You know my heart. You know my pain. You understand fully what I am going through because You know me better than I know myself. You are God and You have authority over all things. Nothing is a surprise for You. Nothing is beyond You. Your hand is in all things and You work all things together for the good of those who love You and whom You have called according to Your purposes. Help me to see this from Your perspective. Help me to trust You and Your ways with this. I know that to lash out in anger would be contrary to your will. I know that I should regard her with love. I know that I should be patient and kind. I need to always protect, trust, hope and persevere. Show me what that looks like. Pull me out of this lowly funk I am in. Lift me out of the depths. Give me the strength to persevere. You have called me to the task. You will provide a way for me. My strength comes from You. Without You I can do nothing. All things are possible with God. Thank You for your Word and for recalling these truths to my mind. Help me to keep this in my mind tonight and throughout the day tomorrow. In the name of my Lord and my Saviour, Jesus Christ, I thank You for everything. How blessed we are. How blessed I am. I will continue to give my best for these children, who are only mine for a time. They are eternal beings and they are Yours. I will glorify You by giving them the best I have. Amen.

December 4, 2010

It's a Topsy-Turvey World

Maybe it was the change in laundry detergent. Maybe it is the butter. Maybe it is the increase in fermented cod liver oil. Who knows, but my 3 year old is acting just like his older brother used to be and my oldest is also acting like he used to be. Where did normal go? I liked normal. Can't we just stay there for awhile? It's so fleeting.

Well, I am praying for answers and direction. I know we are healing and the ups and downs are part of this whole process, but I sure wish there were more ups than downs.

Still happy about the potty training. CKS just got new big boy underwear today. CARS and Spiderman. Very cool. I had to get him some new undies because he wanted 'thin' undies like his older siblings and had resorted to wearing his sisters' underwear. That's just wrong.

On that note, our 20 month old son loves shoes and dress-up. I keep finding him in his sister's sparkly gold dress-up shoes. He likes them because they are pretty, easy to put on, and he can walk around in them without tripping and falling too much. He also wears her sneakers, her sandles, and her boots. His going places shoes are CKS' old brown shoes. They are too big, but they stay on and he doesn't fall so we will just go with it.

So I switched back to our old laundry detergent. The butter stays and I am going to introduce yogurt and kefir as soon as I can make it happen (just bought a gallon of raw milk this week). I will continue to increase the cod liver oil and add in the other oils and new foods. We are just going to go with this for awhile. Hope it all evens out again soon, but it probably will not, if I keep adding and increasing stuff. Shucks! Oh, well.

Hey, they all sleep through the night most every night these days. That in and of itself feels like a dream. Everyone is happier and more cooperative in general. That feels like a dream, too. We have even had fewer wet beds lately and we even had one day that I didn't have even one load of pee pee laundry. That was like a dream. Not without troubles, but things are definitely better than before.

I guess I will press on an see what more is in store for us down the road.

Have I mentioned that four out of the six of us can eat fruit and honey? I'm sure I have. These things keep me motivated. Oh, yes, and we had brussell sprouts this week. We each had only one. Not too bad, though I think there were some reactions. We will just have to try again a few more times.

I am all over the place in this post. It is probably because it is the middle of the night. I should just go to bed. G' Night.

November 18, 2010

The Rash is Gone (almost) and Potty Training is Complete

I am up way too late, but this is the only time I have to myself, so here goes...

The rash and the regression are almost completely gone!!! WooHoo!!! CKS is also completely potty trained!!! WooHoo!!!

The rash on his bottom has healed and is fading away and the rash on his torso and cheeks are fading, too, so it is hard to say that letting him run around naked was what did it. I think that it helped tremendously to relieve the constant inflammation. I think that the baking soda we mixed with water and applied to the rash several times a day at the start has helped. I think that brushing his teeth with baking soda in the mornings may have played a part in helping to alkalize his body, too. Maybe we just pushed through and he is coming out on the other side of it.

Whatever the reason, I am glad and relieved! It began to worry me a bit to see the rash getting worse and worse over a period of weeks and even bleed and ooze in the diaper area. It bothered me to see him regressing for such an extended period of time. It is so good to see him coming out of it.

He is not quite his usual self again. He is still reminding me of his older brother's preschool years and all of the maddening things his older brother did and how I knew something wasn't right, but I just couldn't put my finger on it or get anyone else to agree with me that something wasn't right. I am still carrying lots of frustration (anger) about that. I am trying to let it go because it affects how I feel about my oldest child. I used to blame him for being oppositional and manipulative. I used to think he was being deceptive, but now I feel certain that the same thing happened to my oldest son as happened to my second son. It was just gradual and subtle. He was my first and I had nothing to compare with. I am having a difficult time dealing with all of the feelings and emotions that are being brought up as my second son is repeating the behaviors of my oldest.

It makes me want to scream. In fact, I did scream quite a lot today. I just screamed at the top of my lungs to let out the frustration. My little ones thought that was a fun idea, so they were screaming, too. It was loud in our house today. I pray that tomorrow is better for me. I was hard on my oldest today. I will have to love on him a little extra tomorrow. One thing he has going for him is that he is amazingly forgiving.

I know he cannot help or even change who he was and it makes no sense to be mad about it. I would not mind prayers for me to be able to let go of anger concerning the early years of my eldest child. I covet your prayers about this. Thanks.

November 12, 2010

Just Like Big Brother

So I had written quite a bit more about this, but an error occurred when saving and I lost it all, so I will put it all simply.

When CKS regressed, he exhibited many of the same characteristics of his big brother that had not previously been characteristic of himself.

Lately, as we have been working through this latest period of slight regression, he keeps doing things that totally remind me of his big brother. He must be with me and even touching me nearly all of the day. He wants to go everywhere I go. He wants me to do everything for him. He wants only me to put him to bed. Today, he was negotiating all day. He repeats his statements and requests over and over and demands that you answer him again and again. I told him I would give him to the count of twenty to finish a particular activity and he said, "How 'bout ten or thirty?" My oldest did that for everything!!! It's maddening!!! Of course, I said, "Twenty."

Eye Contact and Clear Words

Today CKS's eye contact was much better and his words were clear again. As I mentioned in another post, his rash is getting better. Well, it is clearly much better today. Potty training is pretty much done, except it remains to be seen if he will remember not to pee or poo in his pants when we tuck his little heiny in some snug underwear. Maybe we need to make a special trip to the store to buy him some "big boy" underwear. Hmm.

So this is all good. We are still eating nut butter and GAPS bread. We are still eating butter. We are still eating raw egg yolks and scrambled eggs. We have added/increased sauerkraut, raw lettuce, and raw squash. We did, however, drop the honey and the bone broth. I guess we will try again later.

November 10, 2010

The Rash Seems to be Getting Better

So our little boy has this really bad rash on his cheeks and on his diaper area and he has lots of fine dots on his torso. I think it could be yeast. Might be a reaction to the nuts, as we have had lots of GAPS bread and nut butter as of late and I think it started about the same time. I have not kept good records as of late, so I can't be sure, but I do not want to take nuts out again. We will push through for a while and see what happens.

Running around naked or in a big shirt and applying water and baking soda on the rash multiple times a day seems to be helping. It is drying out and much less red and inflamed. I think the borders are receding, but it might be my imagination. His cheeks and the rash on his bottom get bright red right after every meal. Strange. I thought it was coconut oil, but some meals have no coconut oil. Hmm.

Bonus: 8 days of pee and poo in the potty. WooHoo!

November 4, 2010

Heart and Soul

Not sure if I mentioned it, but ever since the rash appeared on CKS he's been a bit on the rigid side, grumpy/oppositional, frowny, clingy, and on and on. We decided to push through and keep going with all of the things we added in my moments of insanity a few weeks ago. I added GAPS bread, butter, honey, lettuce, and I don't know what else. I did drop the honey because he was over the top tactile and that was annoying and dangerous.

ANYWAY, I just woke up to the happy sounds of my little boy singing "Bay, bay, bay" to the tune of Heart and Soul. To make it even better, I hear him declare, "My piano is right here!" I imagine he is playing the footboard on his toddler bed. Imagination is back!!! (I should mention that lately I have been hearing the words, "Mommy, what should I play?")

Did I mention in another post that he is potty training? Did I mention that the rash is looking a bit better.

Have I mentioned in any previous posts that rashes and regressions go together, but if we can push through long enough we see leaps forward beyond where he was before the regression?

My HEART and SOUL are filled with joy today! Thank You, Lord!

November 3, 2010

Thankful (a prayer written 10/12, but perfect for today)

Heavenly Father,

I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. All that we are going through only makes this clearer in my mind. I worship You because You are worthy to be praised! You are the God of the earth and You are the God of the universe. You made it all and You have authority over it all. Nothing in Your creation is out of Your control. You are good and You are good all the time. Everything You do is good.

Lord, even our trials and our struggles are for Your glory. May we glorify You through our journey day to day. Lord, forgive me for my failings for they are many. Change my heart, oh God, and make me like You. Heal me, mind, body, and soul. Make me in your image, my King.

Thank You for Your Son, Jesus! Thank You for the free gift of forgiveness and for redemption through the blood of the Lamb. Thank You for calling me out of darkness and for adopting me to be Your child. Thank You for loving me, even when I am so unlovable. That is what is so amazing about You, Father. You are God, and yet You love even me. I am so very unworthy, but it is not about me - it is all about You.

Thank You!

I am thankful that You gave me the desire of my heart, five beautiful children. I am thankful that I get to watch them grow and learn and discover the world around them. Each one is a treasure, a precious gift from You. I want to treat them like treasure! Help me to do this.

I am thankful to have my children back.

How Beautiful are the Feet of Him Who Brings Good News

Written on 10/17

My feet remind me of the Good News of Christ and His sacrifice for us.

I have been struggling on and off for several weeks now. I have been fighting to capture every thought and make it obedient to Christ and it is not easy.

Last night I wanted to tell my DH all of the ways he could do things differently to make life better for me, which is totally backwards and wrong. I wanted to let him know that he offended me. To protect my marriage, I kept quiet. It was so hard to do. My body showed physical signs of upset at every turn. My breathing was labored as I tried to hold it all in and then I changed my thinking and calmed myself down. I relaxed and went to sleep without saying a word.

This morning, I noticed my feet while getting ready to hop into the shower. They are even younger looking than I ever remember them. The callouses are smaller and less painful than ever before. It is yet another small sign of healing. It is slow, but it is happening.

This path is very difficult at times and I sometimes feel frustrated and I want to give up (don't know where I would go), but every little improvement keeps me forging ahead.

Thank You, Lord, for a little reminder of the good things that are happening in our house. Thank You for Your Word, which is true in every way. Thank You for the power of Your Word in our lives. It is truly the Living Word. You are the Good News that we need every moment of every day.

My beautiful feet reminded me today how wonderful it is to know You because someone else took the time to bring me the Good News.

Diaper Talk

I'm waiting on some cloth diapers and inserts in varying sizes to arrive. I plan to put all of by bedwetters (4 of them) in cloth at night, since I am doing 1-2 loads of pee pee laundry a day anyway. The disposables don't hold, so even if the cloth leaks, it's no big deal with the bonus of never having to buy diapers and pull-ups again. (except for emergencies, like broken washing machines)

I may put the little one in cloth during the day, too.

I found these pocket trainers called Happy Heinys and they are comfy and cute and easy to use. I tried several others, but liked this one best. I can't wait for my order to arrive. Who ever would have guessed that I would get so excited over cloth diapers? I really am changing.

Potty Training Again

Celebration Time:

CKS, our 3yo, is finally potty training! Sadly, he has this horrible rash all over his body (cheeks, torso, and diaper area) and it is really irritated and red in the diaper area, so we put him in a big T-shirt only, or we let him run around naked. On day one he had several big wet accidents. On day two he had a few, but would stop it and finish in the potty AND he put poo in the potty! Today he only had one small accident AND he put poo in the potty TWICE!

This is SO great because he had started putting pee and poo in the potty just after his second birthday. I was very excited about this because this was earlier and easier than with any of the older three kids. He was practically training himself. Then he regressed and it all just stopped. I was swishing stinky, mushy, pooey training pants in the toilet too many times a day because he stopped putting anything in the potty. I gave up! 18 months later and we are back! Three great days! I pray it stays!

Poo Glorious Poo - Take Two

Time for the Poo Report:

Everyone is pooin' everyday. Yes, pretty nearly every day. I have not had to do any enemas for several months now. It's awesome!!!

The two little ones still have some undigested bits in their poo, but it has firmed up into a nice creamy consistency, sometimes sticky, and rarely watery.

The two who used to have orangy fall-apart poos with lots of undigested bits that looked like an explosion in the toilet several times a day are now having very nicely formed brown poos daily, most of the time.

The two of us who were chronically constipated, going for days between poos are pooin' nicely formed brown poos daily (almost, but at least every 36 hours - WooHoo!).

October 27, 2010

It's a Roller Coaster Ride

Yep, it's a roller coaster ride. Up, down, up, down, but I don't care how I get there, so long as I get there. I'm talking about healing my children and giving them a chance at living a full, blessed, and abundant life. It is my hope that they will each come to know Christ as their Lord and Savior and that they would love Him and serve Him all the days of their lives.

I would opt for instant healing. I would love an immediate change, but I know that I would quickly forget and I would, we would, quickly fall back into old habits and routines and would probably take for granted the mighty work the Lord has done for us. This way of healing is changing so many things in all of us. I am grateful for the work that is being done. I am happy for who we are becoming. It is slow and arduous, but the changes will be lasting changes.

We are not there yet and we have some pretty ugly days here and there, but they are fewer and farther in between. These past few weeks (months?) have been difficult and trying at times, but there is much evidence of healing, too.

Evidence of healing:

Me - no more constipation (daily formed, normal brown poos); more energy; no more waking up sore and stiff (unless I overdo the salicylates); no more gas pains and tummy tenderness; feet look younger; acne gone; no more itchy skin; fungal infections on feet and on toenails gone; fingernails no longer split and peel; strange itchy circles on chest gone; gums no longer bleed when I floss; my drippy nose rarely drips anymore; no more headaches (I used to take Flonase or Nasacort nightly or I would get debilitating migraines); fewer panic attacks; depression only rarely rears it's ugly head but does not last for very long; I can eat egg yolks without getting asthma, hic-cups, or rage; I can eat nuts without getting asthma, itchy palms, or becoming overwhelmed and emotional (limited); I can eat berries without becoming overwhelmed and emotional (limited); I can eat berries without waking in the night frozen and in great pain; I am holding steady at a healthy weight (not too low despite the fact that I am nursing); I have been able to nurse my fifth baby on demand without experiencing the overabundant milk supply that caused frustrating issues and caused too much weight loss; I'm happier than I ever was; I am now capable of organizing and maintaining the house (cooking, cleaning, laundry); I can actually cook from scratch (before we started the Feingold diet 4-5 years ago, I could not boil water without burning it - ha ha); I can go hours between meals/snacks and still feel great; I'm sure there's more, but that sums it up pretty good. Challenges remaining - I still can not eat too many salicylates without getting rigid, irritable, and frustrated; I still can not tolerate more than a little bone broth, if that, without becoming angry; still working my probiotic dose up ever so slowly to a therapeutic dose; diet is still very limited (missing out on, garlic, spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower)

12yo - improved eye contact; improved memory; improved social skills; improved strength and coordination; sensory issues have become minimal (only bad when introducing new food, increasing probiotic, or when he's sick); eats with fork (less shoveling); less rigidity and fewer obsessive/addictive tendencies; fewer annoying habits (I will not list these); no more stinky behavior; handwriting is greatly improved; spelling is greatly improved; understanding of math concepts is greatly improved; ability to remember and utilize the basics is finally there (he was getting C's, D's, and F's in math and writing because of all the little mistakes that ultimately led to wrong answers, but now he is getting A's all around); he's now teachable; he learns new things quickly now (it used to take forever to teach him a new concept, even seemingly simple ones, and then they wouldn't always stick and I'd have to show him again and again; no longer oppositional or defiant; happy; good attitude; fewer stomach aches; fewer body aches; fewer trips to the bathroom (he used to live in the bathroom); daily formed, normal brown poos instead of 5-8 mushy messes with lots of undigested bits (glad you stayed for this bit of info?!?); headaches are now rare; actually likes school; he concentrates better; he can narrate what he's read soooooo much better now (he could not narrate before because he could not organize it and communicate it in a meaningful way; he plays well with his little brothers and is a great help with them; he can be trusted to make better decisions, better choices; understands things better; communicates better; does not repeat himself over and over and over anymore; does not ask the same questions over and over and over anymore because now he remembers that he asked and now he remembers the answer more often than not; no more croupy cough and constant clearing of throat; generally nicer to be around; no more meltdowns (rare); again, I'm sure there's more, but hey, if this was it, who could complain? Challenges remaining - still gets weak and feels generally bad in the mornings; gets headaches (but not as often as he used to get them); lately he has been dizzy and has been losing his balance (huh? GAPS related?); he has also started doing this weird eye thing where he looks surprised or scared, but at odd times. It can happen numerous times during a conversation. He is not aware that he is doing it; there are some other challenges, but I think I will move on. (update 11/7/10: not doing the weird eye thing anymore, short-lived during a period of die-off, whew!)

9yo - stopped flipping letters and numbers; stopped switching letters and numbers; started to read and now loves to read; tells me the letters don't jiggle and move off the page anymore; math became a breeze (subtraction and multiplication easy after struggling with simple addition for over a year before GAPS); happier; depression gone (used to wish she would die or had never been born); rages gone (still waiting on adding food that brought about some scary rages in the past); plays well with all of her siblings (used to absolutely hate her sister and used to just do mean things, liked making others scared of her); she is now an absolute dream child as she helps around the house, loves to do her schoolwork, and is so great at entertaining everyone and making everyone laugh; her artistic endeavors improve daily; constipation is gone and she poos daily at least once; eczema is gone; she can now eat fruit, nuts, and honey without itching (yeast, whole body general itchiness, and eczema); can eat eggs with yolks without rages; can tolerate some salicylate foods without reactions; fewer headaches; I'm sure there's more. Challenges remaining - bedwetting (but it's less since we added nuts); headaches (still too often).

6yo - rages stopped (only occasional when exposed to something like ink, paint, smells, chemicals); growing taller (she is super small, but has grown nearly 2 inches in the past year), gaining weight (33? Pounds to 40 pounds); does not hate the taste and smell of everything anymore (she actually loves to eat now); not as sensitive to textures anymore (example-she can eat the fat with her meat without gagging or throwing a fit, but still not her favorite); likes vegetables (used to hate all veggies); no longer whines; no longer cries about every little thing like it was the end of the world; happier for sure (smiles all the time); can actually eat some nut butter without getting too unbearably itchy (still a bit itchy, but we try not to push it past the point where she can't stand it); can now eat egg yolks with no reactions; learned to read with little effort on my part; math is coming super easy for her; learns things with little effort now (she used to give up before even trying); plays well with siblings; again, I'm sure there's more, but moving on. Challenges remaining - bedwetting (still soaked through every night); eczema, especially on forehead where she scratches until she bleeds; leg cramps still cause her lots of pain, particularly if we spend a lot of time outside (she will sometimes wake several times in the night crying. Thankfully, detox baths help a bit); diet is still limited for her and all of us.

3yo - he feels so much better overall and he is a happy boy most of the time; eye contact is much improved; language is developing normally (only slipping from time to time as we add food or increase a healing food or a probiotic; sometimes he is actually the most normal 3yo you will ever see and so intelligent, too; only rigid when adding or increasing foods or probiotics; only sensory seeking when adding or increasing foods or probiotics (loud, physical, bumping, ramming, squeezing, stomping, etc.); generally he is almost the happy, easy-going, independent little boy that he was before the vaccine injury; loves all of the food I make and serve (had previously tried to limit his diet to lemonade and cookies); coordination is back; can sometimes color beautifully in the lines (not bad for 3 1/2); knows most of his letters and all of his numbers through 12 (recognize, write, and sign); loves to read again; loves to do puzzles again; plays make believe games with his sisters; what appeared to be seizures is gone (virtually gone after 3weeks on a limited full GAPS and only resurfaced when we tried to introduce sulfur foods during the first year of the diet); no more grabbing at his eyes and crying in pain; no more odd stimming behaviors; poo is improving in texture and color with less undigested bits; whines less and uses good manners (responds well to do overs when he forgets to use good manners); more?!? Challenges remaining - still regresses a bit when adding/increasing healing foods and probiotics; still regresses when exposed to chemicals on skin or in the air (we have to be careful with him); still has undigested food in stool; still has skin rashes/eczema all over his body and really bad in his diaper area; still resists potty training and has yet to put poo in the potty since before the vaccine injury (he was training easily and on his own before he started to regress); still rigid about some things (example-he will only wear long jeans and a t-shirt no matter what the weather is like); still has days or weeks here and there where he just looks like he feels miserable and he doesn't want to go anywhere or do anything unless it is with mommy; that will do for listing challenges, but we have come a long way even with this long list of challenges.

18 month old - he is developing beautifully; he sleeps through the night; coordinated (can climb on anything and he does not fall); catches himself when he trips or stumbles over something and pretty much never hits his head on the floor; learning language right on track (I think); easy-going; happy; interactive and makes great eye-contact; loves to explore with other people who tell him what things are and show him how things work; plays nicely with his siblings and also plays well independently; he had food intolerances when he was born and I had to eliminate dairy and a few other things from my diet, but he seems to be tolerating all of the GAPS food well as it is introduced; his poos are beginning to form up more and more and there is less undigested food in his stool than earlier on. Challenges - none that I can think of. This child has not had any vaccinations to date.

Wow! That feels great to have put all of that down in writing! Knowing how far we have come and seeing that we are indeed healing is what keeps me going on the days where it all feels overwhelming and too much (which of course are the days when I am having a reaction to something). We really are healing! I have to shout out praise to my God who heard me when I called out to him in desperation. He heard my prayer and He answered me! He gives me what I need.

Like I said before, God has the power to heal in an instant, but I know my heart and the heart of my children and we wanted to be healed so that we could be like everyone else and live a life of comparative ease. I am grateful for all that we are learning on this journey. We are healing slowly. We are changing slowly. The changes in us are permanent and I am glad!

How do I wrap this up? I am so full of joy right now I don't want to stop! I pray that this is encouraging for others on a similar path of healing. May God bless all who have visited my blog and read any of my entries. Amen!

October 16, 2010

What We Ate Today

It has been a while since I documented what we have been eating. It got pretty boring there for awhile and some might say it is still boring, but we are actually very satisfied for the time being. Thankfully, my children LOVE good healthy food now.

We start the day by drinking warm filtered water with sea salt added. We take our Bio-Kult, and then we juice carrots and a little celery. Everyone gets their fermented cod liver oil with their carrot juice. The two little ones like it mixed and we call it 'tuna salad in a cup'.

We usually have chicken and a veggie for lunch. I have to boil chicken every day to have enough broth for all six of us since we can not yet tolerate bone broth. I put the veggies on the plates and let them cool a bit before I add coconut oil and olive oil. We put some chicken on every plate and a bit of sauerkraut. Everyone drinks some lemon water with Natural Calm mixed in, about 4 tablespoons of sauerkraut juice, and half a mug of broth before they eat what is on their plates. Sometimes I serve some avocado, too. Oh, yes, and we mix about 2 teaspoons of egg yolk into each cup of broth for this meal only because I am limited in the amount of farm fresh eggs I have access to each week.

Today we had leftover chicken soup and leftover peas for lunch, instead of chicken and a veggie. It's pretty much the same food, only served in a different way and I didn't have to cook chicken or strain any broth today. Yay! We still had all of the oils and egg yolks and sauerkraut, too.

Snack was leftover pork and onions cooked in coconut oil and leftover squash fries and a spoonful of nut butter for my son who had a LEGO robotics meeting from 1-5. The rest of us had a tiny piece of GAPS bread, a small bit of butter, a spoonful of nut butter, and a small bit of scrambled eggs cooked in ghee. Yum!

Dinner today was leftovers, as well. It's nice to have one day a week with minimal food prep. We had some buffalo stew (stew meat, carrots, green beans, onions cooked in coconut oil, and sea salt). We had some leftover beef casserole. I cooked some of the leftover green beans with a little ghee and coconut oil. I put cold peas on the table and several blended veggies and soups. I blend lots of things for the little ones. It keeps the undigested bits at a minimum and they actually like it better this way. Our littlest one calls it squash and is always shoving his plate at me shouting, "Squash! Squash!"

So that's it, except for the fruit and nuts I ate after the kids went to bed. Shhh!

October 14, 2010

Happy Thoughts

We are fearfully and wonderfully made. One of the things that drives me and keeps me following this GAPS protocol, even when things seem so hard at times, is my faith in God. He made us. I don't want to put poisons or unnatural things into our bodies anymore. I want to do things His way.

God's Word tells us often to think happy thoughts. We are to love our enemies (an active love, not an emotional feeling). We are to show kindness to those who treat us in unkind ways. We are told to give up our anger, bitterness, and rage, and we are to be kind and compassionate to one another. We are to let go of our anxiety and PRAY about everything, with thanksgiving. We are to think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. Then, the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.

During my fifth pregnancy, I experienced a lot of contractions, as is usual for me. I trusted in God that they were fine. (it's a long story made short) when I started having more and more, which I later tied to medicine I was using, I figured I should err on the side of caution and check everything out. We went to the midwives to be checked. They freaked out about the strength and number of contractions I was having. I tried to stay calm, but I eventually believed their worries could be for real and I became worried, too. Everything got worse and more painful because of my fear. I was only 28 weeks along. It felt like labor (5th baby, I know what labor feels like). Meds did not stop the contractions. I called my friend who prayed for me and believed that the contractions would stop. I rested in her faith and I again trusted in God to keep my baby safe until his due time. The contractions slowed down and I did not have to go back to the hospital. I spent the next month or so on bed rest. I used that time to study God's Word and practice trusting in Him. The contractions became less intense and less frequent the more I trusted in God. When I got up to serve my family, believing that serving my family is what God wanted me to do, I had beautiful fulfilling days with very few contractions. My baby was born at 38 weeks.

One thing that I learned while preparing for childbirth that has really stuck with me is that fear is the opposite of faith. It is true.

I did a little experiment this morning. I woke up feeling a bit better. My ring was only mildly tight. I thought happy thoughts and my ring slid off of my finger easily. I mused on negative thoughts and purposed to focus on my pain. My ring got tight and my body hurt. I purposed to think good thoughts and think about my body working the way it should, my heart pumping efficiently, my lungs drawing in enough air, my body utilizing everything the way it should. My ring slid off more easily and my body felt less swollen. I did this a number of times.

Thoughts and words are powerful! There is POWER in the Word of our God because His Word is true. I know this is true. I am going to explore this more and more. I am excited about what this day holds for us.

Thank You, God, for Your Word, which is true from beginning to end. Thank You, Lord, for Your guidance. Thank You for this life that You have granted us. Thank You for this day that You have made. I WILL rejoice and be glad in it!!!

October 13, 2010

Too Many Salicylates

I think my troubles are caused by too many salicylates. Why? Because we were all extremely sensitive to salicylates before GAPS and early on in GAPS.

How did salicylates affect us? Physical pain, body aches and pains, emotional upset, frustration, melt-downs, anger, rages.

What am I struggling with now? The same.

The first time we tried to add coconut oil was painful. It took three attempts to get it in and we had to go slow. Adding nuts was slow and painful. Berries gave me problems at first. I think we are having a little everyday and that is why we are all having troubles together and I have been eating more than the kids so I have been more affected.

I am going to back off of the nuts. I went a little crazy with the nuts. I am happy that they no longer cause any asthma or eczema, but I guess they still can affect me emotionally if I eat too many.

A Good Day

Today was amazing! Maybe it was because I got more sleep, albeit a fitful sleep. Maybe it was because we did not add any bone broth to our broth today. Maybe it was because I did not snack on nuts last night and only had a small bit of nut butter and GAPS bread with my kids. Maybe it was just a good day.

We accomplished all of our cooking, laundry, schoolwork, cleaning, detox baths, prep for tomorrow, and even had friends over to play and played a few games before bedtime. Yay! Oh, if everyday could be like today.

More Sleep and Still Swollen

I took a little nap on the couch. Still fitful. I still feel every bit of my body. My hands, and it feels like my whole body, are even more swollen. Could it be that I use too much salt? I do use a LOT of salt? Hmm.

A Good Night's Sleep

I finally had a day where I got it all done and I went to bed at 9:30PM. It felt wonderful to go to bed so early. I even got eight hours of fitfull sleep.

Admittedly, I didn't really get it all done. We did absolutely NO schoolwork yesterday. I was fighting irritability all day. I couldn't read with and pray with my older children before bed because I just felt so very off and irritable, so my DH put them to bed.

Her I am, awake very early, and my body feels awful. I can feel every bit of myself. My fingers are swollen. I can tell because my ring is tight. It feels like the whole rest of my body is swollen, too. I feel that laying down horizontally for any length of time is not good for me. This is why I am not ever in a hurry to get to bed. I like the quiet of night and I hate the way I feel when I wake up for the day.

Something is wrong, but I don't know what. I am considering going to see a doctor to find out if I am particularly deficient in some important vitamin or mineral. I was extremely low in vitamin D a few years back and I am not sure if I ever got that resolved. Since then, I have been pregnant, I have been nursing, and I have been on GAPS for over a year. I used to take D vitamins and I am now taking fermented cod liver oil and am spending time out in the sun. My worst days have been these days where I am getting more sunshine. I am sure there is a connection.

I am glad to have this quiet time in the morning to think things through. Everyone will be up soon. I pray that I will have strength to keep it all together today. Lord, make it so.

October 12, 2010

Late To Bed and Up Twice

I am just putting our six year old back to bed for the third time tonight. Leg cramps! We played at the park today with Daddy who was off for Columbus Day. Lots of fun, but here we are again with the leg cramps. I really wish I knew what caused it and how to fix it. Lord, please help us.

Baths help, but not for long. She wakes up crying. Nothing works. We put her in the bath and she is better after a short bit. We put her back to bed. She goes to sleep, I think. Later she is crying again. We put her in the bath. She's fine again. Back to bed. Hopefully this will be the last time. I am glad I stayed up late tonight, but now I am falling asleep while typing. I had better go to bed soon.

Still Wetting the Bed

I still have four out of five kids wetting the bed at night, and we are not talking about a little bit of pee. We are talking about big-time heavy wetters. Everyone of them soaks through their pull-ups/diapers nearly every night!!! We do 1-3 loads of pee pee laundry a day plus 2 loads of regular laundry a day. My six and nine year olds sleep on crib mattresses on the floor because they are smaller than twin beds and so the bedding is less. They use blankets as pillows because we have ruined way to many blankets. So we have four crib mattresses in the house. (one crib, one toddler bed, two mattresses on the floor)

We spend a lot of money on disposable diapers, which I have always hated doing anyway, so we are looking into cloth diapers and trainers. I bought three and we have been trying them out. I found a youth cloth diaper for my oldest bed wetter, but it seems to be a bit too big. I bought a diaper called the Bum Genius, that I really thought I was going to love, but it is not working out. I am trying it on our littlest one tonight. I found training pants with a pocket for stuffing soakers and snaps on the sides for easy removal when wet or soiled. It is my favorite. I think they may have a size large enough for my older girls, too. I figure, even if they do leak, I am doing laundry anyway because the disposables aren't holding either so I may as well invest and wash the cloth diapers with the sheets and pee pads.

Something to be happy about is that since we added the nuts into the kids diets, two of them have had some dry nights and the others are wetting a little less, too. Go figure!

Which is worse, eczema or bedwetting? Here is where it gets tricky. What to do, what to do about those nuts!?!

Playing Outside Leads to Leg Cramps

One thing I can pretty well count on is my daughter having leg cramps if we spend any significant amount of time outside in the sun. I used to get really bad leg cramps a few hours after going to bed, too. I wonder what causes this. This child has had leg cramps since she was at least 6 months old. She would wake up every few hours and just cry and grab at her leg. Nothing made her feel better. Laying her down and letting her cry it out was not an option, as she was obviously in pain. It was not just a habit to wake. Anyway, so sunshine brings on leg cramps. I want to know why!!!

It seems like everything that is good for us, everything that is supposed to be so healing, causes us grief. I guess it is because we are in need of so much healing.

Nuts Again

Oh, we are all just delighted to be eating nuts again, and nut butter pancakes, and now GAPS bread made from nuts and squash and eggs.

However, our six year old is getting eczema again and I think it may be from the nuts. (coincidentally, of course, we added nut butter right at the same time she finished taking the S. boulardi) It is very difficult to coordinate everything for six of us and keep it all straight. I am pretty sure it is the nuts, though. I am giving her smaller amounts and the itching is less. She scratches at her forehead until she gets scabs and she has fits of frustration because of the itching. It is sad to see. If it weren't for the fits, I would not worry about it too much, but we all have to get along and she can't do anything productive or have any fun in a day if she is having fits all day. CKS has itchy rashes on his bum and on both cheeks, but it does not cause him to have fits, although he has been a bit more clingy and needy these past few weeks.

I've been eating nut all along, so nuts are not new to me and are not the source of my mood swings. Hmm.

Reactions - to what???

I have everything in the world to be thankful for, so why do I feel sad, frustrated, irritable, and just plain blah? I know it's because I am a classic GAPS person. My feelings are totally NOT situational. My feelings are coming from the inside, not from outside circumstances.

Since I started all of this diet stuff, I have had days where everything went wrong, but I could handle it all and more. I have had days where things are really going quite well and I feel as if the world is falling apart around me.

Right now, my head knows that things are really going quite well, but I can only seem to focus on all of the little things that are not going right. When I say little things, I mean little things like kids getting distracted and forgetting to finish a task, or a bed sloppily made, or books put in the wrong place.

Oh, just this past week I had a friend over on Thursday and her baby was pulling at some notecards I have taped to the wall. I told my friend to please not let him pull the card off of the wall. I knew I would feel so irritated by it if it happened. The next day, she came to visit again and he did pull one off the wall and it didn't bother me a bit. I told her it was no big deal. I could just get a piece of tape and tape it back up. It is so ridiculous to me that something so simple as getting a piece of tape could seem like a huge inconvenience one day and no big deal the next day.

Some days, everything seems SOOOOOO HARD! Other days, I am on top of everything and it seems as if I can juggle a hundred things at once and it is even challenging and fun.

I had so many good days and now it is up and down for two to three weeks and I am not sure from day to day what to expect. I think it is the bone broth, but I am not sure. It could be that we are using a lot more coconut oil and ghee. We added nut bread this week, but this has been going on for longer than that. Eggs???

So what I don't know is whether or not I should stop the two small teaspoons of bone broth a day (this is total for the whole family) or push through on this one. After three weeks, I just don't know.

Oh, bother! It could be egg yolks. We were without eggs for a week and had to introduce them again. Maybe we introduced them too fast this time, but CKS is relatively OK, behaviorally and emotionally.

I think it could be that we suddenly started using lots of coconut oil when we started to make chicken and nut butter pancakes because they are "oh so good" when cooked with coconut oil.

Everyone is having symptoms of one kind or another these days and I think it may be the coconut oil because CKS has itchy rashes on his bum and on his cheeks that flare up at every meal. Maybe I should try to have one meal without coconut oil and see if his cheeks will NOT turn bright red. Hmm. I think I will try this tomorrow. No coconut oil for CKS.

If things do not settle out for me by the end of the week, I think we will quit the bone broth. I really, REALLY want to be able to make and serve bone broth. It is soooo healing. It has calcium. We need calcium.

OK. Enough rambling. Done!

October 10, 2010

Math Genius (times two)

CKS is a little math genius!

He's 3 1/2 years old and quite precocious.

He's been impressing everyone with his newfound math skills. He knows 1+1=2 & 2+2=4 & 1+2=3. Not impressed yet?!?

He knows 3+3=6 & 4+4=8 & 5+5=10 & 5+1=6 & 5+2=7.

He also likes to tell us that 1&1&1&1 is four. Sharp kid! What do you think?

KES, 6 years old, is also doing quite well in math. She just gets it and she is flying through her math book. She understands the concept of multiplication and can figure out basic multiplication problems in her head. (just like her older brother)

My older two are also doing great! Math is one of their favorite subjects, along with journal writing, history, geography, and science.

School is so much smoother and easier this year than ever before. I am so happy about this.

An Unusual Post - just tired? Or GAPS related?

It's been a little over two weeks since I posted anything. I have intended to write nearly every day, but I have been getting distracted and carried away by other things.

I can't sleep. I'm tired and I want to sleep, but I don't sleep well and I ache through the night, so I don't want to go to bed. I am easily irritated a lot lately and I really love the quiet in the house when everyone is sleeping. I miss feeling good and happy.

I am not unhappy or depressed. I am just feeling like I want to be alone, like I want to be left alone. I don't want to be bothered with all of the unexpected things that happen in a day. This is not right, because that's life. Life IS all of the unexpected things that happen day after day after day. Those unexpected things are what makes life interesting. It's what makes life challenging. It's what makes life fun! Right now I feel like I just want everything to be predictable.

Lately, I have been very contemplative. I have been watching home births on YouTube, not because I intend to have more children, but because I am in awe of the way our bodies work and the power of our thoughts and attitudes over the workings of our body. In labor, things happen and you are not in control, but you have control over how you deal with what is happening to your body. Fear brings pain and very likely complications. Faith, in God, in your body, in the process, brings peace and joy and very likely a quick, smooth, and easy birth. (Not always, I realize, but often.)

All of my children were born naturally without fear and with little pain. All were born in a hospital. Four were with midwives, although one was born just before the midwife arrived. I went through transition without realizing it because I was not afraid. I just dealt with each contraction as it came and suddenly my water broke and I felt the urge to push.

I have been reading other blogs, mostly stories of families dealing with the loss or impending loss of a child. I don't know why I am drawn to read these stories. I cry because, even though I could never really understand their loss, I remember how I felt when we lost our fourth baby, though it was early in our pregnancy. I remember how I grieved the "loss" of our fifth baby (CKS) when he regressed after that insidious vaccine. I remember how I grieved the "loss" of our third child (KES) to the same insidious vaccine given on the same day. I grieve the loss of our ability to be "normal". We are different! We don't fit in.

We would be somewhat normal if we would just eat normal food and go get labels for our children and enroll them in therapy sessions and plan our estate for their future care, but I will not do that. They are healing. Life is hard right now, but there is a great reward. We lost our children, but we have them back and they are getting better and better and better. This diet/protocol is working.

God is good all the time. He allows us to suffer the consequences of our own sin and even the sins of others, but He is there for us to help us through the difficult days. He is there to comfort us when we are hurting. He is there to teach us what we need to know. He uses all of this - everything - for our good, for His glory! We can trust Him in this. We can trust His Word which says that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and whom He has called according to His purposes. (I think I got that right.)

I could go on and on, but I think I will stop there. I need to rest a bit and come back later to write a GAPS progress report. I'm tired and falling apart, but there are some good things happening around here and of course more questions than answers. Go figure.

September 24, 2010

So It Goes

So I have been reporting all of these praises lately and it was bound to happen: these last two days have been so hard.

I increased to Bio-Kult twice this week by 1/5 of a capsule each time. Two days ago I increased it for the second time, so we are all up to 2 and 2/5 capsules per day. (the baby only takes one) I also added a tsp of bone broth to our daily broth about three days ago. I know, too many changes all at once. I also increased coconut oil and olive oil and ghee to previously tolerated amounts. Yes, yes, I know. Too many changes. Oh, and scrambled eggs, too. Just a little.

So, I have been irritable, angry, tired, depressed, and just plain hard to live with. The baby is a wee bit fussy, but could be cuing off of me or reacting to my detox through breast milk. CKS has been rigid and fussy. He freaks out over putting his spoon in the wrong place or baby brother touching anything that he considers his own. These things don't phase him much anymore, but I guess it was all a bit too much. KES, age six, can't yawn and she itches all over. Granted, it is nothing like it was before. She also woke up once in the night with really bad leg cramps. The older two are only having mild reactions, the worst of which are poor handwriting, misspelled words, flipped and switched letters. Schoolwork suffers, but their attitudes have been great!

I think we will just hold where we are at for a few days. Detox baths help a bunch and CKS is already doing better tonight. Yea! I think we will get through this soon.

September 22, 2010

More Wonderful and Colorful Gains

It just gets better and better!

CKS continues to be the most normal three year old and he is just amazing us everyday. He LOVES to color! Even before his second birthday, he loved to sit in the booster seat at the table and color while we did school with the other kids. Then he reacted to the vaccine and got very sick and he quit coloring.

Recently, he started coloring again. All through the summer he would get color pages from the library and he would bring them home and finish them. We gave him his own "school box" filled with crayons and colored pencils and a small journal. This week he started to color nearly in the lines.

Today, he surprised us by coloring a picture of himself completely in the lines. Not only that, but he colored the clothes to match what he was wearing and he colored his skin orange, the closest color to his darker Asian skin tone. We were floored! He's three and a half.

Our twelve year old son could not color in the lines a year ago and his handwriting was unbelievably awful. I remember getting very excited around Christmas time because he colored a huge color book picture (that in and of itself is amazing) completely in the lines. He has never liked to color, but he actually colored the picture together with CKS, just for fun.

Well, MKS, our 12 year old, is now able to write fairly neatly and remember basic writing rules. I can read his math, which makes it sooooo much easier to grade. He is completing his schoolwork in record time. He says it's easy now. He's not trying, it's just happening. I am so excited!

Our toddler, 17 months, is developing so well. I scared myself by doing intro while he was so little. He had some bad days and he flapped his hands and wouldn't make eye-contact, but now he is right on track. He says so many words I can't even begin to put them all down. He makes beautiful eye-contact and communicates his thoughts and desires quite well. He's a good little boy. He listens well and obeys. He loves to help with chores. He wants to do everything the big kids do. Can we say, "NORMAL"? Oh, so normal. Oh, so wonderful.

These younger two boys have been so easy-going, with the exception of regression and die-off, and now my older kids are able to go with the flow, too. Thank you, God, for GAPS! Even with all of the cooking and laundry, life is so much easier now, so much more happy and manageable. Meltdowns, tantrums, uncontrolled anger, irritability, picky eating, and all of the other "stuff" just don't happen very often anymore.

My girls, 9 and 6, are really coming into their own. They are such good Helpers around the house. KRS, 9 years, is the Queen of the Kitchen in Training. Her apron says so. She is quite capable of doing nearly everything I do in the kitchen, with a few exceptions. She is second in command when it comes to getting food on the table. She's amazing! KES, 6 years, has really come a long way this year. You would be amazed at all of the chores she cheerfully submits to helping with, including looking after her baby brothers and playing with them a lot while the older kids and I do all of the things the younger ones can't help with yet. She's incredible! This is all possible because they are not filled with anger, bitterness, and rage anymore. A year ago, it was such a struggle, but now...ahh!

Did I do it? Did I mention everyone? Oh, me. I rarely get angry anymore either. I am becoming more laid back and easy-going, too. It's refreshing and nice. Ahh!

We all have our days, as I continue to increase the probiotic and add new foods, but it is going so much easier now than when we first started. We are all very forgiving of each other, since we all have our days and we all understand what it's like to lose control and feel sorry for having acted in such ways. What a blessing.

Such a long post. Congratulations if you made it through! I am just so full of happy thoughts and it's so nice to have a place to share them.

Heavenly Father, I thank You for all of these great and wonderful improvements, successes, signs of healing. I thank You that everyone loves to eat the food we cook now. It was so hard in the beginning. I am so appreciative of their pleasure in eating the food I have prepared. Thank you for the clear minds and for making learning fun and easy this year. We are all enjoying school like never before! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

Found: A New Doctor

It's been over a year since any of us have seen a doctor for any reason. We haven't needed to go, since good, healthy food and detox baths seem to help in nearly all cases.

We do have a few areas where I am stumped about what to do, although I feel time and proceeding through the diet will fix all the issues, if I could only be patient (generally, not one of my strong points).

My older two kids have lots of headaches. Drinking more water has reduced the frequency and intensity of my oldest daughter's headaches, but she still gets them. My oldest son gets more headaches now than ever before. He has always inhaled water. Apple Cider Vinegar baths help them to go away, but they always come back. He's not been the most trustworthy kid as of late, so honestly, I don't know if they are for real or not.

Our youngest four pee excessively, soaking through pull-ups and diapers pretty nearly every night. Cutting back on the amount of meat they eat and increasing the veggies (carbs) has made for less pee and a few dryer nights, but without night-time diapers and pull-ups, I would still be washing bedding for four every day. Still a mystery. I think more onions equals more pee, too, but not sure.

The youngest three still have some eczema/yeast itchies from time to time, but I will say it is WAY better than even a few months ago. I think restarting with intro again has made a difference here, but can't say anything for sure.

All of these things are quite minor when compared with the gains we have made. God is so good and He is faithful. When we call out to Him and believe in Him, He answers. I am thankful for where we are. It has ALL been worth it!

Oh, yea, about the doctor. He's a natural doctor. He's a DAN (Defeat Autism Now) doctor. He's a nutritionist. He has his own Brain Healing Diet that is VERY similar to GAPS. Forgive me if I already covered this in another post.

I took CKS for an appointment. I read all of the info the doctor gave me about his diet. I read many of the newsletter articles on his website. He does not endorse GAPS, as there are other similar diets out there getting similar results, but in the course of our dialogue, I believe he will support us in what we are doing and help us to understand things, even if we don't choose to take all of his advice. This is very helpful.

After a year of flying solo, I am ready for a little help in understanding some things I haven't figured out yet. I am excited about this. I pray that we will understand each other and that it will be a good doctor/patient relationship.

September 12, 2010

Oh, Nuts!

Can I just say that I'm nuts about nuts?

I'm nuts about nuts!!!

Since I was a child, nuts have given me asthma and itchy skin, especially the palms of my hands - oh, so annoying. I love nuts, but gave them up years ago because it just wasn't worth it. I would have them every now and again only to recall why I gave them up in the first place.

It is amazing to me to be eating nuts everyday without any of these symptoms. Without any symptoms. I am even eating the ones that gave me the worst asthma ever! (walnuts) I DO limit nuts, as they are not supposed to make up a large part of the diet and they are quite expensive.

I confess that I ate a whole jar (pint) full of nuts yesterday as I drove the half hour trip to WFM last night. That did not go over so well. I look 5 months pregnant. I am SO bloated! My fingers are swollen, too. My ring is actually tight, when it is normally falling off. I will not be doing that again! Back to just a little handful of nuts. I'm good with that.

My Lord, I thank You that I can eat nuts again.

* I'm So Happy I Could Fly

Our little 3 year old (CKS) is just so normal! I have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming. Two weeks now of pure normalness!

OK, I exaggerate a little. We have been upping the Bio-Kult and he has been very tactile and whiny and a bit rigid...but all kids do have their crazy days. Most people say, "I just don't know what got into him. He's so wound up." Well, I just happen to know what's got into him. I can tell you ahead of time what is going to happen. I add or increase a certain food or probiotic. Regression. But then, the best part is that he will get sick, or break out in a rash, or regress, or all of the above and we will hold at the same amount and in a few days he's back and even better than before.

It's controlled and mild. He's developing and he's healing. He's getting jokes and telling jokes. He's compassionate (except when he's reacting to a healing food and is crazy off the wall and rigid and miserable).

Oh,oh,oh!!! His oldest sister made the joke that she does not like horses anymore. When she had everyone giving her puzzled looks over this incongruent statement, she said she LOVES horses., CKS said he didn't like rats (we have pet rats). Then, when everyone was trying to figure out why he didn't like rats anymore (Did he get bit?) he said he LOVES rats. Wow!!!

Oh,oh,oh!!! The other day when his sister didn't want to read to him (he loves to read again) because she wasn't feeling well, CKS said, "My make you feel better, like this: *BING* There! You all better now."


Thank You, Jesus, for this precious child! Thank You for giving him back to us! Thank You for answering me when I call on You! You are our Healer! You are God! Nothing is impossible with You! All glory to You, oh Lord, for what You are doing with this family. Praise Your Holy Name! Amen!

August 30, 2010

Beautiful Healthy Nails, No Pimples, and Happy Feet

I have noticed recently that my nails are strong and beautiful and healthy
looking. They used to peel in thin layers and would frequently break.

I have had acne forever. Even though my mother assured me that my horrible acne
would get better as I moved out of adolescence, I continued to have pimples into
my thirties. This or two here or there. Mostly none!

My feet look younger, too, even though I am on them more now than ever. Hmm.

Eczema Gone

My 9yo has had no eczema for many months now. She can eat a little fruit
without any eczema or yeast symptoms.

Our 6yo still has eczema and itching (down there) whenever she eats fruit,
honey, or sweet veggies. It IS better than it was. We are about to start a
third round or S Boulardi for her and we are going to try the S Boulardi for our
two little ones, too. They have diaper rashes and fine rashes on their torsos
whenever they eat fruit, honey, or sweet veggies or when we increase probiotics.

I, too, no longer itch anywhere. No eczema. No yeast symptoms. No fungal
symptoms. I had athlete's foot for over a year and a few nasty looking toe
nails. No treatments cleared it completely. GAPS alone made it all go away.

Our 12yo never had any problems with itching. Whew!

Growing Taller and Gaining Weight

One of my children is oh so very petite. She was a very picky eater. She was
five years old and weighed 31 pounds. She now weighs 38 pounds. I don't know
how tall she was when we started GAPS, but in the last six months she has grown
1 1/2 inches and is now 41 1/2 inches tall. She is still very petite.

Our 3yo now weighs 38 pounds and is 38 inches tall. He's not fat, but he is a
hefty little fellow.

Our 9 year old, also smaller than all of her friends, has also grown a full inch
in six months.

I don't know about my oldest or the baby (16 months).

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Last year when I put my whole family on GAPS to heal food allergies, behavior
issues, mental issues, vaccine damage (two children reacted to vaccines given to
them on the same day, same vaccine), etc., my goal was to do the intro diet and
try to increase the number of foods we can tolerate. We went too fast for us
and ended up pulling many foods over and over as we realized that they were
causing a problem. After starting intro, we were more limited in what we could
eat than before we started GAPS. I wanted to scream! I think I did on

This year when I put my kids back on intro, my goal is to heal their digestion
and increase their probiotics (and to go real slow) so that we will be able to
add in lots of new food.

Lots of healing has taken place. That is evident. We are not there yet, but I
do not believe we will get there if we do not focus on healing their digestion
and adding/increasing probiotics to repopulate their gut over trying to make the
diet palatable and interesting.

It was not a wasted year by any means. It took me a year to learn how to cook,
to find my resources, to convince myself and everyone else that this is for
real, and in the meantime I got my two kids back who had changed/regressed after
those stupid vaccines. My 9 year old can suddenly read chapter books because
the letters don't wiggle and move on the page. Dyslexia? My 12 year old can
complete his schoolwork in a timely fashion and organize his thoughts better.
His handwriting has improved and he can remember things like capital letters and
spelling and indentions and spacing, etc. ADHD? My baby is developing
beautifully now after a scary start and a period of hand-flapping and loss of
eye contact when I did intro while nursing. Not recommended. It was a
profitable year, to say the least.

I can't wait to report the day when we can eat what others eat from time to time
without all of the suffering we have lived with for all of these past years.

Sauerkraut Juice Makes All the Difference

We have discovered that when we increased the sauerkraut juice to 4 tbs per
person/per meal that everyone finally started to digest their food and they
finally started to go more regularly. All six of us!

It is hard work to make that much sauerkraut to serve six of us on GAPS ( it
comes to 72 tbs of sauerkraut juice per day) and it is sometimes hard to find
enough organic cabbages to keep up. Sure enough, on 3-4 occasions we have run
short on sauerkraut juice and all the poopies (I have little ones) fell apart
and were filled with undigested food. Every time we increase it back to 4 tbs,
the poops are brown and formed and at least once a day (no enemas!) Yay!

August 29, 2010

A Normal Three Year Old

I am flying high these days. Our little three year old has been the most perfect little three year old that anyone could ask for these past few days.

He listens and follows directions, even fairly complicated ones like, " Put the book on the shelf. The middle shelf. Next to the blue book."

He plays independently and happily with his siblings and neighbors.

He plays make believe! Lots of make believe.

He put together a 30 piece puzzle with a little help. He knew immediately which way to turn the pieces to make them fit.

He "reads" books out loud to himself by looking at the pictures and telling the story in his own words.

He has been using his utensils at the table and has used his nice manners with clear words like, "May I have some salt on my chicken please?"

He talks constantly, but it is conversational and not repetitive.

He laughs and smiles.

What is truly amazing about this is that he has been sick with a cold, runny nose, croupy cough, congestion. Although I have noticed that he always seems to do better during and after an illness. I really am beginning to believe that such symptoms are what we see when his body is detoxifying itself or fighting off some bad bugs.

We added and increased egg yolks a few weeks ago. That is when he first showed any signs of congestion. Then it went away. We added scrambled eggs a few days ago. No regressions in him and no anger/rage in me or anyone else. Last year when we tried to introduce yolks, he regressed and my older daughter and I became angry. We tried several times with the same results. Oh, to be able to eat whole eggs again. It's a dream!

When I say our son regressed, I mean that he went downhill in all areas and even began grabbing at his eyes again and losing his balance. I feared seizures and backed off. I believe they were seizures. They looked like some of the absence seizures I found on YouTube, also known as petit mal seizures. I am thankful that they have gone away and we are not seeing this with the addition of yolks this time around. WooHoo!!!

Praise God with me! Dance with me! Celebrate! I couldn't be happier than I am right now.

Thank You, Father, for guiding us, for giving us the knowledge that we needed. Thank You for giving us the strength and the resources to do what we are doing. Thank You for the healing we are seeing in all of the children and in myself. Thank You!

August 28, 2010

Looking for a Doctor to help us on This Journey

I have questions that can't be answered satisfactorily on a yahoo group. I need a doctor, a nutritionist, someone who is knowledgeable about these things to work with, to learn from.

I have questions like:

"What causes the severe leg cramps in my daughter when she eats certain foods and when she gets more sun than usual?

"What causes all of the nighttime accidents?" & "Is there a test to confirm what could be causing it?" & "Could we do a test?" & "Is it a problem? Do we need to do something about it?"

"Are we getting enough vitamins? Do we need any additional supplements?" & "Is there a test for that?"

"Why do egg yolks cause regressions when CKS has more than a little?"

I think I may have found the one to help me. I hope so. I prayed that God would make it obvious to me about whether this doctor is the right one to help us or not. He has his own Brain Healing Diet that is VERY similar to the GAPS diet. He is familiar with the GAPS diet. He is supportive of us continuing on GAPS because it is working. He suggested some testing and several supplements that are probably needed. He will work with me and with what I need for my son (family). Now that CKS is a patient, I can e-mail him with questions. Maybe I will finally get some answers. I hope so.

I won't post his name until I know for sure and only with his permission, so if you are wondering who, you will have to wait.

August 27, 2010

Thank You, my God, for many good things

Hi All,

I am so happy about many things.

My period has returned after 16 months and I didn't even see it coming.  No PMS symptoms!  WooHoo!

I used to have bad PMS symptoms.  I had lots of hormonal ups and downs while nursing, but not this time.  I usually have the worst PMS and the longest, most painful cycle when my menstruation resumes after having a baby.  I always had overabundant milk supply and had to be careful not to nurse too often, but not this time.  I can nurse on demand.  Too, cool.  Letdown used to be obvious and painful, but not since GAPS.

I read on WebMD "Even common disorders like thyroid disease can cause abnormalities in the nail beds, producing dry, brittle nails that crack and split easily."

I was in the process of testing for thyroid problems when I became pregnant this last time.  My nails used to be dry and brittle and they split easily.  No more!!!

All itchy places on my body are gone now for months.  I keep waiting for a return, but nothing.

I think I may have found a doctor to help us on this journey.  He's 30-40 minutes away.  He's familiar with GAPS and he came up with his own Brain Healing Diet on his own before the GAPS book came out and it is very, very similar.  He was familiar and knowledgable about everything I discussed with him.  He agreed that we should not change what is working.

CKS is a perfect 3 year old today!!! Perfect!!!  Eye contact.  Clear words.  Makes sense, as much as any 3 year old does.  No tantrums.  No rigidity.  No repeating phrases over and over and over ad nauseum.  No sloppy eating.  Perfect!  A delight!

O happy day!!!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!  Praise Him all creatures here below!  Praise Him above ye heavenly host!  Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!  AMEN!!!!!

August 2, 2010

A Puzzle - Putting the Pieces Together

So we are having some major die-off issues after a week on Intro (2nd time through). We are stage two, as in soups with a little egg yolk in their broth once a day. The sauerkraut juice is a new batch every 5 days or so, as we use it up so fast. Everyone is up to a sixth of a capsule of Bio-Kult.

Baby and three year old are sleeping fitfully. Older kids are going to bed late: can't fall asleep. Six year old itches. Youngest two have diaper rashes. Three year old is regressing, but not too much. He is also coughing and looking fatigued and ill. Six year old can't yawn. Eleven year old is achey, tired and has a headache. He has taken 3-4 baths a day for several days now. Three year old is rigid. His eye contact is poor. He is messy. Language is beginning to slur a bit. Six year old is easily upset. Nine year old seems to be doing fine.

The question is...coughing, hiccups, and the inability to yawn (can't get enough air), are these symptoms that mean they have an intolerance for this food (eggs?) and it should be taken out and tried again later? OR is this a healing reaction? Will they adjust if we hold at this level for a bit?

What about regressions? Egg yolks made our little three year old regress before. He is regressing again, but only a little so far. Is it a healing reaction or is it bad? I just don't know for sure.

In Dr. NCMs book, she does say that during die-off or when eating a healing food (salicylates/phenols) the person will have symptoms typical for him or her until the body clears it out. My thinking is that the BK and the SKJ and the eggs are all healing foods and the body is detoxing, which is why we are seeing these symptoms. I think we should keep everything at the same level to see if it all evens out.

Lord, please guide us. Please keep us on track and help me to remember the things I need to know. Lead me to the things I need to know. Thank You for healing us. Thank You for bringing peace to this home. Thank You for all of these beautiful children. May they all choose You as their own personal Lord and Savior and serve You all the days of their lives. Draw all of us closer to You, my King, my All in All, my Everything. AMEN

The Funny Things That Kids Say

Not necessarily GAPS related, but funny.

Our six year old was in hysterics and was throwing a big tantrum because she couldn't yawn. She complained, "I can't yawn! I need to yawn, but it won't come out." We finally figured out that she was having trouble catching her breath. It may be asthma related from the egg yolks because this was always my reaction to yolks and it was the reason we took them out several years ago, before we ever heard of GAPS.

Our three year old saw his shadow on the ground while he was swinging and said, "Look, Mommy. There's a picture of me on the grass." Love it!!! Only it sounded more like this: "Hook, Mommy. 'ere's a picture of me on du gass."

He can't say "L" and he always says "my" instead of "I".

Everyday he says, "My hove you."

He likes to sing "Maywee had a hittle ham, hittle ham, hittle ham. Maywee had a hittle ham. Its fweece was white as snow."

August 1, 2010

Bio-Kult and Egg Yolks

I was afraid to try the Bio-Kult because of the additives and because of hearing how powerful it can be, but we are now introducing it. We started stage one of intro 8 days ago and started everyone on 1/12 of a capsule. I have since increased it to 1/6 of a capsule.

I started the week without the Baby Biotic/Gut-Pro, but increased it to half and then back to their previous dose, as I saw very little die-off. I don't want to go slower than we need to go.

We also added a very small amount of egg yolk to everyone's broth at dinner time. I dip a table spoon into some egg yolk twice and stir it into their broth mug. Our little 3 year old, the one who regressed every time we have tried to intro egg yolks, only gets one dip.

So we have been two days at the 1/6 of a capsule of Bio-Kult and we are seeing some die-off now. This morning I was mad at the world, or I was bawling and feeling very overwhelmed. I know I am not in a right state of mind when I feel angry at my dear husband. I took an Epsom salt bath and have been absolutely fine the rest of the day. (Note: I was dripping with sweat during my bath. This always happens when I really need to detox.)

Our oldest boy (12 next month) took a bath first thing after breakfast this morning. He reported dripping in sweat during his bath, too. He was weepy off and on all day. He took a total of three baths (baking soda, Epsom salt, and Raw Apple Cider Vinegar). He took his third bath after bedtime and was still up after 11PM.

Our 9 year old girl seemed fine for the most part, but I did put her in the bath after an incident with her younger sister, just to be on the safe side. I asked her about the incident after the bath and it seems the issue was really that her little sister was having a die-off reaction. She had a hard time falling asleep and was up until after 1030PM.

Our 6 year old girl, who reacted to a vaccine a little over a year ago and became angry and hateful and who began throwing hateful temper tantrums whenever things did not go her way, was rather irritable today, to say the least. She over reacted to many things throughout the morning. She cried. She yelled. She made excuses for naughty behavior. She did better after a bath. Daddy says she was still moody, but not as bad. She could not fall asleep and was up until after 11PM.

Our little three year old has some regression: eye contact is different, will look at you in his peripheral vision if you are close, eyes seem off, more tactile, more clumsy, falling, spilling, dropping things, repeats things, talks in a loud and whiney voice, droopy shoulders, coughing a little here and there. No difference noted after his bath. He went to bed right away and that went well. The boy does like to sleep. He always was a good sleeper before the vaccine and then he woke up screaming every night. Now, on GAPS, he sleeps better. He wakes up, but not every night and not screaming inconsolably. He is having periodic bouts of diaper rash.

Our little baby boy (16 months) is more fussy than normal, but still. A pretty easy little guy. He doesn't want to go down for naps or bedtime, but once I walk out he sleeps and he sleeps well. Actually, this morning he cried around 6, which is unusual, but he went back to sleep and woke at his normal time. He is having periodic bouts of diaper rash. He has cradle cap again and a prickly rash all over his face, worse after meals.

They are all having undigested food in their stools. I pray this will improve as we get more probiotic in them. Our six year old had the first perfect poo tonight, brown and formed. WooHoo! I know everyone wanted to know that. All poos are looking better since we started intro again. Yay!

Thank You, My God, for leading us to GAPS, for giving my kids an opportunity to live happy and fruitful lives. Thank You for the improvements that we can see that encourage us to keep moving forward. Thank You for knowledge. Thank You for all of the resources that You have provided. Thank You for the means to do this for all six of us. Thank You for the support You have provided. Please keep me on the right track. Amen.