March 30, 2010

* Therapy?

There are some who say we should look into tharapy for our 3 year old.  When they see him on an off day, they see a child who is very rigid about routines and is easily upset by little things.

He looks like he needs some training and discipline, I admit, but on a good day he is easygoing and flexible.  He plays nice with others and shares well.  He understands about taking turns.  He is polite and empathetic.  He says, "please," "thank you," and "sorry."

My thinking is this.  If he can do these things, even sometimes, than the training is there.  He knows what to do and what to say.  He knows how he should behave, but on an off day, he is overwhelmed and can't make himself do what he knows is right.  He doesn't need training.  He needs intervention.

Detox baths work wonders!

I don't have much more to say about this.

Happy 3rd Birthday to Our 4th Child!

Today (March 29) is our 4th child's birthday. He is 3! He is the reason we jumped into the GAPS diet with both feet before I was quite ready.

Long story short (in case you have not read previous posts), he reacted to a vaccine last May and severely regressed. The neurologist had expected to meet a severely autistic little boy based on my written description of all that happened to my precious child, but because he had been on GAPS for three weeks he was almost his old self again. We at least had language and eye contact back.

When I was putting him down for the night, I realized that he is showing signs of regression. I have been noting them all week: clumsy, spills things more, falls down more, gets hurt more, louder and more agressive than usual, very tactile, always touching something, scattering toys about, stepping on things, rigid and easily upset, language slurred, lots of statements that sound like questions, repeats things over and over, his eyes are off (not tracking the same), eye contact is short in duration, close up he was looking at me out of the sides of his eyes when I asked him to look at me.  This, too, was short in duration, like it is uncomfortable to do it.

I don't know what to make of it.  At the same time, he is playing make believe.  Just this week, he has been playing with a pretend rat that he calls Rattetoui after the movie we watched a few weeks ago.  He hands me invisible cards, and cars, and food and he eats invisible monsters when they invade the house (I think our 9 year old started that one).  He talks constantly, naming everything and asking questions about things or telling us about things.

He seems very smart.  When he tells us these things, we just have to listen carefully to decifer what he is saying.  Sometimes I have to get my other kids to help me figure it out.  He's unbelievably patient about this.  He just keeps repeating his words over and over and over until we get it.  Several weeks ago he could say "finger".  Today it comes out "hinga".  He says, "Ma hinga hoit." for "My finger hurts."  or maybe it was "My finger got hurt."

So his language is growing and blossoming, but it comes and goes.  I think this is die-off.  I think the regression will be temporary and that we should press on with adding more and more of the healing foods that are part of this GAPS protocol.  I think it is because we added Cod Liver Oil and have been having more coconut oil and ghee.  We added yoghurt, too.  Well, anyway, there are some things to think about.

He looked forward to his Birthday Party all last week.  He would say, "I'm 2.  On my birthday, I be 3, right?"  He loved the streamers.  The kids wake up to streamers decorating the living room on their birthdays and he knows this, so when he woke up grumpy and his older sister told him about the streamers, he jumped up and ran out to see.  When I woke up, the two were sitting together looking at books.  Precious!

He hardly cracked a smile throughout his whole party, but I know he loved it.  He just didn't look like he felt well.  His cheeks were red and his face looked sweaty even though it was not hot.  He had everyone else open his presents for him.  That's different after the way he tore into the presents at Christmastime.

He is definitely going through a period of regression, but nothing too awful.  I pray that this is as bad as it gets.  Lord, let's not get any worse with this.  'K?

He loves the Thomas trains and the puzzles that he got for his birthday.  He especially likes the tiger puzzle.  He does that one over and over.  He got puzzles because when he goes to the library he has to do every puzzle they have.  The boy loves puzzles!
Thank You, My Father in Heaven, for this precious little boy.  Thank You for the gift that he is, for all that he brings to this family, for the joy he brings.  Thank You for giving him back to us!  He was lost to us for a short while, but he is back.  I do not fear losing him again.  You led us to the GAPS diet in an answer to my prayers for help.  If he steps away again for a bit, I have confidence that he will be back again and again with great gains.  He is a sharp little boy.  He is a joy!  Thank You for the gift of this son.  Amen!

March 29, 2010

Doing it Without Dad

Daddy is gone for the week.  When we work together on getting it all done we are up late as it is.  Without my partner in crime, I imagine being up all day and night without any sleep.  Cooking for such a large family without convenience foods takes a lot of time, not to mention clean up, but I can't imagine doing anything differently.  I am learning all of this from books and internet sources.  It is a lot to learn while going about the business of daily life.

Today was a pretty good day, all in all.  My hubby and I had a marathon weekend of food prep and the refrigerator, freezer, and cabinets are full.  I am praising God for this!  We are severely lacking in sleep, but it was worth it.  Hopefully my sweetheart will get some much needed sleep while he is away.  I hope to get some extra sleep, too, if I don't squander my time away on the computer.  (I'm taking a detox bath right now - TMI, I know...but it's a great time and place to have a little private time to do what I enjoy.  I like to write!)

Sad to say that I got a bit grumpy at the end of the day.  It was such a beautiful day outside that I couldn't bear to call the kids in to help me, but I need help.  It's a lot to do alone and as a result, dinner was served at 8PM.  Bedtimes didn't start until 9PM.  All children were finally asleep by 1030PM.  Not ideal!

The kitchen didn't get cleaned up.  The playroom didn't get cleaned up.  The living room is a mess.  Schoolwork has yet to be graded.  I really need that extra time at the end of the day to wrap things up.  Now it's late and I am tired and achey, hence the bath.  I am debating whether to rush around and clean up and prepare for tomorrow or go to bed after this and tackle it all in the morning.  I need my sleep, but I have never done well to wake up to a messy house.  Hmmm.  Difficult choice.  Opinions?  Anyone?

Lord, I thank You for being with me and for helping me through this day on such a little amount of sleep.  Help me to have a good attitude.  Help me to trust in You to take care of the big stuff.  Help me to make good and responsible choices.  Thank You, Lord, for hearing my prayer.  You are a good and a Great God!  Amen!

March 19, 2010

The Carrot Mustache

We have our mornings worked out like clockwork now.  I wash, cut, and juice carrots and celery, while the kids help to set the table, put on broth and veggies, divide chicken, and pour water, kraut juice and lemon water.  The baby is on my back or is watched by one of the older children.

Everyone gets a large cup of juice in the morning as soon as we can get it together, but first they must swallow a spoonful of codliver oil.  This is going well.  The toddler takes his codliver oil in his juice.  We say it is like tuna salad in a cup.  This works for him.

Then, we all take our probiotic.  We use GUT-Pro.  It tastes like candy to us.  So we say that we get candy for breakfast everyday.  :O)

After about 20 minutes or so, we sit down to eat chicken, veggies, and broth for breakfast.  Everyone starts with some sauerkraut juice and a little lemon water to help with digestion.  Even the baby gets sauerkraut juice with his pureed food and little bits of meat.

So I look at my kids in the mornings and they have orange mustaches.  Too, cute!

A Dairy Farm and Farmer Brown

Oh, I wish I could find (make) the time to write everyday, but life is so very full and busy these days, which of course is why I have so much to say.  So on with it...

It is Spring Break for all of the school kids around here (and the cousins), so we decided to take a break, too.  The cousins are in town, so there is fun to be had all around.

Today, we went to visit the dairy farm where we buy our raw milk so we could see how the cows are milked.  Very interesting!  They have 6 milking cows, one expectant cow, several calves, a couple of bulls, and 15 other cows for breeding and selling.  They milk the cows twice a day.  We went this evening around seven.  All 7 children seemed to enjoy the experience.  The girls want to go back and it made quite an impression on our toddler.  Grandpa is now working on getting our baby to say, "Moo!"  (to add to "uh-oh", "mama", and "woof!")  I came home with 4 half gallon containers of milk, each from a different cow.  They are labeled with the name of the cow, the date, and the time.  The milk costs us only $5 a gallon, which is the best price I have found yet for grass-fed raw milk.

Yesterday we had another visit from Farmer Brown.  She brought me 6 dozen eggs from pastured chickens for only $3 a dozen.  They are the best eggs I have ever eaten.  So far we are only eating the whites.  I am still working up the courage to try yolks again and now that I have the best eggs I can find, I can hardly wait to get started.  The yolks are almost orange.  The whites are thick.  They look and feel so rich.  Farmer Brown also sells beef.  She gave me a few cuts of beef to sample.  It is very yummy!  I need to find out the details about her beef.  I am not sure if it is entirely grass-fed or not.  I imagine it is, but I don't know.

Both our dairy farmer and Farmer Brown have commented that many of their customers as of late are dealing with autism.  Well, with the official number being 1 in 91 now, I guess that is not so surprising.

It's late.  I am going to go catch a few winks before the sun comes up again.  But wait!

Heavenly Father, I thank you for the beautiful weather that we have enjoyed these past few days.  I thank you for blessing us with new friends and resources for the good food we are now eating.  I thank you that my children are healing and that they actually like the GAPS protocol.  I thank you for the experiences that we have all enjoyed together.  I thank you that our little toddler (almost 3) is growing and developing so very well.  Thank you, my Lord, for ALL of our many blessings.  Amen.

March 3, 2010

He Holds Me Up - Another Day in the Life of a GAPSfamily

What a rollercoaster ride.  Up and down and up and down.  It's 2 AM.  I am off to bed after this, but I just had to say something about our day.

Overall it was a good day.  Everyone was fed and all are well.  I packed up a bunch of stuff to give away while most of the kids were at the library with Grandpa.  (Have I ever mentioned how blessed we are to have my dad to help out nearly every day?)  It felt great to get rid of so much clutter.  When I react to foods, I get very overwhelmed by all of the clutter!!!

We had some spinach last night.  It is a sulpher food.  We just had a little, but it was enough to cause night waking and regression in our 2 year old (almost 3).  He was picking at his scabs and bleeding all over.  He was repeating every word I said when I told him things or read to him.  He was very tactile and clumsy.  He was rigid and easily upset, but not as bad as it could be.

Our 9 year old spent some time away by herself crying and praying.  Our 11 year old was on the verge of tears because his sister didn't want to go to the library and he didn't want to have to carry her books that were due back to the library.  He said there were too many books in the bag and they were poking him, but he never thought to set the bag down and only carry it to the car and to the library.  He stood there holding it for the entire time we were changing diapers and putting on shoes and jackets and all.  It blows me away, but this is a normal reaction to food for him.  Our 5 year old woke in the night and had some rough moments throughout the day and was very gassy, tooting and burping a lot.  I have done very well today (whew)!

All of the kids had detox baths in time for bedtime, but I still got everyone to bed late.  My hubby had to work tonight, so I had to do it all on my own.  The two year old went down fine.  Then, I put the 5 year old to bed, but her tummy hurt and she was constantly burping.  I put the baby to bed and cleaned up in the kitchen, then went to play a few games with the older two.  The 9 year old didn't feel well and had been constipated, so we had to do some detox with her and I finally got her to bed after midnight.  Then, the 5 year old woke up about that time and had actually pooed in her pull-up (this is unusual) and sat sleepily on the potty to clear out the rest.  She was very distressed and could not go back to sleep, so my husband lay down with her and fell asleep on the floor in her room.  Then, the baby woke up and needed to be changed, fed, and put back to bed.  After all of this, I had to have a snack and indulge myself by getting it all out on paper (OK, it's a blog, not paper, but that's how I think of it).

Still, life is way better than the mayhem that we lived with before Feingold/GAPS.  I have wings like the eagles.  I can run and not grow faint!  God gives me the strength to do what has to be done.  He holds me up.  Otherwise, there is now way I would be standing.  To God be the Glory!

I think I can go to bed now.  I think I should go to bed now.  Good Night!