July 30, 2010

Blessed by Our Three Year Old

Everyday I praise God for the miracle of having our little boy back. He is developing on schedule and amazes me every day with something new.

A few months ago I was delighted when he drew a self portrait. It was a big sloppy circle with some dots and lines scattered about inside. I was so impressed that I wrote his name and the date in the corner and posted it in the kitchen. The day we started intro again, he drew a self portrait with a small circle for the head, which contained two properly placed eyes and one properly placed mouth. It had a straight horizontal line under the circle (the arms), and two vertical lines under that (the legs), and each leg had a foot. When prompted, he added a nose and some fingers. He is 3 yrs and 4 mos. He then drew pictures of his brothers and sisters and me, including noses and fingers. Wow!

You can tell that he doesn't feel well, but even past the drooped shoulders, whiney voice, repetitive questions and statements, and the rigidity resulting in tantrums, he is the sweetest, most loving, tenderhearted little boy. He loves hugs and kisses and melts at the sound of the Barney "I Love You?" song. He loves to sing "Row Row...", "Twinkle Twinkle...", "I'm a Little Teapot", and many more. His lip syncs are the best!!!

Oh, there's so much more! This will do for now. I am so glad that he is healing. He is smart and sweet and wonderful. I hope and pray that God will do mighty things with this little one.

Thank You, God, for giving us our little boy back. Thank You!

Die-off Tales

One week on intro, second time 'round, and we have not had too many reactions. A little tired, a little achey, a headache, but not much else, so I have been increasing the probiotic and I introduced a small bit of egg yolk.

All is well overall, but yesterday, when I increased the probiotic, the two that had reacted to their vaccines had die-off reactions.

Our six year old threw several tantrums, got mad at her sister, cried like the end of the world when it was time for our neighbor to go home, cried at bath time, and cried at bedtime because she wanted Mommy, not Daddy, to put her to bed.

Our three year old became very tactile, lost eye-contact, talked in a whiney voice, spilled things and dropped things, cried at bedtime, woke once in the night and was up for the day in a grouchy mood at 630 in the morning. His little fingers are always by his face, scratching his nose, eye, or ear. He repeats questions over and over and over. He also woke up with a croupy cough, which seems to happen with die-off. It was gone by the time everyone else got up for the day. He seems generally off today, but not too bad.

Baths help and we will hold at the same level of probiotic and the same amount of egg yolk for these two little ones until things settle out for them. This is about the pace I am comfortable with. It has been and can get much worse. I don't want to go there. I will continue to increase and add things for the others.

Oh, yeah. The baby is a bit crankier than usual. He says no a lot and cries at nap and bedtime. Could be die-off or the fact that he is cutting six teeth. Hmmm.

Thank You, Lord, for the healing that You are bringing to our family. Thank You for giving my kids an opportunity to live healthy and happy lives. May they give You honor and glory all the days of their lives. May they live for You in all they say and do. May they be mighty warriors in You Kingdom. Amen!

July 28, 2010

Poo, Glorious Poo!

How interesting to be so excited about poo. Today, the three youngest kiddos had lovely brown formed poo, the first time in forever. WooHoo! Yay, for intro!

Recently, they have had watery, mushy, orangey poo with bits of undigested food in it and it made their bottoms itch or burn. I couldn't be happier to see such normal poo. They have never had normal poo.

I used to try to always be prepared for the "20 wipe poo" when we went anywhere. One travel wipes box might not do it if one of the kids had one of "those" poos. Our fourth child had occasional sandy poos. We never figured that one out. Recently, it has been suggested that it may have something to do with oxylates. Fall apart poos that are creamy and watery with undigested bits have been the norm around here OR hard black pebbles, like rabbit pellets.

Normal poo wipes up with one wipe. I love it! I always wondered how people ever survived before the advent of disposable diapers because my kids' poos were the worst, but now I get it.

July 27, 2010

Why Intro Is (and is going to be) Better This Time Around

This time around, I know what I am doing.

I know what die-off looks like and how to manage it.

I know how to cook GAPS food and what the kids and I like and don't like.

I am not grossed out by bones and soft tissues anymore and we even love the way the soft stuff all blended up adds so much flavor to the soups and stews.

None of the children are picky eaters anymore.

We are not dealing with the extreme behavioral and emotional issues we were working so hard to recover from the first time around.

[Praise God, our Father in Heaven, who led us to GAPS, because He is recovering our children who had reacted so severely to their vaccines. He is healing all of us through this protocol, but we are extremely grateful that the tantrums and screaming fits are rare these days. We have happy, healthy kids again! (We are getting there.)]

We have all of the necessary supplies to make it easier this time around. We have lots of pots and pans, including four large stock pots. We have a juicer and a food processor and a Vitamix. We have a hand held blender and a Magic Bullet. We have lots of canning jars in various sizes. We have stoneware for baking and lots of cooking and serving utensils. We even have enough plates and bowls and silverware to go around, plus a few extra.

We have excellent resources for good food: grass-fed beef, free-range chicken eggs, ruminant pigs, salt, fish, nuts, oils, probiotics, etc.

We know how to make ferments, like sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, pickles.

We have a good idea of what foods we will be able to add back in fairly quickly without any trouble.

We know that detox is part of the protocol and we understand that we are going to have to have symptoms and feel yuck sometimes. We just need to manage it by going slow.

We have figured out systems and routines for getting all of everything done, and it works most of the time.

Our baby is a year older and he sleeps through the night. The older three kids can, and do, help look after him and our three year old. This is huge!!!

The side of beef that we bought from Farmer Brown is the best tasting grass-fed beef we have had yet. Yum! That helps.

Everyone is drinking more water.

Our 11yo ds (almost 12yo) helps our 3yo ds get up and dressed in the morning, even getting him out of wet pajamas, helping him put pee in the potty, and getting a dry diaper on. This is a miracle and a blessing.

Our girls, ages 6 and 9, often get the baby in the morning while I am running around getting done the things that have to get done. They change him, dress him, and play with him.

All of the older kids are willing participants of GAPS.

We have seen great success over the past year and have much motivation to continue.

So far everyone has done well with a teensy dose of Biokult, even me.

Everyone is finally drinking Ginger tea!!!

We eat three meals a day, no snacks, and no one is hungry! Three days in for the boys and no one is ravenously hungry. We all ate non-stop the first time, we were so hungry.

I have figured out a good way to keep track of food proportions and what has been tried and what to try next.

I am not afraid to do (shhh) enemas, if needed. No big deal.

No need to justify what we are doing to anyone.

No more cravings.

The list goes on. GAPS is good.

intro Again

It has been eleven months since we started GAPS. We have seen some wonderful progress in terms of cognitive development and behavioral improvements. Yay!

We still have not been able to add a lot of new foods and are still very limited in what we eat, so we are going back to intro to try to heal and seal the gut so we can add more food in sooner. That is our hope.

I am not going to revisit intro, as I am still nursing and it did seem to have a negative effect on the little one the first time around. I couldn't do that to him again. He's doing so well.

Good news: the boys have been on stage one for three days, with a bit of Biokult, and are doing well with no major flu-like die-off symptoms. The girls started today and are doing quite well. I moved two of the boys on to stage two, introducing a bit of egg yolk into their broth. So far, so good. Our 3yo ds is still on stage one due to diarrhea. Maybe tomorrow? I think that the girls will start stage two tomorrow, too. yay!

I am very hopeful that they will all be able to tolerate eggs this time around. We will go very slow and carefully with the eggs since they caused major regressions eight to eleven months ago. I have been chicken to try them again, but now the time is right.

By God's grace, I pray that enough healing has taken place over the past eleven months and that we will all be able to add more and more foods and expand our diets quite a bit. By God's grace, I would be happy if we could add eggs and ghee and butter!

I just know it is going to go well this time around.

Please, Lord, let it be so. Amen!