January 31, 2011

Just a Few Thoughts

I have not posted in a while. That's because I have been increasing my Bio-Kult and it feels like my world is falling apart. Well, sometimes it feels like my world is falling apart and sometimes all is well, but I spend the all is well times picking up the pieces from the my world is falling apart times.

You know...I used to have PMS and be really moody for 1-2 weeks out of every month and then I would spend the other two weeks pulling myself back together and fixing all of the problems I created during my moody times. I'm so glad I don't have to deal with that anymore.

I fell apart the other day at a memorial service for a dear friend who had passed away that morning. I guess that seems normal when I write it down like that, but I let it slip that I am not as involved in things as much as I had been and I was very emotional and explained that it was because of our current circumstances. Of course I would like to be more involved, but we just really can't be as involved as we were. That's OK. It's not forever. Things are changing all of the time, sometimes better and sometimes worse. It's always changing.

I've been thinking...Is it better to be home and happy and feeling good most of the time OR is it better to get out there in the real world and tough it out, but always feeling bad and unhappy? Although I struggle with the desire to get out there and do more and be a little more mainstream, I know from experience that we are all happier if we don't push it too much.

So I have also been thinking...Have we made ourselves more sensitive to the environment by taking so many things away so that when we come into contact with it out in public, we really react to it? I think this is probably true, and yet...before we took it all away we were sick and unhappy a lot of the time. This is the reason we stick to it. We do what we do because for the first time in our lives, we feel really good and we only feel bad when we are exposed to the things that we do not tolerate, which happen to be out there "in the real world" in abundance.

Sometimes I just want to quit!!! What would I do instead?

If I quit suddenly, or even gradually, I would get so depressed that I would be completely non-functional. I would ache all over. I would not be able to sleep at night. I would feel tired and foggy all of the time. I would be overwhelmed by all of the chaos in the house.

If I quit suddenly, my oldest would be oppositional and would go back to doing mean things to his siblings. He would forget how to see things from other people's point of view. He would constantly be hurting himself and others with his klutziness because he used to be so unaware of his surroundings. He would be constantly annoyed at everyone and everything because he would be rigid and need for things to be a certain way in order to feel OK in his world. He would be in physical pain and always rushing to the bathroom. His clothes and shoes would bother him. All of his Asperger's characteristics would return, including his anxiety. He will stop sleeping well. He will complain constantly. We have been there. I don't want to go back to that. Just adding ghee and butter brought a lot of these issues back. The only time my son has ever been totally clear minded, and happy, and caring towards others has been during the three times on GAPS when we also dairy-free. I look at him now and I marvel at the young man that he is becoming. How could I ever think of taking that away from him. At some point, he will be in control of what he eats, and yet even now he is in control and he chooses to stick to GAPS. I can't take that away from him.

Then, of course, there are the girls and the two little boys. Our little three year old regressed and he really looked as if he were going to continue to regress. I was concerned that every time he jerked and fell over or grabbed at his eyes or woke up in the night screaming he was slipping away a little more. I thought they might be seizures. I still think that they probably were. We were losing him. He was sick and miserable and he was in so much physical and mental pain. The GAPS diet brought him back to us, praise God who gave us the knowledge we needed to know when we needed to know it! I had prayed for help for my older children and I and God answered my prayer. I was so grateful that when our two children reacted to the vaccines I was already in the process of implementing the diet for the rest of us. We got our little boy back and our little girl, too.

They are all such a delight to me. I am so thankful for each and every one of them. They are amazing and wonderful little people.

In conclusion, I think it is better to be home and happy and feeling good most of the time and I think that we are more sensitive to the environment because we have removed the toxins from our daily living, but I also realize that we only experience all of the bad stuff we used to deal with daily when we are exposed to toxins a little here and there.

We DO get out. We do go to church every Sunday, even though it is sometimes extremely difficult to get there if anyone is reacting to something from the weekend and even though we know that our little guy is going to react to people's perfumes. We can't shield him from everything, but I would not want him to be miserable everyday. Then, there is the church girl's choir, art class, youth group, homeschool classes taught by other homeschool moms (like the writing class my son is about to start next week), play dates, library once a week, the preschool class at the library, field trips (like the very cool Real Pirates exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural History), LEGO club once a month, the LEGO robotics competition, the park, shopping trips, the science class that our oldest will be starting soon, weekly trips to visit the horses and horse lessons here and there whenever enough money is saved to pay for them, and the Science Fair through our homeschool co-op. We DO get out.

I DO have to remind myself that we may not be able to do as much as we have done in the past, but we are not isolated. I only feel that way when I am reacting because all I can see is the negative side of everything, which is why I do not want to go back to that place. With the exception of food reactions, which happen from time to time, I feel better and happier than I have ever felt in my whole life. Who in their right mind would want to give that up? Not me. I like being able to be the kind of person that God has called us to be. I like being kind and compassionate and gentle and patient. I have to do what I have to do, because it works.

My husband is so amazing. He is so easy-going about all of this. He often says, "It is what it is." or "If it has to get done, it has to be done." I get overwhelmed and I panic. He just sets to work and gets it done. I want to be more like that.

Enough of this. I have things to do!

January 18, 2011

Die-Off and You Would Think I Would Learn

We made a big push to increase the probiotics to therapeutic doses over the holidays. The youngest ones were already there. My twelve year old got up to 6 Bio-Kult just before Christmas (we started the Bio-Kult in July, I think). I got up from six to seven in about 8 days last week and it was rough!!! I have been unable to think. I have been irritable. Everything overwhelms me!!! I have had to just go and hide in the bedroom and let my dear husband feed the kids and put them to bed because I just couldn't carry on. I really don't like being in this state. I do have to say that I am VERY thankful that God gave me my wonderful husband who is so very patient and kind towards all of us as we go through these difficult days. Thank You, Lord.

So I should know by now to introduce things slowly and watch for reactions, but whenever I am going through die-off it seems that my brain dies off, too. I keep doing things I know I should not do and then I regret it, I feel guilty, I want to hide. We drank a lot of bone broth (Turkey) over the holidays and didn't have as severe a reaction as we used to get, although we were all definitely having issues. Healing crisis?!? Food intolerance!?! Who can tell? I still have not figured this out, but I suspect it is healing. Sooooooo, I get the bright idea that we should go ahead and make bone broth from our organic chicken bones and start adding it to our chicken broth in small amounts. Let's keep the goodness going. So I make a huge pot of bone broth and I start adding a pint of bone broth to our broth daily. This is more than just a little bit, but I figure, we can handle it.

Now I am guessing I was wrong. Well, I suppose all of the reactions could be healing reactions as in a healing crisis, but I am going to lose my mind. We have strange rashes and tantrums and loud voices and irritability and other stuff. I can't even keep up because of my die-off (or am I reacting to the bone broth?).

Anyway, I need a little peace, a little break from the insanity, so I am going to remove the bone broth once again and try again next week, but in smaller quantities.

On the bright side, the broth I made will last longer and I will not need to make more anytime soon. There's always a bright side and I am learning to always look for it. It is especially helpful to look on the bright side when going through die-off and all I can see (unless I make myself think differently) is the negative side of everything. I used to be a glass-is-half-empty kind of a girl, but changing my diet and removing all of the foods that I am sensitive to has made me a glass-is-half-full kind of girl.

I really rather enjoy looking on the bright side of things. This is another thing I am thankful for. Thank You, God, for changing my heart so that I can be a happy, joyful person and not the grumpy lump I used to be. Thank You for drawing me out of misery. I love You, My Savior! You ARE my all in all!

January 2, 2011

The Best Christmas Ever (and no candy)

We had a beautiful Christmas this year.

We celebrated early with my family because my sister had to get back to her husband who had to work through the holidays (restaurant business). We exchanged gifts and talked and played.

We even had dinner at my folk's house. We took all of our own GAPS food, mostly prepared in advance. The rest of my family had all purchased and processed foods.

It was quite funny to be setting out plates of home cooked food for my family while my mother bragged about how she didn't have to do any cooking this year. She laid out perfectly cut slices of Honeybaked Ham on a nice platter, dumped potato salad out of a plastic carton into a nice bowl, dumped a bag of salad into a salad bowl and set out the prepared salad dressing. The list goes on. We had ham that had been smoked in a smoker in our back yard the day before. We had long green beans cooked in coconut oil and we had avocado, sauerkraut juice, sauerkraut, and broth. We were full and content. No one even balked when the rest of the family had packaged pie and coffee with flavored creamer right in front of us and I realized that I had forgotten to bring any dessert. I think we were too full to care.

On Christmas Eve, we put the little ones to bed after dinner and watched The Nativity with our older three children and talked about the real meaning of Christmas.

In the morning, we snacked and opened stockings one at a time. It just happened this way. The older kids helped with and enjoyed their younger sibling's surprise and joy as they discovered what treasures were hiding in their socks. Then they enjoyed each other as they each explored the depths of their own stockings. I think it went from the youngest to the oldest. No candy. No snacks of any kind. No junk either. Their stockings were not as full as they have been in previous years, but everything was enjoyed and appreciated. It was wonderful.

We ate and then opened presents, one at a time. This was child led. Everyone enjoyed each other and no one was impatient. This is how I remember it. It was just our family of seven and it was beautiful. Everyone was delighted with their gifts and Mommy and Daddy were delighted with their children. Then everyone played all the rest of the day, except for cooking and necessary chores.

No candy, true...but there was no crying either (well, maybe a little. After all, two of the seven of us are under four).

Truly, I think it was our best Christmas EVER!!!


I almost forgot this! We had a lovely Christmas dinner with all of the grandparents at our house complete with turkey, stuffing (made with GAPS bread from scratch), green beans with sautéed mushrooms and onions (instead of green bean casserole), and pie!!!

I broke down in the middle of the day and gave all of the kids a bit of honey and two pecans. That was their Christmas treat! Next year I will skip it if we are not in a better place (but we will be) because the next day was really rough after the nut binge and the bit of honey. Live and learn, but Christmas Day could not have been any better.