Friday, May 17, 2013


I am getting back to blogging! Yay! So, over the winter, (since I last blogged,) the craziest thing happened. A friend of mine who is also on facebook posted this article:
Of course her posting this was not the crazy thing...

This happened about the same time that Eli's behavior was starting to spiral out of control a bit. The weather is always hard on these kids with autism in the dead of winter, but this was something more. He had some negative behaviors that were not normal for him, and he also often seemed out of control of his body and also expressed it verbally when I asked him why he would not stop. I figured it might be time for another "yeast protocol" round with his doctor's anti-fungal prescription and extra strict diet for about a month. (Yeast build up is a problem that crops up with him sometimes, even though we are careful. The yeast protocol gets things under control again.) However, the PANDAS article was in the back of my mind and gave me the extra motivation to take him in.

To my surprise, when we went in, he was diagnosed with strep. I was completely floored. He was at the tail end of having strep and I didn't even know. His doctor explained why his disrespectful, out-of-control behavior was caused by the infection. I recalled Eli mentioning a sore throat, but he is not so good at drinking his liquids, so I just got him a drink of water. He mentioned it twice and did not bring it up again so I thought we had fixed the problem. Apparently, though, our real problem was PANDAS, caused by a case of strep.

I am so, so, so, so grateful that I was on the lookout  and we got him the help that he needed. (Anti-Biotics, Pro-Biotics, and Yeast Protocol.) We got our sweet boy back. I can't imagine what may have happened if I had been unaware. This problem can happen to anyone, really. Be aware and tell your friends.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wisdom of the Jone's Bottle Cap

"You and your partner will be happy in your life together."

When I opened my Jone's Cream Soda yesterday and read this, I thought "Duh, Jones! I already knew that." Not only will we be happy, but we are happy now, and have been happy for 9 years.

Challenges in life, such as autism in the family, can help make a relationship of the rock-solid-last-forever-like-a-diamond kind. One thing it takes is continued communication, and lots of it. You can't be united to stand the test of a common goal or challenge without this.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

This holiday break has been the best ever. We have spent so much time just as a little family and some time with other family members. We have been working with Eli on socially appropriate behavior, and I can see we will need to communicate with his school on making him more responsible for this. His positive behavior was commented on by an extended family member regarding one recent gathering we went to, so that was great.

I think Christmas Day this year was the best ever. It was just us, and our little Bear is old enough now to be excited over opening gifts. He has now had a chance to play with and enjoy all the gifts that he got, but on Christmas day, his favorite thing ever was the set of fat Crayola crayons his dad got him. Eli actually had a hard time sleeping, and ended up getting up earlier than we liked. He has never done that before, but we realize it is typical for his age, so he gets a thumbs-up for Christmas excitement.

Just to follow up with my last post, Sustainable Gifts for Kids, this photo shows some of the more sustainable gifts that our kids received from us and from "Santa." Some of these things were passed down to us and hung onto for the occasion, and some were thrift store finds that got refurbished. The Fisher-Price barn got cleaned and had some gently used figures from ebay added, and the xylophone got a new dad-made mallet. They were all a big hit. Eli had fun playing the old coin hockey game, which was also a great find. It was great to see him get into a game that did not require a controller. Another plus is, we saved ourselves a bit of money.

Now it is 2013! I can't believe it. I already started going crazy organizing the house, realizing I never really did get it the way I wanted, considering I was almost 9 months pregnant when we moved in. It is going to be fabulous. I have been reading up on the tiny house trend, and it is neat to see how efficient the space in a little one or two person 400-500 square foot home can be. Although we have a bit more space than that for our 4 person family, I have committed to do more to make our space more efficient and tailored to our lifestyle.

Our family tradition is to eat out as a family for lunch on New Year's Day. The Red Robin we have here serves gluten-free buns with their burgers, so that was our big indulgence of the day.  They are also very conscious of food allergies. It is nice to have somewhere special to take the kids out to eat that they like, just to celebrate a holiday.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sustainable Christmas Gifts for Kids

I am getting way excited about the gifts I've gotten for the kids, especially the ones that were "found." To me it gives the gifts more meaning because this practice is one way that we can live a more sustainable lifestyle. Some of the items we are gifting were passed our way and we have been saving for the occasion. Some of them we "rescued" from the thrift store, and I still need to clean them up and add the finishing touches for Christmas morning. My kids are going to be thrilled! I hope to post pictures of some of those in posts to come, but first, here is my current sustainable gift I have ready to give.

This little gal is a 2004 Cabbage Patch Kid that I rescued some weeks ago. Although in great shape, when rescued her, she was only wearing a bow in her hair and an undershirt. I've worked on her hair and made her a dress from an old shirt that I thought had a cute print, (and also some pleats that I integrated into the bodice.)

I save old fabrics that come my way, as well as old ripped or stained clothing that cannot be donated. They all go in boxes, and when I want to make something, I just dig through the boxes. I always find what I need. I love the reconstructing process. Much to my husband's dismay, the boxes of fabric are always floating around in inconvenient places, but he does always support me in my recycling ways. My next project will be to find a better way to organize the stuff.

Even though the little girl this is going to won't care, I decided that she reminds me of a young Emma Woodhouse from the Jane Austen novel. She will love her Emma!

Saturday, December 1, 2012


I am sitting here writing a blog post in order to postpone ordering supplements. I know, it's bad. I love the supplements and what they do. I know that they are necessary and to put off keeping the supply up is just not a good idea. It's just the drain on the bank account that I dread.

Earlier this week I stopped in for parent-teacher conferences. I heard my son sincerely described as "highly intelligent." I actually chuckled. The irony was not lost on me. You have to understand that I have never doubted the intelligent nature of my child. It's just that I have spent lots of years just trying to help him be a normal, functional, happy boy. My seven year old son who has developed his own method of speed reading is still learning how to tie his shoe. Ironic, yes?

I am extremely grateful for the experience I had a the conference. Learning more about how my son functions academically helps me to understand his lack of patience at times. He already gets it, and he is bored. He wants to move on and explore his ideas and create.

Understanding this is already helping me to be to appreciate his creative side even more. It is helping me to be more willing to make myself available for his projects he wants help with at times. We made airplanes this week from a children's book that was published in 1978. (That really appealed to my vintage-loving side.) I understand why he is so relentless about soliciting my help at times. I was a creative child as well, and when I could not follow through with my ideas because, 'Oh, I can't find the scissors,' that was way frustrating. I am hoping that by encouraging his projects, he will also make gains by way of fine motor skills, which he really needs.  

Friday, November 23, 2012

Allergen Free Thanksgiving

Our first holiday with our son on a special diet was Thanksgiving. We celebrated that first major holiday at home, with our own turkey and trimmings. We have learned so much since that first holiday!
Sometimes when you have a child with autism on a special diet, the holidays almost seem to become a battle of survival for a parent. My first impulse was to simply stay home all the time and not go anywhere, but the reality is that it was something that needed to be faced and worked through. We needed to enjoy the holidays, see friends, and ultimately teach our child how to function outside the home in terms of behavior and the diet situation.

Our first holiday away from home was at Eli's grandparent's. We did quite well in terms of diet. Everyone was so understanding and supportive. I think the only deviation from the diet was the accidental Dorito that Eli got his hands on. While that was a pretty big "Oops," noways we have learned to provided substitute chips.

Questions that swarm my brain when it comes to holidays include, "What will be served at this gathering? Will people be understanding of me if I bring my child something different to eat? Will my child be understanding of having something different?" These are things that run through my head for every event at school, every birthday party, and every holiday. I have come to learn to anticipate events and I am generally becoming better prepared for them all the time.

We have found that the key to successful gatherings is lots of the communication with the host, including asking lots of annoying questions! Our hosts do not seem to mind all my probing questions about how they prepare turkey, potatoes, etc. At a recent gathering, our host even set aside potatoes and beans for us before adding the allergens in his recipe. We took some of our favorites to share, and was a great gathering.

Nowdays, we have Eli, Little Bear, and myself on the special diet. Fortunately, we have learned over the years to not only survive Thanksgiving, but also to really enjoy it with our favorite recipes. We took Roast Sweet Potatoes with Cranberries and Walnuts to our recent gathering, and they were a big hit! Thank you to Kim Wilson for that recipe and also for her Cranberry Relish. The two together are just divine, and I can't imagine us having another Thanksgiving without them. Click on the names of the recipes in this text to view them.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Halloween Candy

      No Halloween post on this blog would be complete without a follow up on what we did with all the candy! I used to love candy, but now it is almost a bad word! All of it's sugar, corn syrup, dyes, hydrogenated fats, chocolate, (and the list goes on,) are detrimental to to all of the hard work we do to help our son recover.
      Last year I posted about the monster box. The 'monster box' was created out of desperation. Eli had discovered what Trick-or-Treating was and wanted to go. I am happy to say that the 'monster box' was a success again this year. We added things like a Transformers activity book, Spiderman rubber stamps, a 50 cent piece, and other loose change. We were even super brave and let him have one little organic lollipop. (He really wanted to try a piece of candy this year, and we felt that providing the 'safest' one would help him not feel deprived. Our hope is that by doing things like that we can prevent rebellion when it comes to diet as he gets older.)
      The pictures in the previous post were from a Halloween carnival that we went to the weekend before Halloween. On the actual day of, Little Bear was not well, and Jason was not available, so hi s sweet Aunt and Uncle took him out Trick-or-Treating. He lasted a total of about 35 minutes. Let's just say he does not have much of an attention span!
      The candy I 'buy' from him when he exchanges with the 'monster box' goes in the pantry and it usually goes to his dad's lunches. Mom used to have the biggest sweet tooth in the house, but now that I am 'grown up' I have learned that my ADD is on the autism spectrum, which explains why I have many of the same food sensitivities as my son with autism. My posts on discovering our sensitivities are here and here. Nowdays I probably could not eat a 'fun size' Snickers without spending a day in bed. So not worth it....