Friday, December 25, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
It is so much fun to listen to them play and imagine together.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
A cold has been making its way through out family for the past 2 weeks. I have been very fortunate not to have picked up the illnesses the kids have had, but my body gave up on this one. We did not attend church on Sunday in order to spare the others in the congregation the sharing of my sneezing fits.
We have started a bean burrito tradition for Sunday afternoons. The kids don't eat bean burritos so they get cheesey tacos. I had made a full plate of tacos for the kids. They all sat down at the table to eat. As I was preparing the burritos for Darrin and myself I turned to see all of my children, including Connor in his highchair, sitting and contently eating at the table. That started the tears for the day. I was overwhelmed with emotion and such thankfulness to our Lord. My family was sitting around the dinner table together. It has taken much patience and work to get to this point and we are rejoicing this Thanksgiving season.
So many times in the past few years I have had to look very hard for a few small things to be thankful for....the moment of what we call zen, the eye contact from a child, the acknowledgement from a child that they were somewhat connecting to our world.
This year it seems as if our moments of zen are turning into mornings of zen or afternoons of zen. I am confident that some time soon we will have whole days.
I am able to turn the computers, video games and TV off for periods of time. The children are finding things to do that are "appropriate" play. It is peaceful in our home.
Many times this peace is interrupted, but for the most part it is peaceful and the chaos is becoming a thing of the past.
This year I am looking forward to the holidays. I have children who can understand the wonder and magic of this season. It is my favorite time of year. So many wonderful things have happened in my life during this time of year and so many wonderful and amazing things continue to happen.
My cup is overflowing. I am excited about the changes that are to come this year. The road that we are following on this journey has smoothed out (God sent his pothole crew) and we are excited about where it will take us next.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
The bread I made for us came out well, but is a bit sweet. It is really good with ham and as toast, but I am not sure I like it for our normal bread.
We are trying to cut back on expenses and live lean. We have spent way too much on groceries in the past and I am doing my best to cut our grocery spending to a minimum. One of the ways that I have found that I can do this is by making the kids gluten free baked goods. I have the time now that the boys are in school all day and my house actually stays cleaned up. It is amazing.
I plan on making a schedule for which foods I make on what days.
I loved the smell of the house as I baked today and I was able to clean my messes as I went instead of being interrupted 10 times and not being able to get back to the kitchen to clean up the mess.
I am looking for a good bread recipe. I am not against using other grains in my bread. So if you have a bread recipe that you love I would love to try it.
I thought that I would be board with the kids in school, but I am having fun cooking and baking again. It has been a long time.
Monday, July 27, 2009
I have been faced with new challenges this week. The kids have learned how to open the garage door. They love to ride their scooters in front of the house and play in the front yard. I now have to lock the utility room door again and take the key out of the front door. Fortunately they have all stayed close to the house and have not been wandering the neighborhood.
I think they are getting board with summer break. School starts 2 weeks from Wednesday. I have mixed feelings about this. I have loved (most of the time) having them home and now the boys will be gone all day. They are growing up. Right now I am looking forward to the time when I can have them home for school. (Ask me how I am feeling when that day finally comes.)
I am thinking about starting a "workshop" for moms of kids with Autism. I want to encourage these moms in the same way that many of you have been an encouragement to me. I want to do some cooking workshops and some safety workshops. If I can help these moms keep their kids safe and help them come up with fun gf/cf menus, I think it will help take some stress out of their lives. I know as moms we can all use less stress.
We shall see how things are going once school gets started. These next 2 weeks will be dedicated to getting ready for the school year. All 3 kids have outgrown their clothes and shoes from last year. I guess that means a shopping trip for mom. Rats! :)
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Here I was thinking I was looking so fine! :)
Now I have seen pictures from the wedding. I have a ways to go. Brother.
Well here is to another 30 days of shredding and cutting the calories with Jenny Craig.
Nothing like a picture to give you a wake up call!
Friday, July 17, 2009
All of the kids we took with us did great. Spencer was complimented numerous times on his behavior. Edy did great as she always does, and even Connor had minimal fussy times.
It was really hard reincorporating everyone back into the family unit. It seemed as soon as we got home the kids started picking at each other. This climaxed yesterday.
Not only did we have to get back into the swing of things after being gone, I also helped Edy host a movie party and we had a bridal shower here last evening. Many think I am crazy, but I refuse to be held captive once again by the Autism. On top of everything both Spencer and Addi ate wheat on Wednesday, making them over the top yesterday. We had so much attitude and screaming, that I was just about to give up and lock them in their room.
Darrin took them to the local school to ride scooters and bikes in the parking lot. They were 100% improved when they got home.
I learned one thing yesterday and was reminded of another.
I learned that after the kids have gotten into wheat they need to move there bodies really hard and it will help with the after effects of the high.
I was reminded of how it used to be every day. It is hard for me to see our progress because it is a gradual thing. Yesterday The Lord gave me a big dose of what it used to be. 2 years ago I never would have been so bold as to host anything, let alone 2 parties the week we returned from a trip. We did it and lived to tell about it, and it was fun.
Today we are calm and anticipating a trip to the pool. I think it will be a great weekend.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The flu was really bad. It literally just about wiped out our month of May. After we were mostly better we had some regression with the kids. Not just in language, but many of the old Autism manifestations reared their ugly heads. I had smearing, spice dumping, water dumping, screaming and other such behaviors that I thought were history. Not so much.
I think it was a true learning experience for us. While we were ill, neither Darrin nor I gave the kids their meds. We were both just too sick and tired to care. It really showed us that what we are doing is working. We got started again and all is well if not better.
Taylor is exhibiting more and more "normal" speech and behavior. This is good and bad. It is really hard to discipline him when he runs. He laughs as he runs and therefore makes me laugh. It is a game to him, but he is much faster than a normal 3 year old that would do this. It is a good thing that I am getting in shape. I think I will be needing some athletic skill here in the near future.
Addi has ceased the screaming. It is amazing. I thought for sure that she would be screaming until she died. Her screams were blood curdling. Made the hair on the back of your neck stand up. This was not a behavior that she could have in Kindergarten. The Lord has seen fit to have mercy on me and gave us a way to rid this house and Addi of the screaming. It is called 1 2 3 Magic. I love this discipline method! It has transformed our house. I even use it on Edy. Addi responds very well. She even tries to use it on Connor. Very cute.
Things are improving here. The Lord has given us a rest from the hard road. I don't know how long the rest will be, but I will enjoy it while it is here. This is the first summer that I have truly enjoyed being home with the kids. They are so much fun right now.
Monday, March 23, 2009
We took all 5 children out to lunch yesterday. This is the first time that we have done this since Connor was born. We have to be selective about the places we eat because of the diet restrictions. We took them to my favorite place... Koyo's. This is a Japanese Steakhouse. They cook the food in front of you. The kids loved it. They sat really well and Connor would have done a bit better if I would have realized that he needed a diaper change. Oh well.
They loved the fire in the onion tower and our chef did a bit extra because the kids had such a great reaction. Taylor ate all of his chicken and Spencer, Edy and Addi also ate well. (right now Koyo'a is having a 5.99 lunch special) We will order a bit differently next time, but it was a start.
After this we headed to Ritter's for ice cream. If you order anything over $2 you get a stamp on a card. A full card is good for a free treat. We filled the card on one trip. I think Ritter's will become a frequent family outing. The kids did great sitting at a table and waiting to be called over to get their treat. The weather was great!
We then headed over to granma and granpa's house. They played for over and hour. It was a lovely visit. We arrived back at home around 3. All in all it was a great day!
Addi had a bit of a problem in the morning because she did not get any breakfast. It is amazing what food can do for an attitude. She had also gotten some wheat this last week which made for a very hard week.
Today I started her on some more supplements: more L-carnitine, magnesium and baking soda. (the baking soda helps with oxalate acid which is the acid that makes the muscles hurt in Fibromyalgia) We have had a great morning. I will see how the rest of the week goes. So far I am optimistic about being done with the screaming.
I also started doing a "dry brush" on her arms when she is upset. This helped a whole lot. I got this idea from Vanessa, my friend Monica's sister. She has a son with autism and she said that his dad would do this and it helped. Addi loves it. She will just sit on my lap and get very relaxed as I brush.
Progress is being made again. We have given the kids their supplement every day for the last week and a half. Doing it at night is so much easier. We are almost to the point of having the kids on all of the supplements that Dr Hulseman wants them on. This is the first.
This all contributed to our great day yesterday.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Today is my day to do school with Edy. For her writing assignment she does her Bible verses for karate. They use the King James version. I grabbed my well worn Bible, that has gotten me through very many trials, to look up the verse so that she could complete the assignment. After writing out the verse for her to copy, I started to review the different scriptures that the Lord had given to me over the years.
Isaiah has been a particular comfort to me through the years and a book that the Lord has used on a number of occasions to speak to my heart. Many times I do not understand how the passages pertain to my life. I just know that the Lord has given them to me. I highlight them and many times as I review them the Lord brings to light the encouragement. This particular passage was given to me over 10 years ago. I did not know what to think of it, as it did not pertain to the situation that I was experiencing at the time. How faithful is our Lord to prepare the way for us even before we know what path it is that we are to walk.
Isaiah 49: 8-26 (ESV)
The Restoration of Israel
8 Thus says the Lord:“In a time of favor I have answered you; in a day of salvation I have helped you; I will keep you and give you as a covenant to the people, to establish the land,
to apportion the desolate heritages,
9 saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out, to those who are in darkness, ‘Appear.’
They shall feed along the ways; on all bare heights shall be their pasture;
10 they shall not hunger or thirst, neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them,
for he who has pity on them will lead them, and by springs of water will guide them.
11 And I will make all my mountains a road, and my highways shall be raised up.
12 Behold, these shall come from afar, and behold, these from the north and from the west,
and these from the land of Syene.”
13 Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing!
For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted.
14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.”
15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.
16 Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.
17 Your builders make haste; your destroyers and those who laid you waste go out from you.
18 Lift up your eyes around and see; they all gather, they come to you. As I live, declares the Lord, you shall put them all on as an ornament; you shall bind them on as a bride does.
19 “Surely your waste and your desolate places and your devastated land- surely now you will be too narrow for your inhabitants, and those who swallowed you up will be far away.
20 The children of your bereavement will yet say in your ears: The place is too narrow for me; make room for me to dwell in.’
21 Then you will say in your heart: "Who has borne me these? I was bereaved and barren, exiled and put away, but who has brought up these. Behold, I was left alone; from where have these come?’”
22 Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations, and raise my signal to the peoples; and they shall bring your sons in their bosom, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.
23 Kings shall be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you, and lick the dust of your feet. Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.”
24 Can the prey be taken from the mighty, or the captives of a tyrant be rescued?
25 For thus says the Lord: “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken, and the prey of the tyrant be rescued, for I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children.
26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh, and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine. Then all flesh shall know that I am the Lord your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”
Today I was reminded of a promise that was given to me over 10 years ago. It was about my children. I had no idea then that we would be fighting Autism. It has held our family captive for many years. It has stolen my children. It has ravaged our family. God knew what he was calling Darrin and I to do over 10 years ago. He has given us this path to walk, but he did not mean for us to walk it alone. Scattered along this road have been friends to encourages us, the Lord's hand guiding us along when we just wanted to give up and the Lord's promises that he would be with us every step of the way. He has reminded me of a promise made long ago that in addition to being with us through all of this, He is going to save our children and it will be to his glory.
He is going to save our children. This is a promise, and the Lord does not break his promises. This does not mean that the rest of this road will be without it's valleys. It will still take work, but I am now working toward a goal that is no longer a maybe but a will, and through all of this others will know that the Lord is our Saviour and our Redeemer.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
We did not have the money to replace them. We tried to clean them only to be told that it was hopeless and we should just get new carpeting. We were also faced with the fact that new carpeting is full of chemicals that can harm the children. What to do?
My mother-in-law was also wanting to help us get the carpets clean. After being here a week at Christmas time she went home and dug out the book "Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things" by Reader's Digest. It said that you could use Borax to clean stubborn stains out of your carpet. It was worth a try.
I started in front of the bathroom where Taylor had smeared some chocolate that I could not get cleaned up. I mixed a couple of cups of the Borax with some hot water and literally poured it over the spots. It was magic. In the place where I had saturated the carpet it all came clean. I used the steam cleaner to suck most of the water back out. It was amazing.
Knowing that I needed to get most of the carpet saturated, I went to work putting together a system. Darrin purchased a pressurized sprayer for me and I figured out how to get the Borax dissolved so that I could spray it on the carpet.
Here is what I ended up doing:
In a large pot bring about 1.5 gallons of water to a boil.
Add one box of Borax
Stir until all of the Borax is dissolved
Ladle into the pressurized sprayer to the bottom line
fill the sprayer with very hot water to the fill line.
Spray on the carpet.
Use a carpet rake or stiff push broom to work the solution evenly into the carpet. (if you don't do this your carpet will be splotchy)
Let the carpet rest for about 30 minutes
Use your steam cleaner with a white vinegar rinse (same proportions as you would use chemicals) to suck the Borax mix out of the carpet.
Let carpets dry overnight.
I also pre-spot the carpet for the really bad stains.
You might need to repeat the process in very bad areas.
Here is the result:
The result is much more dramatic in real life. I am very pleased with the results. So much so that I was able to get rid of the damaged area rugs that had been covering the worse stains. I am very pleased.
One other thing. You don't need to worry about your carpets being wet because the Borax actually keeps mold from growing so you are actually also adding a mold resistant product to your carpets. Cool!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Last night as Darrin and I were watching Fox 59 news at 10 there was a story about High-Fructose Corn Syrup. They stated that in a test study that a lot of the industrial HFCS contains Mercury.
Here is the article.
All I have to say is REALLY PEOPLE!!!! Have you not been listening to the debate about vaccines? Why in the world would you put mercury in a food product. It is not good for the average person and it toxic for kids with compromised immune systems.
Then the HFCS people have the audacity to have commercials that promote the product and make those who avoid it sound stupid. They go something like this.
Person 1: Do you want some soda?
Person 2: No thank you. That contains HFCS. You know what they say about that.
P1: No, what do they say about it?
P2: Well, you know....
P1: That it is made from corn, and that in moderation it is ok?
Voice over: Be informed about the foods you eat. Go to (some web site)
Now person 2 can say: Yes, much of it contains mercury. Do you know what mercury does to your body?
One really sad thing about this is that many children with Autism have a very limited diet and much of this diet contains foods that are very high in HFCS.
So please read your labels and avoid this product.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I don't know if, as a mom and dad, that you can ever accept that your kids will not be like other kids. There are some parents who have children with physical defects and others who have children with brain injuries that will never be cured. There is nothing that these parents can do. Their acceptance of reality is much harsher and yet it is quick and permanent.
For Darrin and I the acceptance comes and goes. There are days that we just know that the treatment we are doing with the children will work and other days it seems as if we will be with these kids for the rest of our lives because they will not be able to live on their own.
Having Connor has brought a new sadness to us. We are watching him develop into a normal little boy. He will not have the Autism as the others do, because we are taking steps to prevent it. I am happy that we know what to do for him, but sad because we did not know these things to do with the boys and Addi. I swing between emotions.
I know that God intended for us to have these children and to walk this road with them, but my mommy heart is angry that we did not have this information when the boys and Addi were babies. I am mostly angry at our pediatrician. She should have known that the boys were not healthy. She should have put it together. This is why we do well baby checks. They are the professionals and she let me down.
Darrin and I take turns with doubt about out kids futures. Yesterday we both had doubts. This is a rare occasion, but we were both grieving the loss of a dream we thought we were ok not having. That is until we had Connor. We are reminded about how much we have missed. We are reminded about the fact that we don't know our sons or Addi the way we want to because we still don't have the whole key to unlocking their brains so that they are no longer held captive.
We have come a long way on this journey, but it is heart wrenching to see what was taken from us. Over the next few years we will be reminded on a daily basis, as we watch Connor grow, how much was actually stolen from us.
In my heart I know that this is the path that was meant for us to walk. It was not to be any different. It has been written from the beginning that this is what our family would be and this is what the Lord has for some of our children. Knowing this does not make the grief any less. As parents we all have dreams for our children. Dreams of success in faith, work and family. At this point I am afraid to dream for my kids. I don't want to have them crushed again.
Today we have a snow day. Do homeschoolers have these? I woke up this morning (now I can't go back to sleep) and found that school is closed and Darrin will probably work from home. As much as I love my down time when everyone is gone, I do enjoy these surprise family days.
Today I hope to start the fun memories of snow days. I want to send the kids outside to help daddy shovel the walk and have hot chocolate (made with honey) waiting for when they come inside and maybe we will make some cookies later.
What are your favorite memories of snow days?
1/2 gallon of milk - heat on the stove
add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of cocoa (depending on how chocolaty you want it)
add honey to desired sweetness. We usually use between 1/2 to 1 cup.
a pinch of salt
Friday, January 9, 2009
Darrin and I are going to set some goals for this year. Some of my personal goals are:
Do better with the finances
Lose my baby weight and then some.
Start Flylady again (found my notebook while cleaning out the bookshelves upstairs)
Straighten the house and unload the dishwasher everyday.
Limit my "bring dinner home" to once a week if not less.
Exercise at least 3 times a week.
blog at least 3 times a week.
We will see next year at this time how much has been accomplished.
As for house projects this year:
build a window seat for the library and the family room.
Build built ins for my closet.
Redo the landscaping, front and back (with Monica's help)
Get Edy's room repainted (there is boys writing all over her walls)
Get some pictures hung in all of the rooms.
I am looking forward to these projects, but they will only be accomplished if the above list is consistent. Otherwise I will not have the time, clean spaces to work or money to complete the project. This last year has been full of growth. I look forward to this next year to see what the Lord has for us as a family.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Connor is now 2 months old. I can not believe how time is flying. October seemed about as long as the whole year.
We had some regression with the boys over Christmas. It was very hard for me to deal with a newborn and the boys treatment. I have a new resolve this year to make sure to get all of their supplements on a regular schedule. So far so good.
We have been able to take Taylor off of the Risperdol (sp?) We have started back on the 5-HTP for him and it is working. His progress reports from school have been improving. At this point and time that is all we can ask for. As much as I want to wave my magic wand and make Taylor, Spencer and Addi better, I can not. It is a slow process, but we have had much success this past year and Dr. Hulseman expect the progress to continue. She is expecting that by the time they are in Jr High that no one will know that they ever had an Autism diagnosis. They will be fully recovered just in time for me to have to deal with puberty. Brother!
We are not putting them back on the SC diet. We did not see any great improvement while we were on it and it was very difficult. We will stick to the GF diet as that is what seems to help the most. Also the supplements help a great deal. Right now they are all on 5-HTP, TMG, Folinic Acid, B12, Nystatin and EDTA. I also give them a probiotic every day. Taylor gets additional Selenium in hopes that by the next appointment we can start him on a heavier chelator.
We do have plans in the future to do the hyperbaric chamber with all 3 kids. This will be one of the last things that we add to their treatment. We will probably rent one for a month and see how that goes.
I still need to get before and after pictures of the kitchen posted here. In addition to the kitchen being redone, we took a wall out upstairs and now have a loft for the kids area. It has been a real help as I have gained about 100 sq feet of useable space. All that is left, for the time being, is the paint. It has been fun to get back into the swing of things and adding projects to my to do list. I love house projects. There is such a sense of satisfaction when they are finished.
This has been a rambly post. So much has happened in the past months. I am going to try to update daily. We shall see how that goes.