Tuesday, September 7, 2010


We are back from our cruise. It was a great weekend. The best since our honeymoon!

We left on Thursday afternoon and when we got to the Airport Darrin found out that his drivers license was expired. We did not think anything of it until we hit Chicago. What if they do not let us on the ship with an expired ID. We made lots of calls and had lots of people praying. Darrin stressed, I was just glad to be on vacation. At this point all expectations for the cruise went out the window. We would just be happy if they let us on the ship.

We were on our way to the Port Authority when Jamie, our group director, called to let us know that we should not bring attention to it and everything should be fine.

After much nervousness we were allowed access to the ship. We did not get off the ship at Nassau because we were afraid they might not let us back on the boat.

We did get off of the boat for Coco Cay. We only needed our seapass to get back on the ship.

After about 1 hour the realization that we were on the ship started to hit. We had made it on and we were about to set sail.
The cruise was more than we could have wished for. All of our meals were provided and the staff on the boat were so very friendly. They met any request that was within their power.

Pictures are posted on my facebook page.

One of the reasons for taking this cruise was to find out information about the Autism on the Seas program. We are very impressed and are planning to take the kids on a cruise next August. The parents that were there raved about their time on the cruises and also put our fears to rest. I can not wait for our next one.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer Time

This summer has been one of the best ones yet. The kids have been great and I am sad to think about them returning to school.

There are many things about summer that I love. Some of the best times were had playing in the rain. Rain storms without thunder and lightning are hard to come by. We had one of these this week and I was able to witness my kids making childhood memories.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Die off and Wheat

This die off is about over. I have relatively happy kids again.

I have learned that my body no longer tolerates wheat. If I do eat it I break out under my nose. This is the same thing that Connor does, so I now can tell when I have gotten even a little bit.
Oh well! It does make me wonder what was going on inside my body when I was eating it in vast amounts.

Day 12 of the Shred is done. I hate Jillian. Work out 2 is so much harder than 1. The only reason I am still doing this is because Darrin is doing it with me and the pain brings us closer. :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

What was I thinking?

Really, by this time you would think that I would start to think things through. Nope! Decided to do a Costco run with all of the kids the day after I gave them tons of coconut oil peanut butter fudge. Can we say not so smart.

It did not go too bad, but yesterday was so very much better. The house was very peaceful yesterday. Today we are on an emotional roller coaster. Taylor goes from really giddy to yelling and hitting. Addi is screaming again.

This die off is not as bad as the last one. This is a good thing. The next one will not be as bad as this one. I will know that we have taken care of the yeast when the behavior does not change after eating the fudge.

Fortunately tonight is date night. So sorry Esther!
This will give me a bit of a break.

In other news...We are on day 11 of The Shred! We made it to workout 2. It is really hard, but we are going to keep going. It helps to have Darrin doing it with me.
I am starting to see results so this also keeps me going. Only 19 days to go then we will have to see what we are going to do next.

Since starting this workout, I have so much more energy. The house is cleaned up and I am able to implement the chore charts for the kids. I also find myself much calmer. That will make some of you smile.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day Two

I completed day 2 of The Shred. I hurt all over, but I am determined to continue.

In other news, Spencer has decided that he wants to be a fireman when he grows up. He plays in a plastic fireman's hat and his snow pants, boots and jacket. He gets very hot, but isn't that what firemen do? It is fun to see him play with thoughts of the future.

Taylor is turning into a jester. He loves to laugh and always says "mom, isn't that funny?" He loves to tickle and chase. He loves to make others laugh. It is really fun to see this side of him developing. His eyes are clearer and he is using longer sentences to communicate. We are seeing so much progress.

Addi is also improving. We still have a scream every once and a while, but nothing like we used to. I will miss her in the mornings next year when she goes to the 1st grade.
Her comprehension is getting better and she has passed Taylor in many areas.
It just proves how important early intervention is with these kids.

Edy is so very pleasant and has decided that she would like to stay home next year. I am happy for this. I would miss her not being here.

Connor starts speech therapy soon. He is not speaking as he should so I called First Steps. It was determined that he does not have the Autism ( big relief here), but he has weak jaw muscles because he got his back teeth late. I can see improvement in his speech even now.

We do need to be a bit more strict with the diet these next few weeks. I really want to push the pro-biotic when they are off of school. I think we will have even more improvement if we do that.

The Lord is doing wonderful things in our lives right now and I am truly thankful.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I started today!
Day one DONE!!!!

I might do the elliptical this afternoon. I have 30 days and I want to lose 20 lbs.
Here is hoping.

I have also given up Agave nectar for the next 30 days. No desserts. :(

I have Monica Bird and Anne Judd joining me for the 30 days. Feel free to sign in here and join us. It is only 30 days and you will feel fabulous when we are done.

You can get the DVD Jillian Michaels The Shred at any store that sells DVD. It is not expensive and it will change you if you do it.

Come join the fun!

Friday, May 14, 2010


Thank you all so very much for your kind words. We have had an eventful week, but as always God has been merciful. There was no pain and I am back to my normal.

I have learned that even through loss, life continues on.
I am continuing on.
I start Jillian's The Shred in hopes of losing my last 20 lbs.
School is out in a week, and we go to CA at the end of June.

We will miss welcoming this little one into the family, but we all know that only God can see the big picture and one day we will all understand. Until then I am at peace to leave the future in His loving hands.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Time to Learn...and a Time to cry

So many time the Lord gives us precious times to teach our children about him. Today was no exception.
It seems as if the Lord has decided to take our baby home to him. It has been hard for many of us, but it has been a time for us to comfort Edy through loss and draw closer as a family.

I must say that one benefit of Autism is that they do not understand what has happened. They accept that things have changed and move on. Not so easy for the rest of us.

I would appreciate prayer as the miscarriage progresses. I have not had any pain as of yet, but my numbers are at 18 when they should be around 1000. My midwife says that she is pretty sure that we will lose this pregnancy. I am hopeful that it will be without pain, but having experienced this in the past, I am sure there will be some.

We will keep you posted if things change. Thank you.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Improvements and change

Addi has been having wonderful days at school. It has been a very long time since I have received a bad report. She has not had any fruit or juice for a few weeks. She seems to do fine with the Agave nectar, so we will continue the way we are going.

The kids have taken to tea. It is very cute. They like to have "syrup" and "milk" in their tea. I use agave and coconut milk. They then stir it and sing a little chant that they heard on Dora. It is quite amusing.

Other news: Edy announced to me today that she would like to try out public school next year. I have mixed emotions about that. Part of me is selfish and thinks it is a great idea :) the other part of me is very sad and really wants her to remain home. I am trying to set up a date for her to visit the school so she can at least experience it before she would start next year.

I must admit that I am a bit afraid that I have not done my job and she will be behind the other 4th graders. Such a pride issue.

It does not help that I want to burst into tears at most anything that is happening.

So much is changing. I guess I was getting a bit too comfy in my little box.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Best laid plans...

I have not been much of a planner in the past. As things have progressed with our Autism journey, I have learned to plan. In some ways I like it. I have not become obsessed with my plans, because invariably the Lord changes them.

I am ok with this, because I know that His plan will be much better than the one I had to begin with.

Darrin and I have never "planned" our children. We wanted them from the beginning, but we never said ok, this is when we want them. The Lord just sent them our way. I always thought it would be fun to plan one of them, but after Addi we decided to not have any more and focus on getting the ones we had recovered.

Then 5 years later the Lord sent Connor. He was unplanned, but exactly what this family needed. I have loved having him around and so has everyone else. He is so much fun! I love watching his little brain work. I missed this with the last three and was so tired when Edy was going through this stage that I don't remember it too well. I am so very thankful for this chance.

So the Lord has decided that I get to experience this for a second time. Our family is expanding. This also was not planned. I wanted an April or May baby, but once again the Lord has other plans for us. We will be welcoming our new little one sometime in early to mid January.

I am excited to see what this new little one will add to our family. He/She has already brought a great amount of rejoicing as the children bounced around in jubilation when we told them.
And so our journey adds another.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Good Day and Wear Blue Friday

When school is out it takes me about a week to adjust to the kids being home. I only have 2 days to go and then the week is almost over and they go back.

Today I got much accomplished. It is easy to get a bunch done when my guilty pleasures are being monopolized by the children. Dinner is on and the dishes are done. The house has been cleaned up and vacuumed. Spencer even helped.

As I was doing the dishes Taylor came into the kitchen and says to me "Mom, say high to Ricky." He had the raccoon puppet on his hand. This is a huge break through! He used a complete sentence, he called something by name and he was engaging me in a conversation.

For all the hard work that I have been putting into this diet, it is really starting to pay off.
Taylor has been interacting with the others this week and he has been engaging them in conversation. It has been a very long time since we have had this kind of improvement.

I do not believe that we would have had this improvement had we not done all that we did over the past years. I think that this journey has its stages and that each stage builds on the others. In order to survive this journey you need to take one stage at a time. We could not have done this diet last year. We were not ready and neither were the kids. There is so very much thrown at you when you first start treatment. You feel as if you need to do it all for fear that you will miss the one thing that will bring your child to recovery. This leads to burn out and failure. You are trying so hard to do everything that in the end you are tempted to do nothing. I think that some things need to change when introducing parents to bio med. I think that there should be some set simple things to start, but then add the other things very gradually. To worry about what your child is eating and getting a gazillion supplements down them takes its toll very quickly. This journey is a long one and you need to pace yourself, and I think that this needs to be emphasized to the parents starting out. You are so desperate to find what will help your child that you are out of the gate as if it is the 100 yard dash. We need to come along side these parents just starting out and help them get a good pace and reassure them that if they don't find the "cure" for their child tomorrow all is not lost. It has taken me 2.5 years to learn this.

I used to panic if I thought we weren't doing things right. Maybe if we did things not the way everyone said they needed to be done it wouldn't work. Well, we are not doing this diet exactly the way the book says to. I have added in things that they say are illegal and I have eliminated foods they say are fine. I know my children and we are doing what is best for them. This might not be what is best for someone else. This is what makes Autism unique. Unlike other disease there is no set protocol that help across the board. It is not a cancer that can be treated with chemo. It is a syndrome where each set of parents become their own research scientist to find a "cure" for their children.

April is Autism Awareness Month. This Friday is wear blue for Autism Awareness. Please join me in wearing blue. The report, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics in early October, 2009 indicates that 1 in 91 children has autism, with 1 in 58 boys receiving the diagnosis. This number is markedly higher than previous estimates of 1 in 150 children, and 1 in 94 boys.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Great Book

I have found a wonderful cookbook filled with recipes using almond flour and Agave nectar. We have been using Agave nectar because no one reacts to it. We have problems with honey so we are tailoring this diet to our family.
The book is The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook. It has changed the way I view this diet. I can have yummy things and not miss out on the forbidden fruit.
You can check out her blog here: www.elanaspantry.com
So far I have made the Carrot Cake, Lemon Bars and Pistachio chicken. Cindy made the jelly bars. Everything has been wonderful!
I have ordered her book from Amazon and it should be here soon.
I also got a book on roasting nuts. I am excited to make them spicy and sweet. These will take the place of our chips and croutons.
I did look at a cookbook for coconut flour, but was not impressed with my results.

Yesterday we had brisket in the crock pot with sweet onions, a wonderful salad that Mary made, deviled eggs and green beans. Everything was so good.

Salt both sides of the brisket.
Place meat fat side down in the crock pot.
Cut up 2 large sweet onions and place over the top of the meat
cook on low for 10 hours.

Deviled eggs:
12 hard boiled eggs cut in half with the yolks put into a separate bowl
1/2 cup homemade mayo.
a few squeezes of whole grain mustard from Trader Joe's
a scant squeeze of Agave nectar
Kirkland season salt to taste

Mix egg yolks and other ingredients
fill egg whites with the egg yolk mixture
Top with paprika for color.

On a side note: A few weeks ago we were wondering how we were going to fit this new diet into our food budget. We have had to raise our budget a bit, but because of Angelo's Railroad and Truck Recovery down on south College we are making it work. The week after we started this diet, Angelo's made a new contact for organic food. I can now get cage free eggs there for $1 a dozen (if I buy 15 dozen) $1.50 each if not and antibiotic, hormone free smoked turkey breast lunch meat for $1 a package. We also find other things there each week. It is amazing to me how the Lord has put everything in order for us.
We are having great success as long as I keep kids off all sugars except Agave and they can not have milk products yet.
This week is spring break and so far the day has been rather pleasant.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sweet Edy and progress

Edy has been gone for the last week and a half. It is her spring break and she wanted to spend it with Granma. I have missed her, and yet I am glad that she will have the memories that she is making. She was home yesterday for a short time. I am amazed at how grown up she is. The whiny Edy that I had just a few weeks ago is gone. In return my happy chatty Edy is back.
We were able to discuss things that in the past would have sent her into tears.
She told me that she loved this diet. She was feeling so good.

I was going to allow her to have a "cheating" cake on her birthday and now all she is asking for is that after we try a "legal" cake if she doesn't like it could I make her something chocolate.
She has come such a long way in such a short time. How fortunate I am that we took care of these issues before she hit her teenage years.
Yesterday I had a muffin!! It was so very delicious! I really ate 3. My mom made them. I hope she will post the recipe in the comments so that it can be shared. I can not wait to be able to make them for the kids in about 6 weeks.

We have given up honey and fruit for the next 5 weeks. We were done with bed wetting and after I gave them honey it started up again. We will give their guts time to heal a little more and then try again.

I also have the kids off of dairy. I was supposed to have them off of it for 6 weeks before we started this diet, but I did not know this. We are doing it now. If there is no reaction to the dairy then I will slowly be able to introduce cheese. I miss cheese.

They boys and Addi are continuing to improve and Connor is starting to add new words to his vocabulary. Today he said boo.

We are not doing the diet perfectly. Who can? I am tailoring it to our family. We were not nearly as sick as some who have started this diet, and for that I am thankful.
I am back to making broth. I have found that the family prefers the chicken broth. That is great because it is the cheapest and easiest to make.

Alaina, yes you can use Agave nectar instead of honey. It is not legal on our diet, but it works the same way. Agave does tend to have a slight aftertaste, so you might want to pair it with lemon, lime or chocolate flavoring.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

One Week Later

We are starting to get back on the regiment of the GAPS diet, after the stomach flu, and we are finding a new normal. I now know why women stayed home way back when. I am in the kitchen about 8 hours a day just preparing for future food consumption. This will drop off here this week as I get our frig stocked with homemade condiments.

We are seeing language growth and comprehension. We are totally supplement free except for pro-biotic, fish oil and vitamins E and K. We will also be continuing with the B12 shots. We are a bit obsessive right now, but I can handle that. I don't want them on too many supplements right now because I want to be able to track how they are doing on this diet. If it gets to be too much we might add a few back in just to give us a break, but so far we are doing a little better then we were a few week ago on all of the supplements. Connor also seems to be starting to develop his language. I here new sounds this week and Edy's moodiness is almost non-existent. It was back a bit while on the honey, but she is so easy to be around now.

It took me over 2 hours to prepare dinner on Sunday.
I made buns and ketchup. My ketchup needs a bit of help and once I perfect it I will post the recipe here.
The buns were a pancake, but the kids and Darrin liked them. They did not have great flavor by themselves, but were good with the burgers.
I also made mayonnaise. Once you have homemade mayonnaise you will never go back. It is so much better than store bought, and you loose all the added junk.
For those who are concerned about the raw eggs in it, Ruth Enas told me that the acid that you use in the mayonnaise kills anything bad in the raw eggs.
You can find mayonnaise recipes online.

On Saturday we had Greek Chicken with Taziki sauce and salad.
I marinated the chicken:
Juice of one lemon
1/2 c olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, with the garlic press
1 T salt
fresh Greek oregano

Let this marinate for about 2 hours, best if it goes over night.

Taziki sauce:
2 Cups Greek yogurt
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 clove crushed garlic
2 pickle cucumbers peeled, de-seeded and diced
Salt to taste
Mix ingredients and let sit for about 2 hours in the frig.

We tried some honey this weekend and had some regression. We will drop it for a few weeks after my Dad's birthday.
I did make the most wonderful custard.
Coconut Milk Custard:
5 eggs
1 C coconut milk (we use Trader Joe's because it does not contain guar gum.)
1t vanilla
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
3T honey
mix ingredients together and pour into an 8x8 pan
make sure you have another pan that this pan will sit in.
Place the 8x8 pan in another pan and fill this pan half way with hot water.
Bake at 325 for 30 - 40 minutes.

This is good hot or cold. My kids LOVED it and so did I.
We are going to have this for my dad's birthday with caramelized apples on top and I am planning to make something like whipped cream with the "cream cheese" that I get from draining off the yogurt. I will have Amy take a picture so that I can post it.

We also had peanut butter pancakes this weekend.
6 eggs
3T peanut butter
1t vanilla
1T honey
1/2 t salt

Mix together and cook like a pancake using coconut oil.
The kids ate them up. We used a bit of honey for syrup.

I will keep them off of the honey for the rest of this week and see how they do on Saturday after eating it on Friday night. It might be that they can have a little on special occasions and we just over did it a bit this weekend.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Getting better

I had it this morning. I was tired and hungry and I was done.
It did not help that we were struck with the stomach flu the weekend that we started this diet. The diet is hard enough without the added burden.

I caved and made some bacon. Don't panic it is no hormone, no antibiotic and no nitrates bacon. Connor has been scarfing it down. We are doing the egg sensitivity test tonight and if all goes well we will introduce eggs tomorrow to the kids. I ate some today. Me being light headed was not helping the situation. We are going to continue today with blended soups.

Since we did Cilantro soup yesterday today it will be the Butternut squash soup with some chicken on the side.
Tomorrow we will do cream of mushroom.

Our goal for today is to get the homemade yogurt and broth down the kids. We have conceded that it is better to get some of the good thing down them then to follow the diet so strictly.
The flu was actually made a bit worse because I could not feed them the normal things and therefore they were not eating and getting weaker.

The kids are feeling better today so I might be able to send them to school tomorrow which will be a wonderful break for me.

Monday, March 1, 2010

No Meds

We have taken the kids off of their meds for the beginning of this diet. So far we have had mostly peace. This would be fabulous if we did not have to do meds from now on. We will need to continue on the probiotic, but this diet should heal our guts so that our bodies can take from the food the things that it needs to function at its best level.

My doctor's appointment went well today. She is checking my blood sugar levels, cholesterol and thyroid function. I also got an EKG. She found that my left ventricle has an extra beat. I told Darrin it was an extra beat for him. :)
I am scheduled for an ultrasound on my heart for March 11th. She just wants to be cautious and make sure nothing is wrong. She thinks everything is fine because I successfully carried 4 pregnancies without a hitch, one being twins. We shall see.

It does seem funny to me that in all these past 20 years, I have had heart palpitations and through all of the doctor visits that I have had during pregnancy and the doctors visits that I had to figure out why my heart palpitated, It is now that she finds an extra beat when we weren't looking for it. I love Dr. Hulseman!

Today I do feel good. I am going through a bit of carb withdraw, but my mind is much clearer than it has been in a long time. I am a bit hungry, but this will pass as I figure out different snack that we as a family can have.

We did keep the kids home from school today and Darrin took a sick day. It is much easier to all be home together during this time. We will all be home tomorrow again and then see how it goes for Wednesday.
Well, I was just interrupted by Taylor tossing his cookies. So much for my die off theory. We will see how this progresses.

More soup

I did not know that I could ever get tired of soup, yet here I am. I am going to try to do more blended soups in order to avoid the broth taste.
Tonight I will do Butternut squash soup.

Cut up one butternut squash, peeled and seeded, into 1/2 in squares.
Cut up 5 carrots, peeled, into a rough chop.
Cover with coconut oil and salt.
Roast in the oven at 450 degrees until the veggies are soft.

In a stock pan, add about 3T coconut oil.
Add to it 1 large sweet onion.
Cook the onion on medium heat until caramelized.

Add the squash and carrots to the onion
Add 2 quarts of chicken stock.
Blend soup in the blender til smooth.
Return to your stock pot and salt to taste.

I will let you know how we like this one.
Darrin and I are adding a dollop of homemade yogurt as a garnish. This has added a new texture to the soups and makes it a bit easier to get all of this soup down.

Spencer has also requested cilantro soup for dinner.
We usually eat this with noodles and cheese, but both of those will be left out tonight.

Cilantro Soup:
2lb Chicken, you can use boneless breasts or thighs
1 Quart of tomatoes
1 large onion
2T crushed red pepper (we will be leaving this out tonight also)
3 cloves garlic
1 medium bunch of cilantro
Salt to taste
2 qts Chicken stock

Saute your onions in coconut oil until soft
add the crushed red pepper
add crushed or diced garlic
add your chicken and cook through
add tomatoes and broth.
Add as much cilantro as you would like. (we prefer to use the whole bunch) I wash the cilantro and then chop up the top.
Let simmer for about 20 Minutes.

Non gaps:
Boil one lb of rotini noodles
chunk up a block of Monterrey Jack cheese.

Put the noodles in the bottom of a bowl
top with cheese chunks
Pour hot soup over noodles and cheese
Let sit for a minute so that the cheese has time to melt.

This soup is a family favorite and I am sure that there will not be much left tonight.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

We have started

We officially started the GAPS diet yesterday. It went a bit easier then expected. We were able to get broth down Taylor and he ate well the rest of the day.

The kids loved the tomato soup for lunch and for snack I added Italian herbs and meatballs. We all ate it up. For dinner we had broth and chicken. We will be going through a lot of chicken this week. I added lemon juice and sage to the chicken and it was wonderful.
Today I will be making chicken veggie soup. I have some broccoli, cauliflower, carrot and summer squash mixture in the freezer. I am going to roast these veggies with some coconut oil fresh herbs, and salt.

No spices are used right now, but we can use fresh herbs.

Mom and I went to the Garden Center on Friday and bought herb plants. The men who work there are so very nice and helpful. I will go there from now on to get my gardening needs.

Attitudes seem good. We have had a few meltdowns, but for the most part the kids are dong better than they have for a long time.

Addi had the stomach flu yesterday and Edy had it today. I do have to say that usually the stomach flu takes Edy out for a good 2 days. It only lasted a few hours. I am waiting to see if it blows through the rest of the family. That is the fastest that we have ever gotten over the stomach flu.

My stomach looks flatter today and I am not as bloated as I have been in the past. So far I am down 4 lbs. I know that a lot of it is water weight and I do need to eat more today because I am still nursing the baby.

Connor ate more meat yesterday then he has any other day of his little life. This is encouraging. He was still a bit whiny yesterday, but not nearly so much as in the past.

Here are the recipes for the things I have made so far and what is for lunch/dinner today.

For an average stock pot size:
3 lbs of chicken or beef bones and meat.
1 onion
5 carrots
2 cups of diced celery
pepper corns
Filtered water to top of pan

Brown your bones and place them in the bottom of your stock pot. Add the veggies. fill with your water. Let this come to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and let this cook for 24 hrs. The longer you cook your stock the more good stuff you will get out of your bones and meat.

Tomato soup:
1 stick of butter, or 1/2 c of coconut oil
One onion
1 quart of tomatoes
1quart of chicken stock
salt to taste

Saute your onions in your fat until they caramelize. add your tomatoes, chicken broth and salt. Let this simmer for about 20 minutes.

Put the soup in the blender and blend til smooth.

I add oregano and basil for an Italian taste.

To this I added meatballs. We are not doing eggs this week so these are eggless.
3 lbs of organic ground meat
2T oregano
2T basil (I will use fresh herbs when my plants get a bit bigger.)
3 cloves crushed garlic.

Make into 1 inch balls and line them on a jellyroll pan.
Bake in the oven for 20 min at 400.
Put into soup base.

Chicken veggie:
3lbs Chicken
2 bags of vegetable medley mix
3 quarts of chicken stock

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees
Mix your veggies with coconut oil, salt and fresh rosemary
Put them in a dish so that the bottom is covered. do not crowd the veggies
Roast for about 30 min.

While the veggies are roasting saute your chicken in coconut oil. When the chicken is about done add 1/3 cup of lemon juice and a few leaves of fresh sage. Salt to taste.

Add the roasted veggies and stock to the chicken. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
Salt to taste.

I have purchased natural hot dogs that are going over well for a snack. We are encouraged that we are already seeing some small improvements in the kids, not to mention that by the time we have our family reunion I will be one hot mama! :)

Friday, February 26, 2010


Tomorrow we start the GAPS diet. It has taken this week to prepare.
I have made 3.5 quarts of beef stock and I will be making another 7 quarts today.
I am also in the process of making about 7 quarts of chicken stock.
I will probably be making stock every night for the next few weeks.
I have made about 1.5 quarts of sauerkraut. I will probably be making this a few times a week.
Today I need to make yogurt so that I have enough whey for the next few weeks.
Tomorrow I will go shopping with Cindy so that we can get organic ingredients for the soups that we will be eating this week.

Darrin and I have started reading through the Gut and Psychology Syndrome book. It is fascinating. Breaking the Vicious Cycle did not go into the detail and scientific study and theory the way this book does. This book gives you a great foundation of the why not just the how. I think this is important. It is so much easier to keep going with something that is hard if you know why you do it, not just how it is done.

We will be on the diet for the next 2 years. When we are done we will probably continue with the basics here at home, but we will be free to eat "normally" when we are not at home.

I do hope that in that 2 years that our eating preferences will change and that we will want to make wise choices in our eating. I do not want my kids to fall back into their present eating habits.

Who knows what the next 2 years will bring, but we are optimistically hopeful for the future.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

New Phase

We are starting a new phase of our journey. On Saturday we will officially be on the GAPS diet. You can see it here. We will be using this diet for the next 2 years.
It is very much like the SC diet that we did when I was pregnant with Connor. It has some variations that are a bit more difficult, but should prove to heal the kids and the grown up guts.

The introduction diet starts with homemade stock that I am making form ox tail for the beef stock and chicken feet for the chicken stock.
The purpose of the stock is to get the good beef and chicken fat and the healing properties that are in the bone marrow and connective tissues. The ox tail and chicken feet need to be organic so that the antibiotics and other things fed to "normal" animals is not transferred to those eating the stock.

I have also made sauerkraut for the first time. In the first weeks we will be using the fermented juices that contain probiotics.

One of the main purposes of the introduction diet is to get the body used to an over abundance of probiotics.
We are healing the gut with the broth and getting the gut flora in balance with the probiotic.

For week one our daily food intake will look like this:

Wake up and drink 1 cup of filtered water and a dose of probiotic.
Around 10 am a cup of broth with a bit of probiotic liquid and meat chunks added.
for lunch will be soup made with fresh veggies, organic meat and stock. A bit of probiotic liquid will be added to each bowl.
Afternoon: Stock when hungry with probiotic and meat added
Dinner: Soup of fresh veggies, organic meat and probiotic liquid.
Snack: Stock with probiotic and meat.

The stock can be eaten any time during the day when you are hungry.

There are 6 stages to the introductory diet. I will be taking one stage per week.
We should be able to move through this fairly quickly since the kids are not as sick as some of the other children on the spectrum.

After week one we will slowly be adding in foods. Next week is fresh egg yolks, yum! :(
I hope to post each day the recipes that I used for that day so that in the end I will have some recipes to pass on to others who wish to use this diet to help their children with gut issues.

My hope in doing this diet is that we see some significant progress with the kids, we have not seen any big leaps for awhile, and that in the end I have made this diet workable for those that are facing the mountain of Autism.

The diagnosis of Autism in itself is a mountain. Add onto that all of the supplements and other treatments and a person can start to suffer a mental breakdown. I hope to make at least one of those steps as simple as possible by giving step by step instructions. If I can make this diet a no brainier, just follow the steps before you, then it will give caregivers of children with autism a bit of a mental break and maybe we can get more people using this method of treatment.

I am looking for soup ideas for this next week. They need to be broth based.
So far I have:
Beef veggie
Chicken Veggie
Split Pea
Chicken Mushroom with spinach
French onion
Butternut squash
Cream of Mushroom (chicken based with yogurt used as the cream and probiotic added before eating)

I would appreciate any suggestions and recipes for other broth based soups. They need to contain no starches, just fresh organic ingredients.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


It is very exciting that the kids are becoming much more verbal, but this also creates new challenges for us as parents.

Normally if Edy says something inappropriate I can speak with her and she understands that it was either not the right time to say it or not right to say at all.

With Addi it has been more difficult. She likes to repeat what she has heard. She is starting to come up with and express many of her own thoughts, but she is still very quick to repeat what she has heard.

The other day I was on a field trip with her and her kindergarten class. There is a little girl in her class named Abby. She is a bit on the heavy side. We were standing next to her and Addi proceeds to point and say "Abby is fat." I was horrified. I know Abby heard her. I also know that this was not an original thought of Addi's.

It is very sad for me to know that there are kids in her class that are saying things like this about another little girl. I want to teach Addi that this is not a kind statement and that it is not for us to judge and we should be kind and loving toward Abby, but she does not understand. All I can tell her is that we don't say that. That is about the extent of her understanding.

And so we enter a new and challenging time of parenting our Autistic and for that matter normal children.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


We purposefully did not replace our carpet when we moved into this house. With 3 kids under the age of 2 we decided that it would not be the best use of money. This left me free to relax if anything got spilled on it.

The boys would spit up continuously and it went everywhere. We have cleaned the carpets over and over and thankfully they have held up.

Our latest round with the carpet is with Addi. She does not think it necessary to go potty in the potty, but prefers to use the carpet because it is warmer than the potty seat. We are working to remedy this and it has gotten better, but I could not figure out if it was on purpose of if something was going terribly wrong in her head and/or body. This is not uncommon with children with Autism, so we needed to find out what was behind it to be able to deal with it.

We got a big clue one evening.
We had received a package from Darrin's brother Drew and his wife. In this package Drew had used a very colorful m&m fleece blanket as part of the packaging. Needles to say, it was the kid's favorite think in the package. Spencer was playing with it one night and spread it out very neatly on the floor and then looked at Darrin and said "Dad, look at my carpet." Addi had been standing at the side and looks at Spencer and asks "Can I pee on your carpet?"

We have taken disciplinary action with her from that point on. I think that this was a very clear indication that it was not something biological.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mommy I pooed

Around our house "poo" is a big deal. It tells me many thing about the condition of my kids and how the treatments are affecting them. It is gross, but we need to check them to be able to see if we need to be changing anything.

Because of this my wonderful little kids have gotten in the habit of announcing when this has happened. I guess it does not help that we get really excited with them and say great job! (It is better than cleaning up a mess in the pants!)

So yesterday I took Edy and Spencer to Judo. As is true to form Spencer had to use the potty before he entered the gym.

I have tried to let him be more independent and let him go into the boys bathroom by himself. I waited for him, but he was taking a very long time, so I went to talk with my dad to see if there was anything he needed from Costco. A few minutes later Spencer comes into the gym walking a bit funny and saying "Mommy, I poo." I asked him if he needed help wiping and of course he did. I took him (against his objections) into the girls bathroom. I was not going to chance having a man walk into the boys bathroom while I was dealing with Spencer.
When I was done, he proceeded back towards the boys bathroom. I thought maybe he needed to flush and wash his hands, which is the way it goes at home.

I could see him walking into the bathroom toward the black stalls and then he turned and pointed and said "see, I poo." A sudden realization hit me. He had used the urinal! I almost could not make it back to the gym to get my dad, I was laughing too hard. The picture of him sitting on the urinal was almost too much. Also, I could not help what others would think had they walked into the bathroom at that moment and saw this little boy sitting there.
I also could not help thinking about the surprise of someone walking in and finding his gift sitting there. (we don't have little poos)

I finally got the words out to my dad and he went to check it out. Sure enough he had used the urinal. Dad proceeded to take care of it. His comment through the laughter was "you're kids need more fiber!" I then had my dad explain to Spencer what the urinal was for and that you poo in the potty not the white porcelain thing on the wall. Apparently we are lacking in the bathroom education.
We now have a great story that continually through this day will bring a really big smile to my face.

I realized today how laid back I have become. Before I would have cringed in embarrassment, now it is a source of laughter. What are you going to do? I know that this will not be the last time something like this happens. I am just glad that laughter is good like a medicine.