June 24, 2009

Water Baby


This is how I've been keeping my 2 year occupied at 4 o'clock, or when all my other tricks don't work. I turn on the hose and let him go! He performs the same routine (go figure) of filling up a bucket, dumping it into another bucket and then pouring it on himself. Gabe is borderline obsessive with water; thank goodness he finally stopped playing in the toilet. The toilet issue just about killed me, I can be a bit over obsessive about germs and hand washing, so to find my toddler using bath toys in the potty almost pushed me over the edge. Suffice it to say, our tub-time toy collection has widdled away considerably; no amount of bleach could erase the super bugs I was creating in my mind. Bit off the beaten track there. The hose will keep this guy busy for a good hour, give or take a snack break or tractor ride here and there. It has been nice in our recent heat wave, but I am not looking forward to my utility bill next month! An update of our visit with the D.A.N doctor should be posted this week, very excited about going forward!

June 23, 2009

Today

Outside my window...are welcome clouds hiding the sun, and making the 100 degrees a bit more bearable.

I am thinking...I need to clear out the unhealthy relationships in my life, so I can focus on the positive nurturing ones.

I am thankful for...my hubby, who gives me space when I need it; no questions asked.

From the kitchen...I'm scrounging because I don't want to go to the grocery store in this heat; which is exactly the same thing I said yesterday.

I am wearing...my signature uniform, khaki Capri's with a ribbed tee-shirt.

I am creating...a gift for a wedding.

I am going...to pick up my daughter from VBS in half an hour.

I am reading...Engaging Autism, by Stanley Greenspan.

I am hoping...for some answers, but trusting God will reveal them when I am able to handle it.

I am hearing...my son playing trains.

Around the house...there is so much to do, I don't know where to start. Laundry maybe.

One of my favorite things...is when I see Gabe doing or learning something new which reassures me therapy is worth the $155.00 an hour.

A few plans for the rest of the week...Vacation Bible School, Lots 'o therapy, two play dates, packing Audrey for a trip to Wisconsin, getting ready for my trip to D.C.

June 20, 2009

Honest Scrap Award

Now who can turn down an award? Not me! I gratefully accept. Thanks to MaggieMae, A Walk on The Happy Side, for the Honest Scrap Award. Now anything with the word "scrap" in it is immediately appealing as I am a tried and true scrap-a-holic. But as MaggieMae explained so eloquently in her blog, it also means "sharing honest fragments of our lives in a way that touches other people". That's hands down better than scrapbooking any day! I do really try to be quite honest in my blog, in fact to my own detriment at times. But I really have appreciated all the positive feedback I have received thus far. I know I am a grammatical nightmare, but a few people have told me when they read my posts, they hear ME speak. I do have to write how I speak, which is not much better, heehee (I mean heehaw, spellcheck doesn't recognize heehee, see what I mean) so bare with me folks. So far, I've just loved blogging, it has been such a point of release and catharsis as our family is facing some uncertainty about our new "normal". I believe it will still be better than I could ever dream, and make the journey more meaningful as we maneuver the bumps and pot-holes if you will.

So there are a few rules I am to abide by in order to receive the award:

1) Say thanks and give a link to the presenter of the award:

Thank you, Maggie Mae, http://walkonthehappyside.blogspot.com/

2) Share "ten honest things" about myself.

I think I really bared a whole lot of myself in my "Guilty Pleasures" post, so check it out if I don't satisfy with a few more.

I am a hopeless procrastinator, but I thrive at crunch time. Maybe that's why all my posts are always drafted in the midnight hour, when I should be sleeping and know it! In fact, I should be doing the sink full of dishes as I write, but I'm blogging. And, as most of you can attest, it is a rarity that you will receive a birthday card, gift, etc. on time if it requires a trip to the post office. The post office though is a whole other animal, I despise going, very hard with the kiddles. Not an excuse I know, so happy belated birthday, shower, graduation, (insert holiday); you all know who you are.

I love clipping my coupons! I do get a rush from saving a couple hundred bucks a month. See, there is a glimmer of thriftiness in me!

I'm a list maker, big time. I have lists for my lists, which, I usually procrastinate. But you name it, I have a list for it. Groceries, cleaning, meals, to-dos, packing, what's happening in 2020, there is a list.

I know I'm a good friend. Not a doormat, and I've not always been a good friend, but I think I'm there now. I really cherish my friendships and feel as women we need them as much as air to breathe. I want to make people feel supported and good about themselves, what better way to be a steward to Christ's likeness.

I like to gossip. Although I have really been praying for God to help me out with that one the last couple of years. I wholeheartedly try to stop myself if I get going. Sometimes it's just too easy. That is a huge character flaw for me, but for alot of people also. Usually, I'm not spreading it, but I don't stop it when I hear it; that's just as bad.

I HATE my tattoos. Both of them. This will make my Momma proud, here ya go ma, and all the others, here's your "I told you so" moment. Get it out of your system. I hate them so much. Oh 20. All I can say is, someday I will have them removed, perhaps when the lotto money comes through. They have no meaning to me really, never did, just my rebellion. They just don't go with my pearls and sweater sets.

Most often times I feel like I'm just spinning as a parent. I don't know what the hell I'm doing. Excuse my language, but totally necessary. That is a hard thing for me to say, especially when people tell me what a good Mom I am. Why? Because I have a special needs kid and am seemingly holding it together, because I play with my kids, because I feed them well? What makes a good parent anyway? The m-o-m word has so many definitions, connotations, boundaries, values, disciplines, how can we say what is a good one or not. Could I be a "good mom" to someone else's child? I feel like I could go on and on about this one, so keep your eye out for a post soon.

3) Present this award to 7 others whose blogs I find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged me. Okay, here's what I've got, I'm a newbie, I don't follow even a handful of blogs yet, but really love these.

Take a Walk On the Happy Side,http://walkonthehappyside.blogspot.com/ ( I'd have given it to you if you didn't already have it:)

Diggers and Dumpers, http://diggersanddumpers.blogspot.com/ (totally honest, utterly hilarious, very cute)

Make a Joyful Noise, http://suzifischer.blogspot.com/ (thanks for always encouraging me and believing in me)

Artsy Mama, http://artsymama.blogspot.com/ (gorgeous shabby chic inspirations galore)

4) Tell those 7 people that they've been awarded HONEST SCRAP AWARD and inform them of these guidelines in receiving it.

When you've linked back here to claim your award and check out the rules copy and paste it back to your posting place -- if you feel like displaying your trophy and carrying forward the good will -- update it with your own answers and publish away...

My fellow bloggers, don't feel it's necessary to accept and follow the guidelines if you choose. It was fun for me, and a way to say I enjoy your blogs and you encourage me to be more creative, more daring, stronger and hopeful. Thanks.

In Someone Else's Shoes

Alrighty, here it is. The Jon & Kate Plus 8 entry. You knew it was coming, I warned you! Here it is on the eve of their BIG announcement. What will they do next, divorce, counseling, continue the show? Honestly, I hope they just finish out the season and be done with it. The last five years have really been such a roller coaster for them. It just seems somehow along the way they got derailed. By money? By fame? Who knows, not my business to know or to judge them. I can't help but think 5-10 years down the road when they have these tapes to look back on and consider if the ends justify the means will they have done it the same all over again.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQ-NqJ3w1Ic


I'm really starting to get upset at all the finger pointing and criticism they are receiving. Have they made poor choices? Yes. Is this good for their kids? Don't know. But golly, haven't we all made poor choices in our lives? Thankfully it hasn't been made for the world to see. I know some will argue, that is the price for a reality show, or fame. But should it be that way? It just saddens me that they have let it come to this.

I can't possibly imagine having 10 mouths to feed. What would I or wouldn't I do to provide for them? Did they choose it? Yes. But I agree with their decision not to "selectively reduce". I can't imagine a world without little Alexis, Collin, or Aaden. If you can find a way to send 8 kids to college without having to burden them with paying for it, or buy them new clothes, instead of hand-me-downs, or take family vacations that you never thought possible, would you? I have to say it would be tempting. How do you just stop? When IS enough, enough? I struggle with that everyday. When you suddenly notice your life has spun out of control, your marriage is broken, and you can't live a "normal" life ever again; where do you go from there? I can't imagine the complexities of the decisions they are facing. Everything came from such a good place and somehow got turned around. Isn't that human nature? Aren't we all guilty of that? I applaud them for their honesty and "realness". I mean how many people would actually have the guts to really be themselves, to really let the world know who you are without caring about the judgement. Don't know if I could. I think I would constantly be censoring myself. But good 'ol Kate, she just let 'er rip. I really respect her for that. And despite the criticism she gets for it, that IS what made the show popular, because she was just herself.

It angers me to hear other mothers judging her parenting. That just chaps me to no end. Other Moms should be the MOST supportive of each other. This all of our first times being a parent and we're all just doing the best we can. I have to think she is doing the best she can. If my worst parenting moments were caught on tape, geez, well we've all been there. We all damage our kids in some capacity no matter how much we try. Kate is caught in the same struggle I think every Mother faces, their liveliness and calling and happiness, and your kids. It is such a fine line. As Mom's we ALWAYS put our kids happiness first, despite our own. Then if we are selfish for a moment and embrace our own happiness, we're ridiculed. Being a Mom is hard. There is no happy ground, there is no having it all. I think I'll blog about that another day. But does it really make you feel better as a parent to berate Jon and Kate's parenting?

I will pray for them, as I have been that they can find their way back to the path God intended for them. I have to think he made this all possible in the first place. Our struggles are meant to strengthen our faith in God, they deepen our roots with him. Good luck John & Kate, I'll be watching.

June 19, 2009

Eat My Peas

My rollercoaster ride through motherhood so far has had its ups and downs, like any. Crazy exhilarating ups and deep dark lows too. My two children are polar opposites, and have been since birth. A text book baby girl and 21 months later a ‘colicky’ and most often times unreasonable boy. So many nights I would fall to my knees feeling like I was at the complete end of my rope and pray to God to give me strength. I honestly didn’t know how I was going to get through this alive, and I still had 18 years to go! But I’ve had some help along the way, and some words of wisdom that have put my journey in perspective, even now, at what I’ll someday refer to as the beginning.

Audrey was your typical baby; she did everything on cue, just as the 12 books on parenting I read said she would. If we hit a bump in the road, that’s all it was, a bump. Looking back, I remember her “witching hour” as a baby, 10:30 every night for about half an hour, she cried. But she just needed to cry. The rest of the day, she was easy going, potable, friendly, curious and social. Later when my son arrived, I had the same expectations. When the crying soon passed an hour, then two, inconsolable often, non-responsive to the textbook parenting tricks I had prided myself on mastering; I started to worry, and not to mention doubt my mothering abilities as a whole. So I rocked, sang, bounced, snuggled, shushed, patted; and Gabe still cried, he still does mind you, and he’s two! Since I was nursing I even changed my diet upon my pediatrician’s recommendation thinking it was something I was eating. Still to no avail, I relented and took him in to the pediatrician. It has to be colic I told the doctor, he’s inconsolable. Sleep deprived and on the verge of throwing myself from the nearest stairwell, I’ll never forget his heart shattering words. “It’s just his temperament” he said. “Some babies cry more than others and he may grow out of it; he may not.” The doctor must have thought I was looking at him crazy eyed, because he just grinned and said, “Is your husband there to help?” Now what was I going to do I thought to myself in a haze? I came to the pediatrician that day looking for answers and not only didn’t I get one, but I also didn’t like or want to accept my alternative. God please help me. Prayer answered. A week later a package arrived in the mail from my pediatrician’s wife, and consequently a friend. Eat Your Peas for New Moms. The first page listed her phone number and said if you need to talk I’m here, no advice, just to listen. When I got to the page with the quote…“When the baby keeps you awake all night, remember you’ll have a lifetime to catch up on your sleep. But you’ll never have this night with your little one again.” I must have reread it fifty times. That night sitting in the rocking chair with my crying babe, I echoed that verse over and over again. And it really helped. I think I looked at Gabe differently from that night on. I accepted his tears and screams and realized I loved him no matter what and we would get through this. As I had learned with my oldest, time slips away too quickly and before you know it, the rocking and bouncing and snuggling dissipates; so I cherished it.

Now Gabe is two, the temper tantrums never receded; he has the full-blown kicking, throwing whoppers and I sometimes feel as though I’m going to lose my mind. And then I chant the mantra, I’ll never have this day again. When my four year old wants to play princess dress-up for the 20th time of the day and I see the laundry pile growing and the dishes calling, I quote the verse. I’ll never have this day again. When the corner has been visited more minutes than on my hands in the first hour of the day, I recite the mantra; I’ll never have this day again. I know I’ll recite this quote even into old age and God-willing about my grandchildren. It calms me, because I know it’s true. And so often in motherhood it is rare to come across absolutes.

Have I lived this day with them to the fullest, made them smile, told them I loved them? Those are all things I can do tomorrow, yes, but I’ll never be able to tell them those things yesterday. We certainly can’t be there for every moment and yes, the dishes and laundry have to get done eventually; but I consciously make time and take time. Didn’t Jesus also tell us this too shall pass? Now looking back, my be-draggled aura gone, my eyes are no longer bloodshot from my own tears; and I only remember holding him, rocking him, smelling that just from heaven scent. I’ll never have this day with them again, so I’m going to stop writing and go play with my kids.


www.eatyourpeas.com


June 16, 2009

Technology Empowers Me

Technology empowers me to diagnose myself, a family member, or acquaintance with 50 different life threatening illnesses by simply inputting my symptoms and answering 10 short questions. By the way, I'm fine.

Technology empowers me to not have an actual conversation with anyone face to face or even have a phone conversation, yet I know everything they did that day, how they are feeling and what they are doing next.

Technology empowers me to save 5 minutes by sitting in the drive thru, rather than walking into the joint.

Technology empowers me to render math useless by not having to ever balance my check book because I can check the balance daily online.

Technology empowers me to share photos rather than printing out triples.

Technology empowers me to have a need for better anti-virus protection.

Technology empowers me to set my journal aside.

Technology empowers me to become the "expert".

Technology empowers me not to have to have wrinkles, fat, or glasses if I choose, and if I can afford.

Technology empowers me to have way more options than a person should have.

Technology empowers some to find true love.

Technology empowers others to find stalkers.

Technology empowers me to "go" to school, without actually stepping foot in it.

Technology empowers me, but the sunsets look better off screen.

Thank you Anna Johnson

Life is good. We need a fence in the backyard, or, a fence would be so lovely and helpful; we'll put it that way. So, we priced them out, and backyard fence just wasn't in the budget. Wholly moley! I need something that is not climbable or escape-able, durable and never needs to be repainted. Tall order! That pretty much leaves vinyl fencing, which was about four grand. So I just figured I'd keep my running shoes on and forge through another summer chasing my darling boy so he doesn't run into the street or out of the yard. Because as some of you know, Gabe's a runner. So no rest for the weary. Or so I thought...


The kids and I were over at our friend's, the Johnsons, and I could've screamed with delight at my discovery on Anna's back deck. They had built a gate off the deck, so no little toddlers could wander off, as well as, put down foam block padding so little feet don't burn on the hot wood, and a sandbox on top of that. Doesn't take much to make my day! While were there Gabe played for a good hour out there. He loves the sandbox! So I duplicated Anna's design somewhat. I put down the foam, moved our sandbox up to the deck, moved the kiddie picnic table up, and for now just put a gate up until Paul builds one. It could be awhile. On warmer days I just cover the sandbox and put the water table or kiddie pool out. Now all I need is a screen door and we'll be set. I can watch Gabe play while I make lunch/dinner, because that my friends, is the witching hour. It has really given me some much needed sanity. I much prefer that than defaulting to a video to appease them.

So Anna, this blogs for you! Thank you for sharing your idea. I hope it helps some other Mommy's out there too. Now, I just need a bigger deck, hee hee. Oh, and did I mention Paul loves it too because he doesn't have to rotate the sandbox to various spots in the yard to keep the lawn nice. Happy Mommy, happy Daddy, happy family.

June 10, 2009

10 Guilty Pleasures

The hardest thing about writing this post was not thinking of 10 per se, but not naming 20! But you know, you've got to find those small things in life that keep you going. Sometimes an honest days work for an honest days pay just doesn't cut it. There has to be something that gets you through without getting you through to AA. I decided just to bare it all and write it out, then on days like today, when I'm a bit on the crabby side, it MIGHT not seem so bad. We all like to wallow in self-pity just for a minute so we have an excuse to do something that makes us feel better. So here goes nothing.

1 Facebook. I used to be the girl that made fun of everyone for spending so much time on "FB" and My Space, and often said, "I'll never do it". Okay, I did it, I cracked. The peer pressure got to me and get this, now I'm bullying other people to do it. I love it. And must say I check my facebook page a minimum of twice daily. Sad, yes. But really I have got back in touch with so many people from my past (that I wanted to), and found it so much easier to stay connected to those around me. Facebook is as fabulous as texting. I just don't have the time for a phone call to "chat" only to be interrupted 30 times. I must admit, I did need a quiz intervention at the beginning, but I've weaned myself off of them and am finding my way to recovery.

2 Reality T.V. I'm like a moth to a flame with that junk. I can't help myself, it's like crack! It's not even that interesting. I guess I find the mind numbing-ness of it all soothing. Watching someone else's life unravel doesn't make your day look so bad. And I have to say the over-salted beef stir fry I made looks pretty darn appetizing next to what they are "asked" to eat on Survivor. Finally a few months back I realized I was watching "Rock Of Love", if you don't know, don't ask. I had to take a step back and think of all the other things I could've been doing, instead I was watching a bunch of bimbos pudding wrestling. Yup, seriously. I canceled cable the next day. Hence, facebook, blogging, etc.

3 Jon & Kate Plus 8. It should be in with number two, but I love it so much, it needs it's own number. I struggled with putting this one in, but HAD to, and here's why. I have watched it from the beginning, over 100 long episodes ago. Two people raising sextuplets and twins, wowza! Nothing got in the way of my JK+8 Monday nights boy! Of course recently they have been in the tabloids and I will say they have changed and I do wish they would cancel the show, for the sake of their family. It just steams me, and one day they may get their very own blog post venting my frustration. Paul says if I really want them to stop filming, stop watching. Okay sounds simple enough. Not possible. No matter how sad it makes me or how angry I get I am still watching at friends or family's houses or downloading the most recent episode on itunes. Totally a guilty pleasure...or addiction?

4 Chocolate. I don't think that beauty even requires explanation.

5 Slim Jims. I love Slim Jims. A trucker's delicacy. They are the nastiest things ever, but so delicious! I once read the ingredients and swore off slim jims forever. Anyway, I blocked it out of my mind. And jeez, what is going on with the dead bodies at the slim jim factory? I will have to investigate that further. Snap into a slim jim!

6 My label maker. If it's in a box, bag, folder, or Tupperware, you better believe I'm slapping a label on that baby.

7 Clorox Color Catchers. Okay, I know. But I do get a thrill when I reach into the washer pull out the color catcher and it "caught the pink shirt". I cannot help myself, I throw one of those things into every load. Reds and pinks get two. Finally I realized that you can reuse them if they are still white when they come out. I will make a run to Walmart at 9pm to get more color catchers if I'm out. Clorox, bravo.

8 Target. Who doesn't love Target? What is it about going to Target? We all go, we all admittedly spend WAY too much money there, but we sure don't feel bad about it. I still can't figure that one out. The buyers for Target are way underpaid. If I had a dime for every time I've said, that's sooo cute in Target. SuperTargets are even worse! They should really just paste my head on the bullseye.

9 Karma. It is a b*&$@. Really have to be honest here, that I am a bit amused when it comes around to the deserving. Ain't gonna lie.

10 Caribou Coffee. There is something about that five dollar cup of coffee that I just can't replicate in house. So when I do get to treat myself and get a spendy cup o' joe, I do it up. Whip cream, chocolate covered beans, double shots, the works. It is a very satisfying cup of coffee, love my turtle mocha.

June 09, 2009

Pieces to Gabe's Puzzle

Okay, so Autism is described and represented like pieces of a puzzle. Every kid is different and unique, and every child might have Autism because of different triggers. For example, just like pre-dispostition to diabetes; if you gain to much weight and are obese, you may trigger diabetes. The belief is that Autism is not caused by one thing alone, but many contributing factors, genetically and environmentally. Since Gabe's diagnosis, I have been on a mission to put his pieces together to get him the best care possible. I don't care if he ever "recovers". Well I do, but not that he would totally lose his diagnosis as some kids have with many interventions. All I want for Gabe is for him to be happy, be able to have and maintain relationships, and be able to live independently as an adult, and preferably stop being such a punk from time to time. From the beginning there has been so much information thrown at me about why and what to do and not to do. I think that it's every parents journey to find their own way, they know their children the best, so only they can decide. And I tell you moms out there, listen to your instinct, DO NOT wait it out because "he's a boy" or "some kids are slower than others" or "he's the second child". I failed Gabe there...but only for awhile, I still have no doubt we got him diagnosed early due to my perseverance. Diagnosis is hard when they are young because language is such a huge part of the diagnosis. In this blog, please note these are my opinions based upon the medical, genetic and biological factors in my son. It does not hold true for all kids.



I truly, truly believe vaccines are a great thing. I do believe however, vaccines partly caused my son's autism. Not one particular vaccine alone, but that there were so many in such a short time period and Gabe just doesn't have the ability to expel all those toxins. Because there are toxins in those shots people, formaldehyde, mercury, thimerosal, fetus, brains, you just don't want to know. As of 2000, the Thimerosal (50% Mercury) formulation was LOWERED and they increased the aluminium, however, guess how many stockpiles there are and really aluminum is not much better. If we have enough Tamiflu to vaccine the entire US population; well there you go. No law required them to be taken off the shelf. So, unless you know which companies use Mercury and Thimerosal and if your doc uses those shots...it's a shot in the dark, so to speak. If you're interested in a copy of the shot ingredients and manufacturers for each vaccine, I can get you one if you contact me. Almost all flu shots and tetanus shot still contain Mercury as a preservative by the way; ask your doc for Mercury and Thimerosal free. The vaccine schedule should be changed, less shots over a longer period of time. Our kids went from getting 10 vaccines in 1983 to 36 vaccines in 2007, that's a 260% increase. Also the rise in Autism (1 in 150 kids), ADHD, ADD, Asthma and Allergies has skyrocketed! I went back and looked through all our home video from Gabe as a baby to 20 months old, because honestly I could stop there. I did in fact see a clear regression at 12-16 months. Loss of language, eye contact, sharing, emotional connection was clearly all there. Then I found my light bulb moment. One week before his 1st birthday (and the huge round of shots they get a one year) he had his first ear infection, a double at that. So he was given antibiotics, the normal course of the kiddos antibiotics is 10 days or until the bottle is gone. That most certainly overlapped his shots! I had no clue you are not suppose to get vaccinated while on antibiotics. From that point on he's had 8-10 rounds of antibiotics for constant lingering ear infections. Okay, so then I set out to figure out why Gabe was such a bear as a baby. Often inconsolable and grumpy, still needed alot of swaddling and hugging (those sensory issues) very early on. When I was pregnant with Gabe I had a flu shot and a tetanus shot. Now, the docs tell you to limit your fish intake because of the mercury level, but they'll inject it right into your bloodstream! Another very important piece to his puzzle is his genetic disposition. Kids with ASD can have two types of family trees. The Methylation Tree (basically methylation is how well you excrete toxins in your body), often poor methylation in a family can be traced to Alzheimer's(aluminum on the brain), Dementia, Bipolar Disorder, ADD, Depression, Alcoholism, and Constipation. Check, we got some of that. Okay, second tree, the Common Auto Immune Tree, where the body is basically attacking itself and results in, Celiac Disease, Graves Disease, Lupus, Diabetes, Leaky Gut, MBP antibodies, Addison's Disease, Thyroid Disease, MS, Inflammatory Bowel disease, and Chronic Fatigue. Check. Boy Gabe was in trouble from the get go. This would've been a sign that his body was not going to be able to expel toxins as well as other kids might. That too includes pesticides, gasses, and other environmental factors. Kids with Autism share alot of the same characteristics and tendencies, but some signs they share that most don't know about are: Allergies, Reflux, GI inflammation, Constipation, Diarrhea, Recurrent ear infections, and sleep issues. So alot of biomedical doctors are finding that by treating those medical issues naturally and safely with diet and supplementation, kids are regaining speech, sleeping better, interacting with others and some are finding their way out of diagnosis. That's where you'll hear about Jenny McCarthy's son. He was diagnosed with severe autism and she sought biomedical treatment and he lost his diagnosis completely.



My thought is as a mom, there isn't anything I wouldn't try or do to help my little guy. I am worried for the future. Almost 75% of kids with Autism also have seizures, that usually peaks around 3, and I'm gonna nip that in the bud. What do we have to lose besides never knowing? The never knowing would be the worst part. And if it doesn't work, so be it, we'll continue to find other paths to take. I will not give up and think that drugs and therapy are his only options. So little is known about Autism, we are on our own to figure alot of things out.



We are hard at work at therapy 4 days a week, and just met with a Biomedical Doctor specializing in Autism therapy today. I'm very excited to go forward. She is writing a recommendation for Paul and I to discuss, it will involve alot of tests and some big lifestyle changes. The bad part is insurance does not consider this "treatment" and pays for NOTHING! If this works, I will make it my life's work to get the insurance companies to pay for biomedical treatment. I'll keep ya posted, thanks for reading.

June 08, 2009

Fired UP!!!!

I am fired up today people!!! Today I was going to blog about Gabe and my new findings through my research, but that may be for tomorrow. Also to peak your interest, tomorrow I take Gabe to a D.A.N. doctor (Defeat Autism Now), they specialize in the biomedical treatment of Autism and the symptoms, not just putting a band aid on it. But what's really got me steaming is House Bill 875, The Food Safety Modernization Act.

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-875

Incase you didn't read that long boring bill (I did, snooze) here it is in a nutshell. Without really saying the words "organic", it would basically put small organic farms out of business. The bill says that the government would regulate the food supply using the most recent scientific and technological data, "science based standards", and product to make produce overall safe for the American people. So all farms, even in our own backyard gardens, would have to use pesticides and herbicides under government regulation. That is just absurd! Shouldn't we have the choice? Look, I'll take my chances. Now, a tale of two strawberries, one grown in an organic field, free from chemical agents, the second helped along from seedling to grow with help of chemicals (not alot of work involved there). Considering both berries make it to market, I would conclude that the organic berry would have tons more nutrients than the chemically assisted berry. Why? It fought off bugs and disease on it's own, that's a strong berry! I would rather face the organic hazards than put pesticides into my body. I'm very sensitive to them. I can taste the difference in an organic tomato, apple, cucumber and pepper. As a family we can tell also. If we for some reason have to eat non-organic produce, Paul and I have both noticed our stomachs get upset and we get headaches and don't feel good. We have to listen to our bodies and fix the problems, not just take another medication to relieve the symptoms!

What even gets me more steamed is that the bill was introduced by Democrat Rosa DeLauro. She just happens to be married to Stanley Greenberg who works for Monsanto, the biggest producer of herbicides and genetically engineered seeds, and lobbying hard for this bill to pass! Bit of a conflict of interest aye? So Monsanto profits either way, putting the small organic farms out of business, or regulating them to use their products. It's starting to sound alot like pharmaceuticals isn't it?

Science is a great thing. But to what end? Fill our food with additives, fillers, dyes, chemicals and pesticides so we all get cancer so in turn we have to ingest even stronger drugs and chemo therapy to kill it. Whether you are on the "organic bandwagon" or not, shouldn't we have a choice? I don't want the government to decide what I'm eating because they think it's for my own well-being. If the government really cared for the well being of Americans and the food we ingest, fast food would've been outlawed long ago.

I wrote my state representative and senator, now if Coleman and Frankin could settle this thing once and for all I might have someone else to write, but that's another topic:) I will include links at the bottom of my blog of how to contact your State Representative and Senators.

June 02, 2009

Parents Beware

The "play" kitchen. You mommas and daddies out there know how we all feel about that "pretend" kitchen. I loathe it. There are no words to describe my feelings for it. Well bonfire comes to mind. It is a kid mess magnet. I clean up more plastic food off the floor than real food off my kitchen floor in a year. And not nice plastic food mind you. Chewed, germ-infested, smashed bananas, pies, eggs , more than you could ever imagine. Oh no, you can't just buy the produce pack or fruit pack. You get the whopping 350 piece food kit complete with canned goods and cardboard Ol El Paso Taco mix boxes. Those by the way lasted 2 days. And the play kitchen just isn't complete without receiving one jumbo food box from each grandparent along with the complete utensils that will easily serve 90.

Every morning the kids empty everything out of the little kitchen, without fail. Do they play with it? Gabe, never; he lives to dump. Audrey, occasionally a full-blown stuffie picnic is looming. I really only give the kids a third of the junk to play with and box the rest away and it's still too much! The chewed up french fries and beans go right to the trash, my rule is you chew, you're through, and right to the garbage. But I think secretly that Rubbermaid boxes multiply the items within. It's true, clothing, toys, Christmas ornaments, and plastic kitchen food and accessories.

To keep my sanity, I had to stop cleaning it up throughout the day. The worst is when you've just cleaned it up and turned your back and hear the dump. Count to 10, then 20, then 30, oh walk away so the child lives. Now, I only clean it up at night before bath time, and truly I try to get the kids to help. But if I made them clean it up alone, they'd be cleaning up food for an hour; crazily throwing everything into the cupboards only to spill open soon after.

There was a time too, when Gabe got himself trapped inside the sink of the play kitchen. I thought it was mighty hysterical until I couldn't get him out. Frantically, I called Paul to rush home, keeping Gabe occupied with chocolate donuts and a video, and we stripped him down and buttered him up and pulled him through. Kitchens are not for climbing. If we would've had to use a saw to free him, I wouldn't have been terribly distressed.

Bless my sweet well meaning parents for getting Audrey that cute little kitchen, and the 350 piece food set, and 90 serves none utensils, and power pots 'n pans combo pack, and potholders and aprons; I do appreciate your intentions. And now that I think about intentions...I know you're laughing at me. Payback, well I probably deserve it.

So here's my word of warning to all parents to be, just say no! Resist the play kitchen, they make them cute, like puppies, be strong. Otherwise if your dead set on it, I'll give you a real good deal on a slightly used (and buttered) one complete with slightly chewed, mystery gooed plastic food.

June 01, 2009

The Tide Turns...slowly.

We started with the new Occupational Therapist, Erin, today. Still at the same place, we were just working with the owner until Erin's schedule opened up. Still a hard day? Absolutely, but we made some fantastic progress. Gabe still spent about the first 20 minutes fully screaming, but Erin let him regulate in the "rice" box (basically a sandbox filled with dry rice), and chill, so he was in heaven. Pouring rice from one cup to another, an autistic kid's dream! We made some good progress in the rice with eye contact and sharing, and Gabe actually fed a plastic cow some rice (with some prompting) that's HUGE. He has had no pretend play in any capacity, so that was a big step. I have also been wearing the connector, it is what it sounds like, Gabe and I both wear belts connected by a thin rope during the therapy. Sounds like a harness but the reasoning behind it is great. Firstly, he realizes spatial awareness, hard for autistic kids, they tune out much that is going on around them; this will hopefully help in the running off department. Please God, help in the running off department! Although it does detach if he pulls away to hard, so he doesn't get snapped back or anything. Secondly, it will promote understanding that Gabe, Erin and I, are sharing an experience. We are hoping to draw him out when he plays, share in the emotion and feeling of play WITH another person. So for now I wear it, and will wear one at home during my therapy sessions with him, and then when he builds trust with Erin, she will wear it and I will observe. We also did some brushing, taking a soft brush to his legs, arms and back, to stimulate the skin receptors when he's angry. We did some muscle exercises to help him regulate as well. So I feel we had a great session, still very difficult transition time, but I'm interested to see how it goes on Wednesday. I can tell that he likes alot of it, he is just stubborn and thinks he doesn't want to be there. I feel like I'm learning so much. It's really just a whole new way of play, following his lead, not directing the play or even commenting or asking questions; he is responding very well to that treatment. That treatment model is called the DIR or Floortime model, which I'm currently reading about in the book Engaging Autism, by Greenspan.

I am so thankful for everyone's support and prayers. I please ask you to keep Gabe and our family in your prayers as well as the doctors and therapists that work with Gabe.