Wednesday, May 26, 2010
As we continue to work through Jack's timeline, the behaviors and other underlying issues that are revealed will heal as the causes of the symptoms are treated and removed. Shifting my attitude (once again) to embrace the rough patches that come with healing. Perspective is everything. There have been times I've thought to myself "couldn't he just have allergies or just have delays....did he have to get stuck with BOTH??" but then I dig a little deeper and accept that had Jack been born without legs or something I'd probably be thinking "if only he had LEGS, if he could walk and run like other kids I could deal with everything else". And that's just it, I CAN deal with everything else, I can and will and will be thankful along the way.
---I'm thankful for Jack's anxiety because I will never take a future anxiety free outing for granted and I'm thankful for Jack's sound sensitivity because someday when he's a teenager and he's blasting the latest crazy kid music in his room I'll smile and thank God for the moment. Would I like to fast forward six months and see where we're at? SURE! But instead I'm going to live and breathe each moment of each day knowing that there are lessons to be learned, perspectives to be gained, and babies to kiss!---
Thursday, May 20, 2010
We came home and Jack wanted a juice box (sort of a treat around here) so I used that moment to bribe (yeah yeah, shoot me) him into clipping his Freddie Cruger fingernails. I've tried telling him that teeny tiny germs live under there and that long nails are "sooo 90's" but he still never cooperates. Bribing it is. But as I was clipping away he started giggling "he likes to eat fingernails, ooh he liked that big one".....ah, he thinks the nail clipper is a little fingernail eating creature, this should help in the future. I can see it now (hopefully) "The fingernail dude is really hungry Jack, can he eat your fingernails?". Uh huh.
Found brown rice tortillas at Trader Joes and they are awesome. I tried them back in the day when I was nursing Jack and on an elimination diet and they were terrible....looked like, functioned like, and tasted like a thin round piece of cardboard. The gluten free world is really improving, a sad sign of mass food intolerance/allergy but a needed evolution for our lives. I made a hash from diced potato, grass fed beef, onions and garlic and included some avocado and pico de gallo and voila - BURRITO NIGHT. Very exciting for us Skinners. UH HUH!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Justin and I were able to go (by OURSELVES) to a wedding this weekend - thanks parents! It was so nice and reminded us that we absolutely need to start getting out on our own more often. So fun to catch up with our friends and enjoy some food and conversation that didn't revolve around the kids.
Meals have been going well !! Jack still doesn't want to try everything but I think over time we'll wear him down. He still loves salmon and Harvey eats almost as much veg as I do! Here are a couple recent plates....I just love beautiful colorful food.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
We're pretty sure it was that Kohl's cart. Almonds would explain an IgE and IgG response since he's allergic in both respects. Can't know for sure and it doesn't really matter, I'm just glad it's over.
ETA: It was homeopathy!!
Jack's reacting to something. Of course it's a mystery, the clues are leading me nowhere. Friday afternoon I took the boys shopping and when I pulled Jack out of the kids cart seat I noticed some remanence of trail mix, slivers of almonds, oat bits, etc. Crap. I washed his hands and hoped for the best. Saturday morning he had a funky poop and late in the evening his behavior was a little off but I figured he was just tired. Then he had a gnarly poop. Sunday his behavior was WAY off. Anxiety like we haven't seen in a very long time. We took him for a hair cut and he cried the whole time. Then on the way home he was really bothered by the sound of the freeway (??) and kept saying he wanted to get to the garage (we're trying buddy!) and didn't want to go anywhere else all day. Poop is still funky and he still doesn't want to leave the house. Sorry for all the poop talk but it's important stuff, poop.
So, I don't know if he made contact with those cart allergens or if he's detoxing from his remedies (doubtful that this kind of reaction would occur I think) or what. I'm sure it will pass soon. It just makes me so sad that my little guy is so sensitive that he can get derailed this easily. He was doing SO GREAT. All we can do is wait it out and hope it doesn't last long.
ETA: It was a homeopathic healing reaction, we just didn't realize it because it was our first time experiencing it.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
I have long intended to write about our stance on immunization. The controversy doesn't make me hesitant but the complexity of the topic deserves a well thought out and simplified presentation (which my sleep deprived brain will probably fail to produce). It's a personal choice and what I'd like to explain are the reasons we believe that not vaccinating is healthy for our family.
The standard reason for vaccinating is avoidance of disease, to create immunity within an individual and society (the herd). Disease is natural, vaccines are not. When disease occurs naturally it is recognized and remembered by the immune system but when you administer a vaccine you need more than one dose and even then you aren't guaranteed immunity. Not many adults I know have had their booster shots (other than the flu) since childhood. I'm sure if checked you would find that a majority of adults are no longer immune to those diseases they were vaccinated for as children. In fact, because the vaccine schedule has changed so dramatically, many adults were never vaccinated for the diseases and conditions that children are now. Yet all the frenzy lies in the vaccination status of our kids, not the stronger portion of the herd (the adults). For those reasons alone, I don't feel our herd is as immunized as it claims to be. We don't expect the herd to protect us. We see vaccines as a violation of natural law and a disservice to the body.
I believe the diseases we vaccinate for were on the decline prior to the introduction of the vaccines in the 1950's and 1960's. I won't get conspiracy theorist on you and go into financial details but wouldn't it be convenient to introduce a multi-million dollar vaccine just as evidence is showing that the disease has erradicated itself? And we have to consider diseases like Scarlet Fever and Tuberculosis which had mortality rates similar to the rest and declined like the rest without a vaccine. My intention isn't to blast or place blame on our medical community, government, or even the pharmaceutical industry. I understand why they operate this way and understand that vaccines will always exist but the connection between these powers doesn't sit right with me.
The CDC immunization schedule seems like too many too soon. At eight weeks of age I was only begining to understand how sensitive my baby was. I'm thankful every day that I refused their advice. My dad deserves the credit for that because he followed the same instinct and decided not to vaccinate me. Although when I was born I think that there were 10 vaccines on the schedule whereas now there are 35 by age 6, not including influenza shots. Also on the rise are allergies, autoimmune disorders, neurological disorders, and behavioral issues. I'll never know how vaccines would have affected Jack but I am certain that today's one-size-fits-all protocol would not have fit Jack.
Our environment is contributing in a very big way to what is happening with our children but I think vaccines are part of that environmental injury. Vaccines include microbes, chemicals, antibiotics, heavy metals, and animal byproducts. By nature we are not designed to acquire diseases (whether live virus or not) this way, especially at eight weeks of age when our immune systems are far from mature. So for these reasons (and more) we are confident with our decision. We also don't use tylenol (google "tylenol glutathione"), motrin, or antibiotics unless life threatening circumstances occur. We've shifted our thinking from treating symptoms to treating cause. Our best guard is a strong immune system which we work to support every day with a healthy diet, exercise, and rest. We have educated ourselves on natural remedies and care for infectious diseases should we need them. We're not afraid and are healthier and more balanced for it.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
1/4 cup sunflower seed butter
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
4 cups gf crispy rice cereal
Combine 1/2 cup brown rice syrup and 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter. (you may need to warm them up a bit if they've been in the fridge)
In a large bowl add 4 cups of gluten free crispy rice cereal.
Pour brown rice syrup/sunflower seed butter combo into the rice cereal and stir to combine.
Pour into a 9X9 pan lined with plastic wrap (or well greased), pack well so that they stick together, and cool in the fridge until set before cutting into squares.
I'm personally loving the mildly sweet/slightly salty flavor (where are my fat pants!?) but if you'd like them a little sweeter you could add a tablespoon or two of honey to the mixture.
Top with melted dairy free chocolate chips, if you're feeling fancy.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Today it's all about our Harvster; where he's at, what he's into, and how important he is to this family! Harvey is many things. He's an artist, a comedian, a social butterfly. He loves intensely but is flexible in nature. When Justin has to leave for work Harvey clings to him saying "no no no" and when he hears the garage open in the evening it's "daddy's home!!". He is putting three words together at a time now. He loves reading books, using his tools to fix things around the house, anything relating to Woody from Toy Story, and the guitar. He's also a big fan of bubbles, baths, playing with the hose, and other toddler must haves.
Harvey rarely gets sick and is a great eater. He doesn't like meat but will eat almost any veggie, likes salad, anything with FLAVOR (like his mama). He's still a sucker for (and of) the boob. Still wakes in the night but enjoys going down for a nap and ALWAYS wakes up refreshed and happy. He's taken to wearing sunglasses and a hat when we're out and about, a real "cool dude".
Worships older brother and is a great playmate. He stands up for himself definitely and has the physical strength of ten men but is so verbal that we can talk through things easily. Meltdowns are RARE and a sign of nap deficiency. I love our little conversations, his gorgeous smile, soft hair, blue eyes, and giggles. We often have to remind ourselves that he's only 21 months old, he seems so much older and we barely remember life before him. We love you Harvey David.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Jack has really progressed in language in the last year and I find myself wishing I had documented more on this front. So I'll start. When we had Jack evaluated back in October they put him at about a year behind in speech and language. They broke it down into different categories and some were six month delays but for the most part it was about a year and we could see that when comparing him to family members and friends. When he was around a year old he had a couple words and he had lots of ways of communicating with us. He developed his own "language" which I now believe was his way of trying to talk to us, pretending to talk if you will - imagine Charlie Brown's teacher....I think we sounded like THAT to Jack (poor kid). His processing abilities were just slower and he was missing the language cues that other kids pick up on naturally. We'll never know why but I can't help but feel it was based on his gut health because as his health has improved so has his processing. When Jack turned two years old he was still using "his language" and I think it was starting to freak people out. Autism was suggested by a family member. I cried. We still thought it was adorable (and it was) but I was optimistically waiting for some typical language to start kicking in. In addition to those with concern on their faces are those who say "he's just a boy, they always talk later" or "my cousin's friend's kid didn't talk until he was four and now he won't shut up", etc. He had more words and was reciting things from books and movies and learning songs but other kids his age were starting to string words together creatively and we weren't seeing that yet. The fear would kick back into my head from time to time. Jack was frustrated too, and it showed. Between ages two and two and a half he picked up on vocabulary really well and progressed from there. He started asking "what's this' name?" and started calling us mama and daddy. He was gaining language skills just later, slower, and in a different order than typical.
Jack also used a lot of echolalia, which is taking chunks of words and using those as language in a way that a baby would take one word and use it to build language. He learned to say his abc's (including "next time won't you sing with me") before he could tell you how old he was when asked. At age three he was processing pretty well, following instructions and understanding explainations but his expressive language was really behind. This is when he was evaluated (finally) and his expressive language was scored at a year delay. Speech therapy has been great and since that time he's met many of the goals they set for him. He's asking why questions and his echolalia is breaking down into small appropriate usages which he inserts into creative language. We're extremely pleased with how dynamic his language processing has become and are confident his expressive language will reflect that more and more.
I'm not sure if it's the homeopathy or just where Jack is at right now but this week he told me what he did at school (speech) each time. Usually our conversations when I pick him up go something like this:
me: Did you have fun at school?
J: Yeah, I had fun at school.
me: What did you do at school?
J: I had fun at school.
me: Did you sing a song?
J: Yeah, I sing a song.
You get the idea.
Tuesday it went something like this:
J: Did you have fun at school?
(pretty sure I've overused that phrase at pick up time)
me: Yeah, you had fun? What did you do?
J: I feed the dog his dogfood....and he ate it!
me: Cool! That sounds like a game!
J: And I stick my finger in the paint!
me: Oh, finger painting!
(and sure enough he had blue paint on his fingers)
We also usually notice a drop off in language progression when Jack is sick and he's fevering and congested today and still chatting happily which is exciting. It's so NICE to be in a place of celebrating his many gains. He's way into robots right now, he has a logic robot game he plays on his ipod that's super advanced. He's sleeping wonderfully at night but with this sickness has been sleeping curled into my nook all night. We're planning to go to Disneyland later this week so I'm hoping he feels better soon. I've shown him youtube videos of some of the rides and he's looking forward to "the whale tunnel" (a fairy tale boat ride), "small world", the casey jr train, and the "teacups" (Lord have mercy). What a happy mama my family makes me!