Wednesday, May 25, 2011

On Pause

I'm on a bit of a blog pause. I attempt to write, I get lost in reflection. Facing endings and, consequently, new beginnings - these times require a lot of internal processing. The "unknown" simmers as I vacillate between excited and overwhelmed. I could outline my thoughts but that, not unlike the food we've been cooking, would be pretty boring.

Back soon !!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Going mainstream?

I highly recommend all of these magazines. Living Without is especially progressive, in my opinion, when it comes to information and studies surrounding allergies and sensitivities. Clean Eating is full of beautiful recipes, all made with pure unprocessed ingredients, many of which are allergen friendly. Here are some headline examples:

None of this type of info is new to those of us whom are living examples. But isn't it nice to see some of it in print? These are well respected publications, exposing the truth that so many of us experience but rarely have validated. This is just the beginning, I think. It's exciting, really.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Confucius say...

Harvey: I lose a tooth like Noah, I get a new one at Target. (*headsmack*)

Jack: I can't wait to drive like an old man. (yikes)

Harvey: Smells like a fart in here! (it totally did)

Jack: I can't have a time out if I'm out of time. (smart ass)

Jack: (patting Justin's armchair) This baby can handle anything.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The power of homeopathy/intention/suggestion.

Things have calmed down here. But, let me take you back to last week. Actually, let me first take you back several weeks, to the time when Jack created this gem:

Note: "everyone" is facing the same direction.

It started innocently enough. Jack carefully arranging some toys, not letting Harvey touch them. I asked about it:

Me: Jack, what are you doing with all those toys?
Jack: My dragons are having a party.
Me: Oh, are they going to watch a movie or something?
Jack: No. They're going to watch the fire.
Me: That makes sense. Dragons probably really like fire.

But then we weren't allowed to touch them. I really let it slide for quite some time, telling Harvey to pick something else to play with. But then if we cleaned them up Jack would get all bent and rearrange them just the way he had them before. And it started to creep into other areas of the living room. A bookshelf. The couch. Pretty soon, we were barely allowed in there. I started to feel like the obsessive nature of the activity was oozing into other areas of his day. And his reactions were becoming unreasonable and painful for him.

I had had enough. I contacted Rudi.

Rudi sent me a paper remedy first thing the next morning. I stuck it in his back pocket. Late in the afternoon I grabbed a big toy bin and started singing our clean up song. Harvey started tossing all the toys into the bin. Jack raised his eyebrows. Then he started helping. I was laughing hysterically (on the inside). WHAT? Seriously? Random letters and numbers on a piece of paper in his pocket was all it took? You don't even want to know the various strategies we'd attempted. And yes, I had previously tried the clean up song. I threw them in the bath and crossed my fingers that he wouldn't rebuild his shrine the following day. He didn't!

BUT, a few days later he had an episode leaving preschool. He was completely fixated on an activity and didn't want to go. He had a MELT DOWN. The whole way home (after I crammed him into his car seat) he bitched and moaned about having to leave and needing to cut the paper. Don't ask. When we got home he wouldn't get out of the car and then started threatening to walk back to preschool. You better bet I kept a close eye on his determined hiney. More drama ensued that afternoon.

I harassed Rudi again and he sent me another paper remedy which went into Jack's pocket. He had a great day of preschool and did the same paper cutting activity (modified by his fab teachers) without issue. Yay! I kept the remedy in his pillow case that night. Insurance.

All has been pretty smooth since. He woke up Friday morning with a huge pubescent zit on his cheek (detox?) and was pretty phlegmy all weekend. Allergies? Weather? WHO KNOWS! At any rate, I *think* the storm has settled. Just in time to administer the next miasm. Hmph.

On a comical note, last night Jack explained to me how Harvey was born. I tried to coach him into re-telling it for the camera, which turned out semi-successful. Also funny? You can see Harvey's massive collection of bedtime woobies: paci, blankie, manitee, and boob.

"Let's go join it!"

Thursday, May 12, 2011

This is our battle song.

Over the past few days we've had an out of character level of rigidity and anxiety creeping into Jack's behavior. Having grown used to a more reasonable and flexible guy, I find myself walking on eggshells again and searching my resources for ways to help him through it. It is as exhausting as it is heartbreaking to see and experience your child in such anguish. In addition to the behavior, I'm noticing an upset stomach and a lowered appetite - these really send me into a brain picking no end whirlwind - is it the soy? too much sugar? is he tired of his food/becoming intolerant to it? am I offering him enough/doing enough/researching enough? is the anxiety causing the stomach upset or is the stomach upset causing anxiety? is it the homeopathy? will it resolve on it's own? is it cyclical? is it for life? These are questions we simply cannot answer. Every day I ask myself question that cannot be answered. Every. day.

I know I am successfully fighting the fight. He is nourished, growing, learning. He receives high quality supplements targeting basic nutrition, immune health, digestive health, inflammation, etc etc etc. Not only do we buy organic and avoid allergens but we stay away from food dyes and preservatives. We take care to avoid unnecessary medications like fever reducers, decongestants, and antibiotics, giving his immune system the opportunity to mature and strengthen. I use glass in lieu of ceramic, stainless steel in lieu of plastic, search for pajamas free of flame retardant, and the list goes on for-freaking-ever. I carry (with honor) the stress of this role and manage to find patience and boundless love for my children.

Durga (meaning Invincible, in sanskrit)

Still, when my child seems dysregulated and no longer in control of his own emotions and impulses, trapped by a fixation/obsession, crippled with anxiety, unable to enjoy the things I KNOW he finds joy in - I grow weary. I wake with anxiety. I feel isolated. But I know I am not alone.

Off topic, yet ON for so many - I tread lightly on the subject of immunization, because Jack is not vaccine injured. I can only say that confidently because he is not vaccinated. I say a prayer nearly every day thanking God I made that decision. There is just no way on earth that his sensitive and immunocompromised little body would have tolerated the viruses, preservatives, antibiotics, and multitude of chemicals in the 96 vaccines he would have received by age five. With articles like this cropping up everywhere, I can't help but think - do parents know that there are agencies dedicated to the reporting, documenting (VAERS), and yes, even compensating of children who have been vaccine injured? Leaving autism off the table, did your pediatrician outline any risks for you or give you the contact information for these resources should a reaction occur? Mine sure didn't.

I have MUCH to be grateful for. I don't seek pity. But I do begin to exhaust. I combed Whole Foods for over an hour this morning, with a basket over my arm, reading labels and peering at entire WALLS of gluten free products that we still cannot give to Jack because of their egg and dairy content. I broke down in tears when I found a buckwheat cereal (like corn flakes) that are new to the shelves and safe for my boy. I started feeling hope again when I found bagged popped sorghum (like popcorn) that Jack can snack on. I cannot ever give up the search for more safe variety for him. Sadly (but fortunately), due to the rise in allergies and intolerances, the demand for these foods is higher than ever.

All gluten free, all (but one) full of egg and milk.
Reading labels, hypothermia (and depression) set it.

I am not the only soldier in this unbelievable battle. So many fellow mother warriors have entered my life and given me strength when I was weak. I don't, quite frankly, know HOW we do it. But I do know WHY. Our children smile and we are filled. We're filled with determination and desperation. We suit up, without sleep in our arsenal, each day and prepare to fight for our children. We protect them, to the best of our ability, against the environmental grenades that are hurled at their tiny bodies day after day. We take our children in for blood tests, allergy tests, evaluations, and therapies. We have forgotten life before war. We are all told to "calm down", to "relax", to "take a day at a time". Trust us, WE DO. When and where we can, we do.

So, to all the mother warriors whom I have the fortune of knowing, you are INCREDIBLE. Joanna, Janice, Dani G, Aliki, Crystal, Kelly, Jill, and so many more: thank you for encouraging me, for giving me guidance on services, supplements, and strategies. Thank you for not giving up, even though I know it's not an option.

This is a call to arms,
Gather soldiers,
Time to go to war.
This our battle song,
Brothers and sisters,
Time to go to war.

Do you want to surrender?
Or fight for victory?

Monday, May 9, 2011

This might get boring.

As a result of our most recent allergy test, I've decided to integrate a few past allergens into Jack's diet on a rotation. Zzzzzzzz....I know, right? Soy showed up so tiny that they labeled it negative, but we know it has always been super-duper-off-the-charts high on every IgG test and it's notoriously hard to digest. Grape and corn were equally as small. Jack does seem to tolerate processed corn okay but popcorn (organic, air popped, no chance of cross contamination) gives him violent diarrhea, so it's hard for me to give it to him knowing that it might be affecting his digestive system and possibly his immune system. ACCKKK. However, I'm eager to get more varieteh (safely) into my kid and want to be careful not to limit his diet unnecessarily.

Enter the ROTATION DIET. One meal per week will contain a past allergen. Sunday mornings we're letting Jack have Vans gluten free waffles, which contain soy flour. I haven't quite figured out corn and grape but I have foods that I want to give him. For the time being, I'll just keep track of when he eats them. While it feels totally rigid to allow something only once per week, I just can't know for sure if it is as safe as it appears to be. Soy, in particular, makes me nervous. The idea of the rotation diet is that even if a food does cause an immune response/inflammatory reaction, it won't do harm because of the infrequency. This control concept makes me pretty comfortable.

(Bruce Lee approved)

The most (only?) exciting part of this is that there are so many allergy friendly foods that we still were unable to enjoy because of one ingredient (like the soy in the waffles). Have you seen these Trader Joe's Snickerdoodles yet?!!? They are top 8 free and the only no-no is/was grape. Into the rotation they go!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mouths of my BABE?

Jack: (repeatedly throughout the day) Badges? We don't need no STINKY BADGES.

Justin: I have to leave for work. But you get to go to preschool!
Jack: You can grow down and get small again so you can go to preschool, too.

(in the car, driving to a friend's house to swim)
Jack: This is a very long way! I think there is a man under the road stretching it out longer and longer.
Me: ???

Jack: (marching around the kitchen) Justin! Justin! Justin!
Me: That's daddy's name. Do you remember mama's name?
Jack: Babe?

"that you doo-oo-oo"

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mudder's Day

The boys' preschool invited us mothers in for a lovely Mother's Day lunch today. We weren't just fed and pampered, we were serenaded and showered with gifts. I would post video of their singing but I don't think it wise to go throwing youtubes of others' children up on the internets. These photos will have to do.

Try not to get blinded by my legs. Yes, I really *do* live in California

Delivering gifts, gorgeous photos by the talented Megan Gotch

I know!

It's good to be a mama. I've learned a lot about myself. My capacity to love grew. Twice. Other things grew, too. My tolerance (not just for the annoying things kids do, like TOUCHING EVERYTHING THEY SEE, but for mankind in general), my sleep deprivation threshold, my marriage, my grocery bill list, my gag reflex, my butt.

I won't have these boys forever. They're going to get bigger, bigger than me. They're going to grow beards, discover themselves, and leave our nest (GOD WILLING). So I'd better soak up every exhausting frustrating stinky adorable precious life altering moment of it. The bumps in the road add character and alter the view. And I think I'm getting less nervous.

Happy Mother's Day, Mamas!! - Enjoy the ride.