Monday, August 30, 2010

Getting a little mushy

I want to publicly say Happy Anniversary to my wonderful supportive husband!  We have been married 7 years today and I can honestly say that these 7 years have been more than I could have ever asked for in a marriage.  Do we have bumps in the road?  Of course, what marriage doesn't, but we learn from them and strengthen the bond we have. 

I don't know, if you have read (or heard on Oprah) the statistics, but over 80% of couples who have a child on the autism spectrum end up divorced.  Now, granted, our child is not autistic, but we live the same life, because his health is a mirror image of a child with an ASD.  We live the diet, the treatments, the supplements, the dreaded lack of coverage from health insurance, the expensive doctors and supplements that our children's health depend on, the new extensive shopping lists and recipes, not to mention the sheer time spent in the kitchen.  It is certainly a stressful lifestyle and then you add to that, the pre-existing family dynamics.  If a relationship is already rocky, this will certainly throw it over the edge.  At a time of such high stress, you will either pull together or fall apart.

For us, living this lifestyle 24/7 has been no walk in the park, but we have always lived in the moment and try to take a lesson away from any difficult situation.  With this, we are learning daily, literally!  As the adults in the family, it's our job to pull together for our children.  We love each other, we love our children and will do anything necessary to keep them healthy and happy.  We take one day at a time, not trying to figure out "when it will be over", because we know that will not help the status of our current lives.  Living in the here and now takes a conscious effort, but it's one worth learning, especially if you are dealing with a child or children who have health conditions that may effect their or your futures.  We approach each day with all the lessons we have learned, but we are willing and open to molding our expectations from whatever it is we learn that day, whether it be about one of our child's personalities, about a new opportunity to make safe and tasty food options for them, or even learning of a new supplement that might help their dysbiosis.  We don't take anything for granted and we know that things can and do change at any given moment. 

So enough said, I just wanted to thank my wonderful husband for being the supportive, hands-on and hard working man that he is.  He is the most selfless person I know and his family always comes first and we are living proof that marriages CAN succeed in this very difficult situation.

Recipe - Raw oatmeal ginger breakfast bars

These hearty treats were so easy to whip up, they are amazingly filling and REALLY tasty!

This recipe requires some easy prep work, but means you have to think ahead a little. I do a lot of sprouting so that I always have something available, which just consists of tossing the chosen seeds/nuts into a glass jar full of water before bed and putting that in the fridge for the night. In the morning you can either use the soaked seeds/nuts for recipes or let them sprout by setting them in a strainer to dry. Just rinse 3 times a day and watch them grow! 

The soaked oats take a bit longer, it's the one exception to the overnight soaking rule, but don't let that discourage you. Just start one morning when you are making breakfast, put the oats in the fridge in a glass container of water (they expand so use more than double water), rinse and re-soak before you go to bed that night, in the morning they will be ready to make this recipe.

-3 cups rolled oats (soaked for 24 hours and rinsed)
-1/2 cup soaked/sprouted sunflower seeds
-1/2 cup unsweetened unsulfered shredded coconut
-2 inch chunk of fresh ginger, chopped fine
-4-5 large dates chopped (these offer that extra sweetness)
-1/3 cup coconut nectar (or to taste, these are not super sweet, just enough to be a touch of sweetness)
-water, just enough at the end to blend it into a thick mixture

Toss it all into a blender, saving the majority of the water until you know, if you need it to make a thick, but wet mixture that looks like a bowl of your morning oatmeal. And yes, you can even stop here and eat it like this! The kids enjoy their oatmeal this way, soaked oats don't require cooking. This means you have preserved all the good stuff!

Ok, sorry, I tend to get sidetracked with the details. So you just toss it all in a blender and pulse until it's chopped, but still chunky. Drop the mixture with a spoon into little circles onto parchment paper-lined dehydrator trays. They don't need space, because they don't expand, so fill the trays up!

Dehydrate overnight at about 110 degrees. Breakfast is ready and waiting when you wake up! Just slice up a side of fruit. Can't beat that!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Chelation, chelation, chelation

Another weekend, another round, the story of our lives.  I don't even remember what it is like to have a weekend full of sleeping in (getting sleep, period) and just flying by the seat of our pants.  Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled with the progress and knowing that what we are doing is going to provide our children with the opportunity for normal, healthy lives, that doesn't mean we don't sometimes look at our lives as being slightly unique.  And unique it is!

Today we started rounds 38 and 13 with our two boys and I decided to finally increase their DMSA a bit, because we were STILL at a low 2.5mg per dose!  They react so severely to any changes in their doses, so I don't increase until I am SURE they are handling the current dose.  I upped it to 3.75mg (1/2 of the current dose, which is the maximum allowable increase).  Let's just say, it was a little loopy around here today!  Grayson was not himself, he is normally very silly and happy go lucky, but today his appetite wasn't there, he was moping around talking about how his toys are all boring and he "isn't having a good day".  Gavin's usual response to chelation is crying, yelling and acting out.  He is rough on his big brother on round.  So you can imagine the circus we had today and of course I chose today to run errands like going to stock up on Grayson's school supplies, and going to the health food store for produce.  It provided some distraction for them, but it also provided entertainment for the other shoppers!  I have to admit though, they certainly are better behaved, even with all this going on, than some the kids I have encountered during my shopping sprees.  That is a salt box for an entirely different post!

So onward.  I hope to be able to ride this round out at the new higher dose without incident.  They went to bed well, so here's to hoping!

UPDATE - (sigh) unfortuantely this round was a bust.  We missed our 4am dose on Sunday morning, because we changed the dosing schedule and forgot to change the alarm schedule on the iTouch.  It went off at 5am and when you miss a dose by an hour, you need to stop and wait until the next round, because of redistribution.  That extra hour surpasses the half life of the chelator so it begins to drop the metals back into the blood stream.  It would be dangerous to continue at this stage.  On a good note, they did handle the dosing a bit better the second day, so we will try to continue with this next weekend. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A topic no one enjoys, but needs to consider

What might that be?  Parasites!  Yup, parasites.  We treat our pets annually, but we don't treat ourselves? The only word that comes to mind is yuck!  Rather than me trying to explain how we get them, I am going to refer to the professionals, this information comes from Humaworm, where the owner is of native Indian decent.  His grandparents used all of these herbs on a regular basis, his knowledge is from generations of accumulated information and personal experience.

A link to their site - Humaworm welcom page


First, you need to understand that you’re not actually eating worms to become infected – you’re getting infected from the microscopic parasite eggs that can be virtually anywhere. If after reading this section you're thinking "If parasite eggs are everywhere and are so easy to obtain, then why aren't we ALL infected?" The answer? 90% of us ALREADY ARE. Here are some examples of how easily you can become a parasite host:

Water is the primary way parasites infect humans. For example, over 50% of our lakes, river streams and creeks are infected with the protozoa parasite Giardia Lambia. This parasite is not killed by chlorine and is steadily finding it’s way into urban areas with “treated” drinking water. Symptoms of an infestation include, diarrhea and cramping that lasts for over a week and is most often misdiagnosed as the stomach flu.
ALSO when swimmers have parasites and they swim in places with others, the water is then contaminated with eggs from their bodies. It only takes a very small amount of swallowed water to become infected.

You can obtain parasite eggs from other humans very easily. Since most infections come from the anal-oral route think about this – someone has parasites, they use the restroom, do not wash their hands afterwards, then they sit down and use the salt shaker on the restaurant’s table – they have just deposited microscopic eggs onto this object. You are the next person to sit at this table and use the salt shaker – you then lick your finger or even put your hand to your face – you are now the new host to parasites. Parasite eggs can live under human fingernails for up to 2 months. Think of how many common objects you come into contact with on a daily basis. Even more common infections come from kissing, holding hands, sharing eating utensils and of course, sexual contact.
Usually if one family member is a host to parasites, the entire family is infected. There are many parasite eggs that can live without a host for weeks – for example, microscopic pinworms eggs become airborne and can travel ANYWHERE and they can live for two days outside of a host. These microscopic eggs are inhaled where they then hatch inside your body.

Animals, including pets, can spread 240 diseases to humans via parasites. By petting or grooming animals, you are picking up eggs that pass from them to us via hands, nose and mouth. ALSO parasite infected fleas and ticks and parasite infected animal feces are concerns. This is why walking barefoot where animals have defecated is a major source of parasite infections - especially when you CAN'T SEE the actual animal feces - you just happen to be walking where they have been before. THINK about this – when your pet (or someone else’s) licks their anus, they are depositing thousands of eggs onto their tongues – then they lick you and those eggs have just been transmitted to their new host. YOU. Americans now have the highest rate of toxoplasmosis parasites in the world. You have probably heard of this one as all pregnant women are warned about toxplasmosis because they can die from an infestation.
Pets and domesticated animals are not the only ones spreading parasites – mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, lice and all other biting insects transmit protozoa (one cell) parasites to humans.

Undercooked meats are a very high source of parasite infections. Commercial pork products are also notorious for infections – bacon, ham, pork chops, cold cuts, hot dogs, etc. Also cuts of meat such as beef, lamb, chicken and fish contain parasite eggs. Sushi (raw fish) alone contains eggs and larvae of several species of parasites. We trust the cattle, pork and chicken producers to keep their livestock wormed on a regular basis, but over 50% of animals that go to slaughter are parasite infected.

Unwashed fruit and vegetables are also a big source of parasite carriers. A lot of vegetables are eaten raw and according to the Center for Disease Control diseases from fruit and vegetables are on the rise. With a huge demand for fruit and vegetables, we Americans import 30 billion tons of food per year. Some of this food comes from countries where animal manure and human feces are used as fertilizer. This practice greatly increases the spread of parasites. The practice of eating out is also on the rise. Salad bars, infected food handlers, and improperly washed fruits and vegetables are all sources for parasites.

In our modern age, world travel is a way of life for many. These travelers are bringing home parasites that were once almost unknown in America. Airplanes are a great source for parasite transmission. It's very common for a family to go on vacation and bring back uninvited guests with them. We also have a huge influx of refugee and immigrant populations who are bringing us their countries’ parasites.

REMEMBER this – if parasites are so easy to “catch” then why isn’t everyone infected? Over 90% of us ALREADY ARE – it’s just the parasite’s mission to remain undetected.
Follow the age old advice of DON’T DRINK THE WATER – especially on camping trips, while traveling in foreign countries and when swimming in public places. Filtering your home drinking water also helps, as does boiling water to drink while away from home (camping, in foreign countries, etc.).
Avoid putting your hands in your mouth or touching your face and wash your hands often when out and about shopping, eating out, etc.
Worm your pets (and livestock) twice per year and do not walk barefoot where animals have been known to defecate. Do not allow animals to lick you in the face or mouth.
Thoroughly cook all meats – stay away from raw meats (including sushi) and cold cuts (including hot dogs) if possible.
Thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables before consuming.
Deworm YOURSELF and your family twice per year to stay clear of any parasitic infestations!

Are you thoroughly disgusted now?  Enough to encourage you to do a parasite cleanse yourself?  I am!  In fact, in the circle of experienced moms I talk to on message boards, parasites is actually a huge topic, because many kids with autism are highly infected.  Don't think that you are exempt from these nasty little creatures.

Also, research Hulda Clark and parasites.  She was a FABULOUS researcher and doctor who has proven that each illness and disease has a prominent parasite associated with it....remove that parasite from the body with a simple cleanse and cure the disease.  No joke!  Just watch this video, it's AMAZING!  She was a pioneer in this arena and cured people of illnesses that include cancer!  This was one remarkable woman.  She even addressed the connection of amalgam fillings and mercury as well as how to address the increasing cases of allergies in children....this was at a time when this knowledge wasn't well known. 

Hulda Clark video

Our household is on our second parasite cleanse (doing them every 6 months or so) and the first time Gavin is able to be included in the treatment.  We use Humaworm based on extensive research, however, for the kids we also add in artemisia/sweet wormwood, because all the most successful and pricey parasite cleanses include this herb.  Humaworm includes it for adults, but not kids.  So we have made do with a great and affordable cleanse program lacking in one important piece.  Their herbs are all organic and the capsules are handmade upon order, so they are as fresh as they can be!

Parasite cleanses are started 4 days before a full moon, because this is when most of them begin to hatch, nice huh?  Imagine all that is going on inside you right now, we are walking breathing hosts! Today is the actual full moon and for the first time, Grayson has reacted to the capsule I give him first thing in the morning.  Shortly after giving him the capsule, he ran to the couch feeling nauseous.  At first he thought he was going to throw up, but he didn't, he just felt awful and laid down a bit, he didn't even want to eat which is unlike him.  After about an hour, he was feeling better and in the kitchen looking for a meal.  I am convinced this is related to the timing of the cleanse and the full moon.  There was potentially something there today that wasn't there yesterday.

I just talked to my friend whose child had a stool test showing DNA positive for a non-human parasite.  They are all doing this cleanse now too and ironically, on this full moon day when Grayson is feeling nauseous, her daughter JUST started vomiting.   This is actually a pretty typical die off sign for her when she has considerable yeast overgrowth too.  Tell me this stuff isn't killing something in our kids??

I know what you are dying to know, have we seen anything gross in our toilets, lol.  Nothing that looks like a creature, but keep in mind that at least 70% of parasites are NOT worms or even visible to the naked eye.  We have had die off responses to the cleanse though.  Even hubby and I are experiencing the wrath of the herbs with some initial exhaustion, diarrhea and (sorry TMI) very itchy bums, eeew!  My husband is a very calm and patient person, but on this cleanse, he's a changed person temporarily!  He is irritable, snappy and tired.  He is most definitely addressing something!

I probably should have warned you not to read this post after a meal?

UPDATE - It's still Tuesday the 24th, the full moon.  I just spoke with my panicked friend after changing one of her child's diapers.  I can now say that I have personally seen what visible "things" can come out of a person during a parasite cleanse.  Let me also say that I did NOT enjoy the lunch I just ate, it was actually painful to eat, because my stomach is cramping.  I would post a picture, but considering I post a lot of food pictures with recipes, I will spare you.  The bottom was a worm, and NOT a small one!  Holy moly, I might be afraid to use the ladies room later!!  Oh and what came with this, after the vomiting, was a lot of aggression.  I have read repeatedly that parasites cause aggression, even that a lot of jail prisoners are infected with them.  There is nothing more humbling than seeing it for yourself though.  On a good note, it's OUT of the child now!!

Finally caved and bought it - the Excaliber!

I've been eye-balling all these fabulous recipes that require a dehydrator, wishing I could find another way to make them, oh how the kids would love the crackers, burgers, breads and cookies!   Well, the ONLY way is with a dehydrator, since it blows very low temperature air around the food keeping the enzymes in tact and provides more readily available nutrients.  So essentially you can still "cook" a food and it's still considered raw!  This sounds so appealing especially for my nutrient-deficient kids with gut issues.  I still plan to post a thread about raw foods and all the unbelievable benefits they offer, when I get around to having the time to pull all of my data together.

With school rounding the corner for Grayson, I want to provide healthy (and of course, gluten and casein-free), yummy and fairly normal looking snacks for him to take to school.  What better way to do that than providing raw foods bursting with live enzymes and bio-available nutrients?!  The only way to make them though, is with the use of a dehydrator.  In my research, I found the Excaliber to be the best bang for your buck and it has a nice warranty too.  So I placed my order hesitantly, because any machine that I have to spend over $100 for makes me day.  I couldn't wait to open it up and start using it, which of course I did, however, I didn't think about the drying time of my new project.  I just jumped right in, so anxious to try a raw cracker recipe for the kids.  Let's see, if I started it dehydrating at 4:30pm and needed about 10-12 hours of dehydration, that leaves me with a project completion time of ummmm, oh boy, 2:30-4:30am!!!  I did a little more reading and also found that, if I adjust my temperature to around 110 degrees, they could just dehydrate indefinitely, they wouldn't "overcook".  Phew.....After a weekend of chelation around the clock the last thing I want to do is set my alarm clock for the wee hours of the morning for CRACKERS!  I like this dehydrator and all, but no thank you! 

So this morning I woke up to nice crunchy LIVE crackers!!  Here they are, I call these Nuts for Veggy Crackers, because they are 50% vegetables and 50% nuts!


The kids would love to gobble these up in one sitting, I guess they are good?  I also saved the edges that crumbled and fell apart for sprinkling on top of veggies and salads.

Oh, you want the recipe? Silly me, of course, here you go!  You can blend any combination of nuts and vegetables.  The nut and vegetable ratio should be 50/50.

This recipe requires a dehydrator

-2 cups soaked nuts (these are almond and walnut)
-2 chives
-1 large or 2 small cloves of garlic
-2 kale leaves, spines removed
-2 carrots, chopped
-some fresh chopped rosemary
-1 1/2 tsp himalayan sea salt
-a touch of fresh ground pepper

I also added my nutritional yeast "cheese topping" to 1/3 of the batch to make savory cheese crackers. The cheese topping is just a blended mixture of nutritional yeast, ground walnuts and sea salt, tastes just like grated parm!

Blend all of the ingredients in a food processor or a strong blender.

Spread the mixture out on the dehydrator trays (on nonstick liners or parchment paper) about 1/4 inch thick or less and use a pizza cutter to make lines where you will break the finished crackers.

Dehydrate at about 140 degrees for the first 2-3 hours, then 110 for the remainder of 10-12 hours, depending on how crispy you like them. I did it for well over this time and they were still a nice consistency, not too crispy. 110 degrees is a good safe temp for not overcooking. Flip them halfway to prevent spoilage.

This is how much this size recipe made.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Recipe: Summer Slaw

- One small head of raw cauliflower (pulsed in the blender so it is smaller than diced)
- Quarter head of red cabbage, chopped
- 1 cup of hardy greens, I chose collard greens, chopped
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1/2 c olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped (optional)
- 3/4 cup orange slices

Blend together pine nuts, orange juice, olive oil, salt and cayenne pepper until smooth, add the mint last and briefly pulse.  Pour over the chopped ingredients and mix.  If you like your slaws a little on the sweeter side, add a touch of xylitol, coconut nectar or honey.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Chef Grayson shares some of his favorite foods with you

The fun part about raw foods is that the kids can make it!  Two of Grayson's favorite foods are salads with home made dressings and veggie wraps made with collard greens as the wraps.

This cool mint salad is made with cucumbers (which are soothing natural gut healers), tomatoes, fresh mint and parsley (natural cleanser), lemon (alkalizes the blood) and olive oil is so refreshing.  I also like to add a sprouted grain, in this case we chose quinoa.  As Grayson says, "Easy peasy lemon squeezy!"

For the wraps, you can essentially fill them with anything!  We chose celery, cucumber, carrots, red cabbage, purple onion and fresh basil.  All you do is cut a large collard green leaf in half, removing the stem, line the inside of the wrap half with a dressing or sauce of choice, we used our raw GFCF ranch dressing (recipe in an earlier post) then lay sliced veggies and herbs along the center of the collard green, with the curved side at the bottom, take that curved edge and pull it slightly up over the veggies and start rolling it from one side until it looks like like a mini burrito.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Simple raw food "cereal"

I'm sorry I don't have a picture of this one, my kids gobbled it up too fast!!  We all really loved this recipe and it's very easy.  One important piece of the recipe though, is to remember to soak whole buckwheat groats the night before, but it's so easy to do, just toss it into in a jar with a lid and enough water to cover the groats before you go to bed then when you wake up, it's ready for breakfast.  Grayson decided it tastes like apple pie, and he's absolutely right, so I am going to name it Apple Pie Porridge!  This is light and totally refreshing, plus it hits that sweet tooth so many kids (and adults) have.


- I used 1 shredded apple and 1 shredded pear, but you can use 2 of either, the apple is what gives it the tartness though.
- Use the pulp from making a nut milk (we make daily hemp milk so it was perfect and I don't like to waste the pulp anyway!)
- A handful of dried cranberries, goji berries or raisins
- Cinnamon
- 1/4 cup soaked, drained buckwheat groats (they become soft and are easier to digest this way)
- If you choose, you can add extra sweetener, but we choose not to, it's sweet enough with the fruit.  A good extra sweetener would be: honey, coconut nectar, stevia or xylitol.


Update, here is a picture!  We made it again and this time I remembered to snap a shot.  This one doesn't have the dried fruit in it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Our favorite raw dish so far - "pasta" alfredo

Tonight we made our first entree and all I have to say is OMG....I didn't know raw could be SO good!!  Of all things, pasta alfredo, with no pasta or dairy in sight!  I had no idea it could be so surprisingly good!  It even looked JUST like a pasta dish.  The kids gobbled it up and wanted more.  I could have eaten the entire bowl myself!  Ok enough babbling, here are pictures and the recipe.  I would say, if you are even considering raw, this should be your first recipe!!

- 4 small or 2 large zucchini
- Olive oil (we chose to use grapeseed oil)
- Fresh rosemarry and basil
- Sea salt
- 2 Tbsp Hawaiian Mellow White Miso (I used gluten-free soy sauce)
- 2 cups brazil nuts (we used a 1/4 of brazil and the rest cashew, because you CAN get too much selenium and we already supplement with it)
- 1 cup water
- Lemon
- Chopped tomatoes (optional)
- Sliced olives (optional)

Use a mandolin to create thin slices of "pasta" with the zucchini and then use the knife to cut "pasta noodles" then marinate with a squeeze of lemon, oil and sea salt.  (A trick to the noodle slicing is to pile pieces of the sliced zucchini and roll, then slice it) Let that sit while you prepare the sauce. 

In a blender combine: water, several squeezes of lemon, nuts, a few dashes of sea salt, miso, some finely chopped rosemary and blend until smooth. Adjust water and oil to desired consistency then pour over zucchini noodles and add chopped tomatoes, olives and a dash of olive oil and sea salt.

You'll notice that I didn't put any of the toppings on it.  To be honest, I totally forgot.  I was so engrossed in the amazingly yummy taste of the sauce, I completely forgot to do anything other than pour it over the zucchini and serve it!!  Well, of course, I stopped to take a picture too, he he he.  

And here are my kids enjoying it, thoroughly!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

RAW-some food!

I have been exploring the concept of raw food for some time and finally took the plunge and bought a few simple recipe books.  I am loving the way it feels to eat mostly raw all day!!  The recipes are so easy, we are making easy tasty dips, creative salads, dressings and snacks that the kids love and ask for.  We never plan to be 100% raw, because I do believe in animal protein, although it is from natural, organic and grass fed sources only, especially for growing children.  Here are some pictures of my newest raw fun foods.

These look like cookies, but they are power bars made from nuts, seeds, dried fruit and honey, then placed in the sun to dehydrate a bit.  The kids want these every chance they can get!  Oh and that is my home made hemp milk (from a previous post) in the background.

This is one of the many dips/dressings we have made using cashews and spices.  It is a ranch dressing believe it or not!  This one disappeared faster than I expected, and a few others have followed, a garlic pesto made with sunflower seeds and sweet mustard dressing.  The ranch dressing actually encouraged my very picky veggie-hating two year old to gobble down TWO, yes you read that right, two bowls of salad for dinner!!

This morning I made a "cereal" out of pears, walnut pulp (after making and straining walnut milk), cinnamon and honey.  We have even been sprouting, the kids actually sit and eat sprouted lentils like they are M&Ms!  No joke! 

It's easier than I thought to get raw foods into the kids, most of the recipes involve throwing some ingredients into a blender, I can do that!!  Make it look like a cookie and they are fans!  ha ha ha

Here are the recipes for the two pictured above:

Raw ranch dressing:
‎-1 cup cashew butter (I just blended 8 ounces of raw cashews with some grapeseed oil)
-1/2 cup water
-3 Tbsp lemon juice (fresh squeezed, about half a lemon, but I think it needs more)
-1 tsp raw cider vinegar
-pinch of salt
-1 tsp Italian seasoning or dried dill
-1 clove garlic
-1 stalk celery

Blend until smooth and creamy.

Raw energy bars:
Choose a combo of up to any five seeds/nuts and use 1 cup of each (mine are: sunflower seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds and sprouted lentils) other options are pine nuts, soaked buckwheat, walnuts, cashews, and so forth. Blend in a powerful ...blender like the Blend Tec or Vitamix, just enough to chop them up into a thick powder.

Put the mix into a bowl, add a 1/4 of agave or honey with some water to moisten them for stick-factor, add in dried berries of some sort like goji, cranberries, mulberries, raisins, currants, etc.

Then you can make very compressed balls out of them and press them flat with your hands or use cookie molds so they can be pressed firmly into the mold. I laid them out in the sun to "dehydrate" a bit which firms them up and gives them a harder texture. That's it! 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The countdown begins

Kindergarten starts in a month for Grayson and while I am excited for the amazing experiences he will encounter and for the fabulous school he is lucky enough to attend, I am still terrified of the change and my loss of control over his day.  I am used to tweeking his antimicrobials as needed, building in downtime when he's hyper, and watching his progress (and regressions) as they occur.  The idea that I am losing grasp of his routine is terrifying at this stage.  If it were the typical five year old day, I wouldn't be quite as concerned, but there are still days when he flounders all over for control of his own actions and emotions, because of the mess his body is still in.

I also struggle with how much to share with his teachers.   I want them to experience Grayson as he is, without preconceived notions and labels.  But in the same sense, I don't want to set him up for failure either.  The teachers will need to know his food sensitivities at minimum, and of course, the school nurse (and teachers) will need to know about his antimicrobials dosing schedule, but where do I draw the line??  If he becomes hyper, distracted and/or overly emotional, do I need to worry that they will want to label him with ADHD, when I KNOW that isn't what it is?  He often surprises us in public situations, but this is going to be tiring for him, five full days a week!  He is bound to let exhaustion get the best of him at some point.  I just hope he knows he can talk to us, when he feels overwhelmed.

In addition to the little nuances I worry about, I am also worried about his Mondays, the day after chelation.  He is often severely bloated, gassy, tired, emotional, impatient, and has a very low frustration threshold.  When he was in preschool, the teacher noticed changes in his temperament on Mondays.  I was able to share with her why this was happening and she was open-minded, but now I will be dealing with a public school and honestly don't know who I can trust.  I don't exactly feel comfortable discussing chelation, pathogens and antimicrobials with them.

I guess I will just share the bare minimums initially and take it from there.  I will follow their cues and ultimately the protection and success of my child is most important, so if it comes down to it, I wouldn't object to home schooling.  We are going to offer him this chance at normalcy first though.  I want to give him the opportunity to shine through and not allow my fears to control his potential.  For all I know, he could flourish in the environment, and he probably will.  One thing I know for sure, there couldn't be a better school for him and us!  It was was founded on seven core values - sustainability, creativity, mutual respect, cultural richness, integrated, academic excellence and hands-on learning.  He did really well in Montessori preschool, and this curriculum is going to be very similar in style.  It's very hands-on, in fact, his preschool Montessori teacher/owner was involved in writing this curriculum!  We couldn't be luckier! 

So for now, I will have to watch my little guy hop on a bus in the morning and leave me and his little brother behind while he goes off to learn and grow five days a week.  It's bitter sweet.