Friday, July 05, 2013

An SPD Gluten-Free Update.




We gave it one solid month.  ...And we were stringent, dammit!  For thirty days Max was absolutely completely gluten free.  (Well... except for that one time Daddy made dinner, simple PB&Js.  We both turned around at the stove bewildered as to why it all went off without a hitch, why everyone was so damn quiet and well-behaved.  And there they were... ALL of them... stuffing their faces with bread.  OOoops.  It's hard to remember sometimes... but for serious, it was only that once.)  On a gluten-free diet, Max tries to murder Lola, break windows, jump off furniture with wild abandon, scratch, hit and bounce his butt on nearly anything.  ...Which is not really a big difference from any other time, sadly.  Sometimes it seemed better and sometimes it just didn't.  That's the pattern with Sensory Processing Disorder too.  Sometimes it's okay for a spell and then sometimes... it just fucking sucks.   I decided to take him off the gluten-free diet then and see if things got worse.  Nope.  The same.  On a gluten-ous diet, Max still tries to murder Lola, break windows, jump off furniture with wild abandon, scratch, hit and bounce his butt on nearly anything.  Without much difference in behavior, but huge differences in grocery budget and menu-planning, I decided gluten-free just wasn't for us.  To note, his speech is getting better and continues to get better even when eating le evil white flour! 

I knew it may not be the miracle I was hoping for.  It was an "easy" thing to try though to see if it could potentially make life easier in other areas.  I can see where it helped our family get healthier in other ways.  Usually we had a bread-y substance at every meal before going gluten-free... post GF we still don't eat many biscuits, breads or rolls with our meals.  It's still pick a meat, pick a vegetable, pick a fruit and go with it.  Easy peasy.   

I, fortunately/unfortunately noticed my face getting clearer from major rosacea breakouts I guess because there simply wasn't as much gluten-ous items to pick from in the house.  I continue to stay away from gluten... unless there's cake.  If cake is a choice, always choose cake. 

So there it is for Maximus Prime.  Would it work for you?  Who knows.  The point is, you just really don't know until you try... and compared to a lot of things, it is easy-ish to try.  Give it a quick Google and you'll find out that some people SWEAR by a G-Free diet.  I just want to remind you that, hey, everybody's different.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Five For Friday.

It's been an eventful week around the Awesome Abode.  Let's say an interesting two weeks...  Things are looking up!  Was that the sound of actual positivity in my voice??  yup.  I still live much of my life in hyper vigilant anxiety, but I can definitely maybe see a light at the end of our unemployment tunnel. 

Here's my summary of the goings-on lately...  I am tired though.  All six kiddos are under one roof and for some reason the three in diapers have just wanted to poop all damn day.  This entry may make no sense.

1.  The Hubs is working!  Well... part-time.  But part-time is better than no-time!  It's been nearly 5 months since he has had regular earn-a-check work.  I've damn near forgotten how it works.  While trying to figure out how to make this weeks meager check stretch, suddenly it occurred to me, "Wait! He gets another next week!"  Wowzer.  It has just been so long.  It's still a struggle, no doubt, but the company that hired him sought him out and created the position because they liked what he had to offer.  He has been busting his ass to impress the pants off of them and he's hoping that it will lead to a full-time position.  Keep your fingers crossed.  Pray.  Sacrifice a chicken.  Do whatever you have to do.  ...I would like to add that it does not hurt that he now works for the competition of his last employer.  That helps to soothe a bruised ego.

2.  Max is done with school.  I am happy dancing right now... see me?? 

While he does still need to go back next year for speech twice a week, it is an enormous relief to know that everyone will be under one roof for school next year.  We will be on our schedule.  That getting up for the bus junk is for the birds.  I also didn't like thinking, "Oh! No! It's getting late!  Better get Max to sleep so he can get to school tomorrow!" We like to mosey on sometime around a decent bedtime and rouse slowly at a good time in the morning.  Less stress that way.  I tell ya what is stressful though...  considering homeschool curricula and ideas for this little guy.  He's a unique one and his learning style is going to be as unique, I bet. 

3.  Maximus also had a birthday this week.  Apparently it's Max Week.

He's four now.  This seems so old and yet he is so young too.  Someone did me a great dis-service last year at Vacation Bible School.  They looked down at Max who was holding my hand and waiting for his brothers to be dismissed and told him, "Just think, Max! Next year you will get to go to Vacation Bible School!" Max could only babble at the time.  I looked at him and was simply astonished.  I knew at that point that there was no way he could be fully involved in a simple pre-k VBS.  The person who made the comment knew nothing of what we had been going through regarding SPD, speech, the school system or all the questions we had about potential autism.  The question has stuck with me and even as we are about to sign everyone up again I wonder... how will he do with a regular class of children?  He still wears diapers and his speech is not quite discern-able to people outside of our family.  No one will know of the huge strides he's taken just to get where he is and how amazing we think he is.  It's just a simple VBS class, but between you, me and the internet, it makes me a little nervous.  We shall see.

4.  And on that note...  Project Gluten is still a-go.  Now that he's home full time we'll really see where we can get.  It was rough at first, I'm not going to lie.  I do have a habit of making things a little more complicated than necessary though...   Here's where we are:  to plan dinner we buy a meat.  We throw a fruit with it.  We eat a veggie with it.  We eat a salad with it.  There's no gluten in that stuff.  I have figured out that perhaps Kroger is the best place for going gluten-free... if you need anything snazzy like gluten-free cookies, breads, crackers or pasta.  They are whole dollars cheaper than Publix.  Aldi is the very best for price and labeling.  I have really only had to tweak our grocery list a bit.  I'll save our results for a later post, but I will say... It's going pretty well.

5.  Something's bugged me all day.  I wanna share it because if I don't put it somewhere, it will bug me.  And it's my blog... so there.  I don't like talking politics or religion or any of that crap, but here we go.

I went to bed a Christian last night and this morning I was passive-aggressively told I was no longer a Christian.  I shared a post from George Takei last night expressing his joy that the Boy Scouts had voted to allow gay scouts into the organization.  I simply said, "The Boy Scouts are finally getting with the times. Now what about leaders[?]" This morning I woke up to a horrible post from a friend declaring that you cannot have those types of ideas and call yourself a Christian.  Twas complete with verses and damnation.  I have all day pondered then if, after such judgement, I would even want to be lumped into a group of people that would say such a thing.  In our home we teach our children to love everyone.  That love is love.  That God created and loves all of us... regardless of color, religion or sex.  I believe not letting a gay scout sit around a campfire and tie some knots or receive his Eagle after such hard work is as asinine as using separate water fountains or segregating schools.  The only hang up I had about my kid joining Scouts was the fact they were against gay scouts and leaders.  I hope they continue to make these strides so that one day gay leaders can be included.  My children know no difference between the love they see between their Daddy and I and say, Ellen and Portia. Call me Christian... don't call me Christian... call me crazy... I don't give a shit.  I know mine and mine knows me.  

Jumping down from my soapbox.   

I feel better now.  I realize this is just as passive-aggressive perhaps.  I realize The Facebook shouldn't get to me so much...  but sometimes that's the only socialization I receive during a busy day...  why's somebody gotta muck it up with that crap?  Sigh. 

So on we go...  Everyday a little bit better.  Things are progressing.  Everyday I feel a little more normal, although I am still eternally grateful for the lessons we've learned along the way.  New normal. 

Have an awesome weekend folks.  Remember the reason we are free to barbeque and relax on Monday.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Gluten Free = Exploding Brain.

Going gluten free is stupid.  So there.  Frowny face.  At least, here, at the beginning, I definitely think so.  I thought I would tell you friends about it.  It is obviously important to you.  It makes me happy and sad that my post Sandy Poop is on fire right now.  Sadly, I think Italy must have some big bowel problems as they are checking in a lot more often than the rest of you.  Watch out for tangents...

Anyhoo...  I have always wondered a little what "going gluten free" would do for Max and his Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and his autistic tendencies.  This has always just lived in the back of my mind, especially since he has somehow conned his teacher into believing he is an angel.  I think he is pretty damn great, obviously, but I was hoping he would have the same behavior at school as he does at home.  Twas a no-go.  He is perfect between the hours of 7am and 11am. 

I myself was very much looking for a change of life.  Sitting around with an unemployed husband as "just a housewife" while wondering if the lights would get to stay on while looking at yourself in the mirror and HATING what you see is, well... sad.  Very sad.  I am freaking sick of it.  It also occurred to me a little late in the game that if, damnit, I wanted to go take a walk or work out, there was another person in the house to watch the kids... so what was holding me back???  Anyway, enter my googling tendencies and a slight obsession with Pinterest and you get a bunch of research on the Paleo Diet.  I've always been a bit against any diet that seriously restricts any one food group, but I was pretty interested in the way people said they felt on the diet.  I will say though, that, damnit, I LIKE COW'S MILK.  I 100 percent agree that it is for baby cows, but why do I find it so tasty???  And no cheese?  Well, that's just crazy talk.  Suddenly I realized, there's not much gluten on the Paleo diet.  Actually I wouldn't say suddenly, but eventually it sunk in.  I wanted those results for Max.  What if his slow-to-grow speech or his sensory issues could be resolved by changing his diet?  Don't I owe him at least a try?? 

Kids who have gluten sensitivities often crave items with gluten in them.  Now, I've read the science... can't say that I could repeat it... but I can tell you that it makes sense to me that kids would crave it and get caught in a vicious circle.  I also know I could offer Max 20 chocolate bars or one small bowl of pasta and he would choose the pasta hands-down.  Max is one big pasta noodle. 

It hurts my brain already to go shopping though.  Mama wants to lose weight.  Daddy wants meat.  Cooper wants pizza and hamburgers.  Z, well... doesn't eat anything.  Our food budget is tiny.  I don't like the idea of processed foods.  Or dyes.  Or artificial sugar and additives. I am trying to feed a lot of people on a little money with some ridiculous ideals.  Now I want to go gluten free.  Yep, sounds stupid.  It feels stupid.  ...Unless it gets results.

I figured we would start the process slowly.  That will give me time to stock up and figure out what the hell I am doing.  Max also eats breakfast at school and I know the little Carbo is eating cereal or something with gluten everyday.  Plus, I know this sounds woosy, but I just don't want to discuss a gluten free diet with his teacher.  With only two and a half weeks left of school, I just don't want to have to get into it.

I'll tell you one thing I learned today...  pasta and anything with flour may just not be in Max's diet anymore.  GOOD GOD, the prices.  I thought we would just get him a few gluten free specialty items from the store.  ...stuff to help him ease in, ya know?  Your typical Mueller's pasta was on sale BOGO:  $1.57.  The crap I had to shop from ranged from $1.79 PER BOX FOR 8 OUNCES to $3.39 PER BOX.  Say whaaaaaaaa?  Crazy talk.  Same thing in the cookie aisle.  Same in the crackers.  I knew gluten-free items were often more, but whole DOLLARS worth?  wowza. We may just have to wean the boy to fruits, veggies and meat only because my brain may explode.  But alas, my mantra will be, "Just 30 Days".  If I can just try 30 days solid and see if there is a difference, won't it be worth it?  Damn this junk is hard. 

So there ya go, my fellow friends that like to talk poop and other happenings of the gut.  That's where I am.  We'll see how this goes.

If you ever want some of my "research" check out my Pinterest boards... I'll leave it there for you, my Googling comrades.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Don't Be Person A

As I see it, there are two types of people in the world.

The type that says, "You aren't going to have any more, ARE you?"

...and the type that says, "Are you going to have any more?"

I am talking about kids here.  Am I going to have any more kids.  Maybe you think this is pretty close-minded of me, but I can tell many, many different things about a person in the way they ask me that question.  And I ultimately know, in 1.5 seconds if I like that person or not.  Bridges can also be burned by asking me this question and cocking your head just so... even if I've known you for years.

Let's call them Person A and Person B.

I would like to publicly announce that I freaking live for being asked, "You aren't going to have any more, ARE you?" by Person A.  I should also add, Person A, that I am just fucking with you.  When you ask me your question, I will cock my head just as you do and politely reply in a soft voice, "That's up to God."  Is this my true answer?  No.  Well, yes and no.  I plan on Finn being our last, but I do believe that God gets the final say.  If He decides it's so, well... it is.  Isn't it?  By the look on your face though I can tell that if I found myself in that position abortion is clearly the only answer.  You believe I truly have too much on my plate.  For sure your tax dollars are being used and therefore wasted on my family.  What??  No, no!  You would never...  you just meant... that's not what you were saying!!  When I say "That's up to God," you will catch your breath and say, "How old is your oldest?"  I will say, "7" and you will do quick math in your head.  After I lay out all their ages for you, you will follow with, "well thank goodness you have 2 of them in school! right??"  I will look you right in your little eyeballs and say, "actually, we homeschool."  I will sit back and wait for that to sink in and you have many different responses...  "my, you DO have a lot on your plate!", "WHAT?", "how do you DO it?"  You think all these responses are okay because somehow you are complimenting me.  I hear instead, "Wow.  You are quite the weirdo.  Ima back away slowly because I just don't know what else to say."  I DO walk away because I know you don't see anymore in me than a homeschooling mom of a lot of kids.  Frankly, that conversation got as far as it did because I just like to see you stumble on your words.

Person B.  You are cool with me.  Maybe you've seen me at church where all my little ducklings know how to silently peacefully moderately quietly sit through mass.  Maybe you know us from Scouts or the library, some of the places where the minions receive this "SOCIALIZATION" that everyone freaks out about.  Maybe you've noticed that we all look pretty happy and, hey... who wouldn't want to be a part of that party??  I like you, Person B.  You seem fun and unassuming.  You ask in such a non-chalant, cheery way that I can simply reply...

"NO.  Oh my gosh... no.  Boy these guys are so much work.  It's a happy chaos, but I am TIRED."

...don't be Person A.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Grabbing It Right Back.

Hello, my people.  It is I!  Back from the dead.  Sort of.  Still feeling dead, but back, nonetheless. 

Here's what I'm not going to do.  I'm not going to apologize for having not blogged in the past forever.  Though more than a few people have asked me where I've gone *straightens collar, brushes it off*.  There has been absolutely nothing to blog about and then just FUCKING EVERYTHING.  I have been through a range of stupid emotions that just would not make good writing...  One of those emotions being the one where I think, "I should really write this stuff down... that way when I am so thankful for how far we've come, I can look back and say..." Oh, I don't know.  What the hell.

I'll update you on some things so that we can just get back to our regular blogging station.  I do miss it.  I don't want to waste time rehashing what's been going down for say, the last six months.  So...

The Hubs is unemployed.

There.  I said it.  You reading that sentence did not take very much effort.  That sentence takes every effort I have in my body.  I live that sentence.  I live it going to bed at night.  I live it when I wake up.  In the morning I have approximately 5 seconds to myself where the birdies begin dressing me and my hair is luxurious... rosacea doesn't exist and I am rich.  Then reality sinks in and I literally, in my brain, say, "Shit." as I stumble out of bed.

It has been quite the struggle.  This is the stuff that proves what you're made of, that's for sure.  But it's definitely not all bad.  It is hard to believe that it won't always be like this... I know it won't.  But I will never take, say, a gallon of milk or a closet stocked with toilet paper for granted again.  Can that be a bad thing? 

Figuring out general survival with 5 kids without a regular income is not easy, but it is interesting the things that have gone on around us.  The Hubs and I mentioned at the beginning of our little non-employment journey that people around us are going through things all the time.  ...The old saying that if you stood in a circle with the people you know and all threw your troubles in the middle, chances are, you'd grab your own right back again.  I did not believe this at first.  At all.  Period.  But during these last few months one of our friends lost his home, another their six-week old baby.  Illnesses have come and gone.  Divorces.  A dear old friend of mine lost his mother.  Somehow you keep going.  You endure. 

So there it is.  There have been other things that just don't stand out like the unemployment does...  Z nearly had his finger smashed off his body.  I may tell ya that one, it's a goody.  Max has gone to school... fortunately/unfortunately, his teachers love him... as he does NOT misbehave at school.  At all.  I got my luscious locks cut off... damn near needed to make 3 pony tails out of it just to chop it off, but we got by with 2.  I finally made my homeschool classroom.  At one point I thought I was moving to St. Louis so I sold all my bedroom furniture.  It's now just a permanent camping/slumber party up-in-thar.  My grandma died... guess that's not such a happy point.  Sigh.  My siblings have all decided to get married all at once... though not to each other... that was worded funny.

... I'll end on that note.

You will hear from me soon.  I need ya.  You are my sounding board. 
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