Barbeque Kittens

July 31, 2008

So tonight, we had “barbeque kittens” for dinner. Actually, we had barbeque chicken (Cookies makes a yummy GF bbq sauce) but that’s what Gav calls it. He’s been really funny lately. He knows it’s chicken, but he finds kittens much more funny. His sense of humor is really coming out as well as his conversation. Is it all the supplements he’s been taking? I gotta think so.

Here’s a few things that have happened over the last couple of days:

I have this beautiful dollhouse my dad made for me when I was little and Gavin loves to play with it-especially the little tiny doors. There is a family that “lives” there and Gav was playing with the baby making it go up and down the stairs. He would walk it around the house saying, “walk, walk, walk”.  THIS IS HUGE!!!!!!!!! That was total pretend play. You have to understand something. Gavin does not pretend play. It’s a definite sign of spectrum disorder. Children on the spectrum have to be taught how to pretend. It’s so sad really. But this is such a huge step for him. He’s done this a couple of times now with the baby and I get chills every time he does. He’s playing like a typical child should.

Along the lines of pretend play, Gav found an old cell phone of mine and the battery still worked, so it lit up and he could push buttons. He was frantically punching numbers and PRETENDING to talk to someone and I jokingly told him to be careful or he might call China. Several hours later he was again playing with the phone and I asked him who he was calling. “China” he replied almost sarcastically. Oh yeah. He’s making progress.

I’ve also been desperately trying to get all these supplements in him every day and I have to say, I’m not doing well. It’s not Gavin at all, I just usually keep forgetting. There are so many at so many different times of the day that my brain has a tendency to block everything. One of the few times I did remember I decided to mix the concoction in his apple juice. This did not go over well. I had a taste after he carried around his full cup for an hour and I realized that I wouldn’t even drink the stuff. It was nasty. So yesterday, I’m pouring him some juice (sans pills) and he says, “I don’t want any vitamins, mommy.” He’s on to me.

One Little Pill

July 28, 2008

I know I’m not like most of the rest of America, but I don’t really like food. Sure, you’ll get me every time with a decadent piece of chocolate anything, but other than that, I could really leave it sitting on grocery store shelves. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I wish we could get all we needed (vitamins and nutrients, etc) from a pill. I would gladly take a pill every day that supplied my body with all it needed without having to grocery shop, prepare and cook. I’m not much of a cook and I don’t see myself ever really becoming one. I just don’t like it. I have a few friends who love it. I often wish I liked to cook-the food they prepare is incredible, but I just can’t seem to get over the fact that I really don’t like it.

Since beginning this journey with Gavin and being made aware that what we put into our bodies truly dictates how we feel, I dislike food even more. American diets are awful and so is most of the food we buy at the store. Since I had to start REALLY reading labels, there’s not much out there that is even good for us (in the way of packaged food). There is “stuff” added to everything, including organic items. Now that Gavin has to be careful of sugar, it’s been another uphill battle to provide him with food sans sugar. It might be GF/CF, but it still contains sugar. I feel like I can’t win. (Trust me, I’ve contemplated going raw, but I don’t think Josh is ready for that. I think we’d all feel better, but I have a lot more research to do first).

Because of Gavin’s “leaky gut” and because food in general is stripped of all the good stuff, he now takes an enzyme with every meal, vitamin D drops once a day, 6 vitamins, probiotics, another probiotic 4 times a day, fish oil, and a liquid vitamin. And let me tell you, this boy is a trooper. He gladly accepts everything I give him and we’ve tried hard to make his fish oil tastier by adding it to applesauce with lots of cinnamon. Poor kid. No one should have to take that stuff.

Is it too much to ask for someone to create a super vitamin to cover everything we need? I would much rather pop a pill in the morning and be good for the rest of the day. But that’s just me.

Test Results

July 15, 2008

Whew! My head is spinning. We just got back from a 2 hour meeting with Gavin’s doctor. After MONTHS of waiting to hear his test results (food sensitivity and ION Panel) we were finally able to get the news. The GOOD news. Gavin definitely has a dairy sensitivity, but not necessarily a gluten/wheat sensitivity!!!! If asked, I would have said I would rather have to eliminate dairy than gluten. Seems like much less of a daunting task. And so today, we were told we could begin to introduce gluten back into Gavin’s diet!!!!!! He did indicate slight sensitivities so we need to be careful. If we notice a change in Gavin, we may need to switch back to all GF/CF. But for now, he can have normal bread and cereal again! Well……..kind of…….

Another clear marker on his test was that he has a definite yeast overgrowth. This is very common in autistic children. Their bodies have trouble properly breaking down food, so they tend to hang on to yeast and it continues to grow. Sounds really gross. So, if Gavin eats a lot of starchy foods (ie:sweet potatoes-one of his favorites), the starch turns to sugar which then feeds the yeast. So basically we need to try to eliminate all or as much sugar from his diet as we can.

We came home armed with 4 different supplements and have two more that are being ordered. So, now we have the fun job of getting all of these things in Gav’s body every day. Fortunately, they can all be taken together, so he’ll just have to have a daily supplement cocktail.

As far as heavy metals go, the ION Panel showed low metal levels, which is a good thing, but a blood test is not the best way to test for this. Our next step, should we so choose, is to have a pre-test done (using a stool sample) and then spray a detox spray in his mouth for 5 days. At the end of 5 days, another stool sample would be taken. This test is a lot more conclusive and would then tell us whether we would need to begin chelation therapy (removing the metals).

This is just a snippet of what we discovered today. The ION Panel is an amazing tool and if it wasn’t so expensive, I would have our entire family tested.

I’m hoping we’ll see even more improvements in Gavin once we begin his daily supplement regimen. I’ll keep you posted!

This and That…

July 10, 2008

Sorry I’ve been MIA lately. This summer has become really crazy. And to think….I was worried we’d be bored all summer. Here it is almost the middle of July. Seriously. The older I get the faster time seems to go.

Just some little tidbits and updates. People have been asking how potty training has been going. In two words, “it’s not”. The first two days were really good. Gav was excited about his Elmo underwear (who wouldn’t be!) and would gladly run to sit on the potty every time I told him it was time (every 15 minutes). After two solid days of that, he got a little sick of sitting on the potty for a good chunk of his day. Liam didn’t help much as he was crawling all over Gav trying to sit on the potty just like brother. Our bathroom is tiny, so the three of us squeezed in there for hours at a time made us all a little crazy. On the morning of the third day, Gavin melted down. He’d had enough and was sure to let me know it. He refused to sit, would burst into tears if I mentioned it, so we have officially suspended potty training…..for now.

In other news, Gav’s test results are back (I think I mentioned that a while back) and we will be getting the results on Tuesday! This was the food sensitivity test and the ION Panel so we are going to find out A LOT about his little system and what is malfunctioning. I’m really excited to finally be moving forward again. We were unable to schedule a meeting with the nutritionist at the same time, so we will meet with her when we get back from vacation.

Gavin also has a week of “summer school” starting next Monday. His autism strategist and her team lead training sessions for teachers during the summer. So, Gavin and several other children will be “assisting” them in teacher training. He loves the autism team (they were the ones who originally diagnosed him last year) and I think he’ll have a blast being back in a school setting. I know he misses it.

Happy summering!

Cleaning Products

July 8, 2008

In re-reading some of my old posts the other day, I realized that I said I would write about some topics and have yet to follow through. So, today I’m finally filling you all in on my recipes for safer cleaning products. The awesome thing is that most of these recipes call for the same (cheap) ingredients and they will last a LONG time. So, if you’re just into being thrifty or if you want safer cleaning products, here’s what works for me.

All-Purpose Cleaner: 1 tsp. dishsoap (use something safe or natural-I use Method brand-love the smell!); 2 TBLS. baking soda; 4 cups warm water; 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

Mix everything together and put in a spray bottle. It does have a slight vinegar smell, but that goes away once it dries.

Glass Cleaner: 1 cup water and 1 cup vinegar. Mix together in a spray bottle. This works AMAZINGLY well. Use a cloth (paper towels don’t quite do the trick). When you first try to wipe off glass/mirrors, it will appear VERY streaky. Just keep wiping. It will get your glass very clean. It may take 2 times to cut through the residue left behind by your regular glass cleaner. Once again, the smell is kind of vinegary, but it will dissipate once dried. (I actually kind of like the vinegar scent).

Dishwasher Detergent: Not much can compete with my Cascade Complete, but it had tons of toxins in it as well as being expensive every month or so. Here’s what I’ve found to work ALMOST as well as my Cascade. (Please know, dishes must be rinsed well before adding them to the dishwasher. If you are one of these ‘pile em in dirty and crusty’ type of people, then you may need to stick with store-bought stuff).

Use vinegar as your rinse agent. It gets things clean and sparkly! I also add vinegar in my pre-wash. Then, I add 1 TBLS. of baking soda and 1 TBLS. of borax in where the detergent goes. Set to whatever cycle you’re used to. If dishes are spotty, add more vinegar.

Laundry Booster-so I haven’t been able to bring myself to make my own detergent yet. I love the way my clothes smell after being freshly laundered. I did stumble across Baking Soda’s Washing Soda to use as a laundry booster. I now use this in place of fabric softener and it’s been doing the trick. So, use a safe detergent, I’m partial to Seventh Generation, and then add a half cup of Washing Soda to the water before adding clothes. Washing soda was hard to track down, but I finally found some at Dahls on Beaver. (I don’t know if all Dahls carries it or not). It’s about $2.50 a box and looks just like a baking soda box. Can’t go wrong! Maybe someday I’ll be brave enough to make my own detergent.

Happy cleaning!