Monday, October 24, 2011

One more reason I have not been posting . . .

As most of our family and close friends know, Jonathan was diagnosed when he was 3 with ADHD. We made changes in his diet, switched to mostly whole foods, eliminated artificial dyes, very limited processed foods and foods including preservatives. We saw great changes in the behaviors we though to be ADHD, and then slowly, we started noticing a whole new set of symptoms. Some have always been there, and others we have noticed in the past 6 months to a year. Some are symptoms are very consistent, and others are very inconsistent, but none the less, they are all part of our life.

For the most part, the average person with occasional contact with him, will probably not even notice anything out of the ordinary. And even for me somedays, I see everything he does as typical behavior for children his age, and think that the doctors are wrong. And everything is normal. And it is, just a different kind of normal. Because there are other moments, other days, where I know that this is not typical.

For he looks typical, walks normal, and carries on conversations.

But when you are pushing your cart with a screaming and crying 5 year old out of Target, the looks that you get are not normal. They tell you that you need to be disciplining your child, and your child should not be having a meltdown at that age. But he is. Because he needed vanilla milk from Starbucks. Once a meltdown starts, you rarely have a chance and making it out unscathed. Regardless of the cause. As your voice rises to discipline him, his emotions go in to overload.

Or when he is sitting in the movie theatre with tears streaming down his cheeks and hiding, because it is just too loud and too scary. Covering his ears when a toilet flushes, power tools are used, trucks drive by, people are singing at church, music is too loud, or leaves are being raked . .

Having to be carried over puddles becuse his shoes can't get wet, walking only on the dry spots after it rains. Yet, swimming in the lake, or splashing in the bathtub or shower is a lot of fun.

Changing a shirt or pair of pants immediately if a sleeve get's wet, or drop of water falls on his clothes. He goes in to a panic.

He's a runner. As in he will take off running. When you are at a busy mall, a crowded farmer's market, a grocery store. The lights are too bright, the noises are too much, the smells are everywhere, all at the same time. And he breaks free. So we try to hold hands, and we hold them tight (but it's hard to do when you are holding bags, pushing a cart/stroller, and also walking with a three year old).

He eats great. He loves fresh fruit, raw and steamed vegetables. But eliminates food from his diet, more and more. Because it is too melty, creamy, too hot, too spicy, not the right brand. He has always loved pizza, but now we order pizza withouth cheese, just sauce and pineapple. Because he does not like "cooked meat" or cheese anymore. Foods he use to love eating, now make him gag, or he will just plain out refuse to eat. Instead he fills his plate with carrots, apples, pears, and a banana. He's not just beng picky, or spoiled, but his tactile senses are out of sync. Anything with a "bad" texture, taste, smell, or look will not be eaten.

Only wearing shoes that can get tighter and tighter. And stopping to tighten them when they get too loose.

There is so much more to this, and I could go on and on, but I wanted to give a little insight in to a typical day.

Jonathan was misdiagnosed with ADHD. He actually focuses very well, when in the right environment.

He is excelling in school , and loving every minute of it (after 2 1/2 weeks of meltdowns each day as I walked out of the room). What he has is called Sensory Integration Disorder, a.k.a. Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). Most of his symptoms are tactile and auditory. We received the diagnosis which is considered a neurological disability by a pediatric neurologist, and will received an additional evaluation by an occupational therapist as we begin sensory therapy. This may remain the sole diagnosis that we receive, but there could be more to come in the future.

But for now, we will do our best to help him cope with this crazy world in the best way possible, with the tools that we have available to us.

So please be patient with us, as we navigate this uncharted teritory. As we learn and grow, and find new ways to cope. Your senses direct so much of your every day life, much more than we realize, and SPD, effects much more than just what you eat, or how your shoes need to fit.

If you are interested in learnig more, I would suggest reading "The Out Of Sync Child". It's a great resource to actually explain what is going on, and how it effect's our child's life.

Reason #1 I haven't been posting . . .

We moved. In July. To Fenton. We totally outgrew the condo, and the association/builder/property management companies are wack. Yep, wack. So we now live in a house, in downtown Fenton. And we love it. The kids each have their own rooms, we have a decent size yard, and the house has so much character. We have room to play, and have a nice size garden next year. Did I mention we can walk downtown and to the Farmers Market? Now all I need is chickens, and Mike says no. I will post pics . . . . later.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Yes, we have a 3 year old!

Our little firecracker turned "free" (3) a month and a half ago, I know I am a blogger slacker. But I have excused, and they will come in another post! I couldnt' think of a better time to do a little update on what she has been up to. Lilah brings so much love and joy to the family. When she get's hurt or is tired she needs her "dada". Loves playing with her babies, specially her Bitty Baby "Hoho", which has become a part of the family. Like she goes to doctors appointments for checkups and everything. Loves "hosies", or "hee-hee's". Loves to read Amelia Bedeilia, Fancy Nancy, and American Girl catalogs. Her favorite book right now is "Ponyella". When she is tired, she wants to be held, and let's you know by following you around the house saying "upies". Has done great sleeping in her new bed, in her new room. Stays in her bed all night long most of the time. Likes to ride bikes, but apprently her Dora tricycle at home makes her sad. "Momma, Dora bike me sad. New big princess bike, me happy." She got a big bike for her birthday and it even has a baby carrier in the back. She loves riding it in the driveway, and down the road to the school behind our house, as long as she has a baby in back she is good. If you as me, she goes way too fast for a 3 year old, but she's just trying to keep up with her brother. She follows her brother around wanting to play, or just be in the same room as him. Likes to watch Angelina Balerina, Princess And The Frog, Tangled, Cailou, and Dora. When we dropped Joanthan off for his first day of kindergarten, we had to carry her out of the room crying for her "Bubba". I will randomly tell Jonathan that I am leaving when he is not listening or following us when we are out and about (I know, mom of the year award, but I would never do it), and Lilah throws a fit crying for Jonathan because she doesn't know it is all a trick to get him to move along and stick with us. Anyways, we love this little girl we call Lilah, and I just wante to share.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Updated Bucket List

I am trying at least. That is what I have to say.

  • I made pasta. From scratch. And it is yummy. Perfect for chicken noodle soup, or anything else.

  • I have tried to plant a larger garden. I have planted more plants, so many that I have no where to put them. And the kids have helped.

  • I edited the 365 project, and made it a weekly thing. Then it dropped off the face of this planet in March when we started packing things, showing the house, and preparing to hopefully move some day. Or in a few hundred years or so it seems.

  • Jonathan and I are on book 31 of the Magic Treehouse Series, on track to complete the series this year.

  • I have not blogged more, but the year is not over yet :)

  • Photography business on hold until this twister puts us down somewhere.

  • We have been doing great budgeting, paying off debt, and saving this year, Dave Ramsey Style.

  • I caught a fish! This weekend! With Jonathan's fishing pole, and I made my sister take it off the hook and toss is back in the water for me. After wioshing him well, he started swimming again. Success!

  • Not many date nights yet. But next weekend is our anniversary, and we are committed to going on a date Saturday night, Mike has to work on our anniversary. So I will celebrate it with the kids! Maybe we'll have a romantic dinner or something.

  • Lilah uses regular cups not all the time, unless we are on the road, or she cries for a lid. Down to a few plastic plates yet, but they use our normal dishes a lot. They will be gone soon. Promise.

  • I still need to write my matron of honor speech, Sarah get's married in less than 3 weeks!! Someone help me!!

  • I made toothpaste. It was okay. I don't think I will make it again though. No one else would use it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I have been making our laundry detergent for about 10 months now. I have hesitated sharing the recipe until I was sure that we really liked it. Granted we still have about 6 bottles of All/Tide left, I thought I would make up another batch and share the recipe.

I have made a few batches of powered detergent, and a large 5 gallon batch of liquid detergent, and I think I like that best.

The ingredients you will want to make sure you have on hand before you get started are:

Washing Soda - This is not baking soda. It must be washing soda. I have had the best luck finding it at Kroger or Meijer. Normally under $3 a box, it is almost always on the top shelf in the laundry isle.

Borax - I have been able to find this at Target, Kroger, and Meijer, all in the laundry isle, normally on the top shelf. This normally runs around $4 a box.

Water - I can normally find this in the faucet of my sink :)

Bar of Soap - I have used Ivory, Fels Naptha, and Irish Springs. Depends on what we have in the pantry. For this batch I used a bar of Johnson and Johnson baby soap that needed to be used up, I won't use it on their skin so they need to be used up somehow! I would love to use Dr. Bronners instead but I have so much free stuff so I am going to be frugal until it is gone.

Oxygen Cleaner - I am adding this for the first time. After a few loads with my previous recipes I felt like some of the kids clothes looked a little dingy. I have read that added Oxy Clean or a similar product will take care of that issue. I use SUN brand because it's around $2 a Walmart and this is all that I use it for.

1 Cup Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Borax
1/2 Cup Oxygen Cleaner
1 Bar of Soap (grated)

Bring a quart of water to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, grate the bard of soap. I use a had grater for this but you could also use a food processor. Once the water is boiling, stir in the soap a little at a time until it is all in and melted. Fill a 5 gallon bucket with 3 gallons of water. Mix in Washing Soda, Borax, and Oxygen Cleaner. Add boiling water/soap mixture and stir. Add in another gallon or two of water and mix together in the bucket.

Don't make the mistake I did of mixing all the ingredients in the boiling water after the soap melted. All was well for about 30 seconds, then I had a big foamy mess that was all over the stove, kitchen floor, and sink. Make sure they go in the 5 gallon bucket.

Cover the bucket and let it sit overnight. Next day the laundry detergent will be done. It will be a silly texture. Somewhere between clumpy slime, jello, and egg drop soup. This is normal. Just stir it all up, or mix with an immersion blender. Now you can put it in smaller buckets, jars, or empty detergent bottles. Just add 1/4-1/2 a cup to a load of laundry.

This saves a ton of money! We go back and forth using homemade detergent, and bottles that I "purchased" near free last year. Once those are gone, we'll be strictly using homemade.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

52 Project - Week 1

I think the 365 project is going to be a 52 project, a picture of each of the kids, every week. That I can do. Every day though, specially in the winter, would be a huge struggle to do a 365 project, and missing a day would give me anxiety. It's hard enough to fit in dinner and a bath before bedtime, let alone a picture. But week 1 was a success, I have photos of each of the kids. Tomorrow starts week 2 . . . You can follow along on my Flickr page as well . . .

One picture, of each child, every week. That I can. Bucket List items can be modified right?

Picture 1 for Jonathan is a photo of him watching Tessa play on the computer with grandma. I think they were playing a Barbie game.

Picture 1 for Lilah I LOVE. She climbed up on grandpa's lap exhausted and within a few minutes fell asleep. Too cute. You can even tell what team grandpa was hoping would win today.