Life in my Shoes

Life in my Shoes

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Update on Intuniv and some new considerations...

Last Thursday I mentioned that we had been noticing some disposition changes in our son who has been taking Intuniv for his ADHD since January 2010. I did speak with the nurse on Friday afternoon, and she said she would ask the doctor about some of our concerns.

She called me back yesterday afternoon and had some questions from the doctor. He said that the Intuniv should not be changing his personality. He was wondering if he had been sick (no) or if things were changing at school (he is homeschooled and he has been done with his formal schoolwork for a couple weeks now). He thought it would be okay to try to ween him down to 2 mg. especially since it's almost summertime when schedules are more relaxed anyway.

But I shared with her about his meltdowns this last weekend (after some junk food which seemed to affect him adversely), and thought that I would rather keep him where he is at the 3 mg. for now. We have an appointment with the doctor on the 7th of June anyway, so I thought we could wait and discuss more of what has been going on when we see him then.

So, as we continue down this road of raising children with learning differences and ADHD, I'm realizing the truth in treating this difference has to be multi-faceted. There's no easy "fix", no magic red button you can push that will make everything disappear and go back to normal.
I truly believe that this issue takes a change of heart, a change of perspective, a change of expectations, a change in diet, a change in environment/routine, and for some the addition of professional advice. I'm beginning to think about that last element for our family.

We're progressively working on changing the foods we eat, we've changed up the lay-out
of our home for a better homeschooling experience, we've completely changed homeschool
curriculums, we've added melatonin at bedtime to facilitate better sleep, my husband and I are
working daily to better our parenting and discipline techniques, and we've seen doctors to help us see things that we weren't seeing. We are now using the medication, Intuniv, to also
unmask the great parts about our son that we have not been able to see in awhile.

But I think that with all this done since last August, we now could benefit from some skills training in living with and training the ADHD child. It's hard for siblings living with the irritations that constantly come with this. Disciplining or enforcing consequences is often so difficult and just plain hard work. We need to know techniques, new ideas, fresh voices. It's often just not as easy as giving a spanking. With a child who has anxiety issues and hyperactivity challenges, spanking usually makes things much, MUCH worse. So anyway, we're considering some counseling, not only for ourselves, but also for our son. I'm wondering if an outside voice could help him learn better how to cope with the things that so often frustrate him. I'm just thinking, and I'm talking to others who are in a similar situation.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

ADHD and the need for vigorous exercise

I read this article recently and knew immediately that it was worth sharing. It makes so much sense!! This particular part of the article just leaped off the page at me:
Dr. Block, who works extensively with children with attention challenges, explains that exercise is key to solving attention and learning challenges in two ways: Physical activity burns sugar (which contributes to hyperactivity). It also builds connections between the right and left sides of the brain, a necessary step toward building a better learner. “I [commonly] hear parents say their child’s recess is taken away if he has misbehaved in class,” says Block. “But there is a direct relationship between physical activity and a child’s ability to focus.”

The first suspect, says Block, is an elevated sugar level. But, she warns, “Many parents have their children tested and find that the child’s blood [sugar] is normal.” This, she says, can be misleading because hyperactivity occurs when sugar levels are elevated (after eating, say, a sugary bowl of cereal). “The body naturally releases adrenaline to drop the blood sugar—this is why the kid can’t sit still,” Block says. Yet, if you test the blood an hour or so after this incident, the body has probably regulated the sugar levels back to normal (so a child’s test results will appear fine).

Do you know what else this says to me? That being on the path of eating better.....less sugar....less processed ingredients that spike the blood sugar (i.e. high fructose corn syrup) is exactly the place I need to be for my children with attention challenges!!!!

This also seems to say to me that it makes sense that some of the best interventions and treatments for ADHD children are living a healthy lifestyle......i.e. lots of exercise, lots of outdoor time, and more whole foods that were designed for our nutrition by our Great Creator!! Forget the packaged stuff that really isn't food, forget about the computer games and XBox that keep us indoors and sedentary, consider forgetting about traditional schooling methods that trap your child indoors when he is misbehaving!! Another great advantage of homeschooling!!
Let's get moving, people!!!

This article is really worth your time, and you can read it by clicking on this link below:

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sweetness.....

Yesterday, we celebrated 4 years with the most adorable little fellow we have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

He was two days overdue, but arrived with a bang just 20 minutes after we arrived at the hospital.


9lbs. 4oz.
21 inches




He's been charming and surprising us ever since!!!





2 months old
14 lbs. 12 oz.


4 1/2 months and using all his muscles!!!









Just a little bit after baby sister, Aryn, was born.
He was 4 days shy of being 20 months.




Notice how his "special" blanket is stuffed in his mouth? He used to do this before the soggy blanket seemed to gross him out. Now he sucks his thumb.







The "smearing things on my face" stage.


The "smooching the girls" stage!!



Watching the renovations on the neighbors house.



He has been pure pleasure from day one!!!



Sharing cupcakes with friends in Sunday School.



Happy 4th Birthday, Sweet Boy!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Things are never as easy as you think....

So last week I raved about how some of the dietary changes we've made recently have made such HUUUUGE improvements in some issues we have been trying to eliminate in our children.
Well....
scratch that!!

No, not all together I guess.
I'm not THAT easily defeated.
I do completely recommend trying a healthier lifestyle in alleviating some ADHD issues that come along with the territory, but I'm becoming a little more guarded at how excited I get about it.

Ashlyn's blood sugar has been through the roof again this week. Last night after church there was this fellowship full of cookies and goodies of all shapes and sizes, and we hadn't brought her insulin pen with us. She had maybe one cookie and some other protein things. I hated to check her blood sugar when we got home, and sure enough.......
589!!!!
It wasn't all that much better this morning after 18 units of Lantus and the 5 units of Humalog to correct the high.
Still over 200.
Sigh.
I guess it's just life with a life-threatening disease.

Then there are my son's issues related to his ADHD.

Since this diet change, not only have we noticed that he is much, MUCH calmer, but he is much less happy too. Do you remember when Charlie Brown would walk around with the cloud above his head? That describes my son. Just not happy. Not ugly, and screaming, and ranting.....just not smiling, not wanting to go out and play unless he had a friend with him, grouchy.
So, I'm wondering if now we have him OVER medicated?
I'm wondering if we should bump him from 3 mg. of intuniv down to 2 mg.
I've put a call in to the doctor to get his opinion before I send off this 90-day supply
prescription for his next round of 3 mg.

This past Sunday, both my husband and I forgot to give him his dose of intuniv.
It happens.
Six kids.
Sunday morning.
All getting ready for Sunday morning church.
Insulin to figure out, thyroid medications, breakfast for everybody, 12 shoes, 6 heads of hair, etc.
First time we've ever missed.
We noticed no difference.
It was like he had taken his medication.

So I experimented on Monday to see if we saw a difference. I did not give him his pill on purpose this morning. I do not recommend missing for several days though because of the blood pressure issue associated with the intuniv medication.
He was OFF the CHARTS hyper.
Back to his obviously unmedicated self.
Running constantly through the house, jumping on people,
wrestling for hours, making noises all day.
But he was very happy....smiling and laughing all day.
He got his medication Tuesday morning.
On Wednesday evening he was SO sideways.....huge meltdown!!
Now it's Thursday and he's back to being calmer and easier to live with.
The jury is still out on his disposition.
We had a lot of junk food at that fellowship last night,
so I'm waiting a day or so to see how he is by the weekend.

Too be continued........

Monday, May 17, 2010

All in the family

I thought I'd share a few glimpses of the wedding our entire family attended the other night.
My husband's 1st cousin's daughter was getting married. From what I hear from genealogical circles, that makes the bride my children's 2nd cousin. How about that??

Let me tell ya....it was a bit hairy getting there....and we were even discussing "Plan B" in case we didn't make it to the church on time. We had to make two stops before actually getting on the highway where we needed to be, and it seemed like each time we would start out we had misjudged our time schedule by a half an hour!!!

But fortunately, as all good wedding coordinators know, 99% of all weddings don't start exactly at the moment the invitations says it will
so we were seated just as the mothers were being seated.
Plus, we ended up with some of the best seats in the house!!!




After the wedding was over, we had a round of bathroom stops and diaper changes,
and then we all loaded BACK UP into the van and drove on over
here.....






for the reception.

And what a party it was!!!
It has been a looooooong time since I've been to a wedding reception as beautiful,
as creative, as well thought through, as personal as this one!!
What fun we had!!!

From the....



to the....


to the candy bar.....







to the game room!!!




And check out some of these gorgeous details....












But this was the most breath-taking part of the evening.......


seeing my own daughter as gorgeous as this bride in the very near future!!!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Surprise!!!!

So, I've been on a little bit of a journey to clean up my family's diet in hopes of even better managing my two ADHD children's focus, hyperactivity, and attention issues. I began this journey several weeks ago after spending several weeks of reading about it on the internet and the ADHD forum that I joined last year. At first I was once again overwhelmed with how many things can exacerbate the issues we deal with at our house on a daily basis, and really had no idea where or how to begin. So, I figured I would just take some baby steps and pick a couple things that I felt I could bite off and not be frazzled by, and start eliminating them from our diet. Because our second daughter is a Type 1 Diabetic, I was first drawn to the high fructose corn syrup and looking for just that in our regular diet.

I've learned that high fructose corn syrup is super cheap and easy for producers to make, hence it cuts down the cost to make the product. Apparently LOTS of "food" producers want this in their product as it is not only cheap for them, but it's super refined, super sweet, and makes whatever product it is in TASTE REALLY GOOD. So good, that you want to eat more and more of it. The bad thing is.....it'll spike up your blood sugar. Bad for a diabetic.....bad for a child who already has enough energy on his own that he certainly doesn't need that simple carbohydrate creating another rush of energy from the quick digestion of that sugar.

We've been "off" it now for a couple weeks and here is what I've started noticing:

The very first thing that stood out to me was how Ashlyn's blood sugar levels started falling in the "target" ranges more often. I wasn't even THINKING that would make a difference for her, so it has been a marvelous surprise for us!!! Usually we have been CHASING down highs from 225-400+ at some point EVERY day. We have cut back on those highs by over HALF!!

The next thing that popped out to me was how my son's waking himself up every night to go to the bathroom has completely stopped. He was wetting the bed up until he was 5 years old (maybe even closer to 6) , and then until now would start to go, but it would wake him up before it had gotten on the bed. So he was waking me up every night to help him find another pair of underwear (until I figured out I could just put a pair in the bathroom for him to get himself) Magically.....that has stopped.....within the last two weeks.

The most amazing thing that has become more prominent to me within the last 4 days has been how my son has indeed become WAAAAAY less hyper. To the point of almost seeming depressed. In fact, I've told my husband that I'm now wondering if that because we are doing a better job keeping his blood sugar levels more stable.....we've cut out those food additives and colors...that he is now OVER medicated. We're still only on a 3 mg. dose, but we haven't given him any melatonin to help him fall asleep at night, and he is spending his days SITTING most of the time. He doesn't want to go outside unless he has someone to play with, and he is WAAAAAY less fidgety. It's so amazing to me that the more I think about it as I'm writing this, the more I think I will call his doctor next week and discuss it with him. He has been grouchy, irritable, and generally unhappy.....but he's not making the rest of us miserable.....he's just not as restless.

The only real thing that I can point to for these significant changes is our change in diet.

So what are we eating now??

I haven't made or purchased any sweets (cookies, doughnuts, cakes, desserts, etc.) in several weeks. No one has really complained about this though I am starting to get questions about when we can have some cookies again. I am surrounded by children everyday, so I am aware that they do need something fun once in a while, but we'll be making them homemade from now on, and with some extra stuff to beef up the nutrition levels.

(graham crackers have HFCS as do the marshmallows I believe)

(calls for Light Corn Syrup)

(graham crackers again)

(those cream soups have MSG)

We ARE eating WAAAAY more fruit (except for my son of course who doesn't like fruits or veggies).
Today we were eating hummus dip with fresh, raw, sweet baby carrots (except for my son.)
We still eat PB and J sandwiches almost daily for lunch, but I have switched the brand of bread we buy.

I haven't the time nor the space to make my own bread yet, though maybe.....someday.

I am experimenting with new fun recipes.
Like this one, though I've modified it and am now using
the Wal-Mart brand of "Shake and Bake" which has no HFCS in it.
I also do not roll it in the oil prior to coating it either.
I have also found a recipe to make my own chicken coating mix which I intend on trying soon!

Here's another recipe I've enjoyed tweaking for my family.
My husband LOVES this stuff, but not all of my children are as enthusiastic.

I've also found that when my children eat heartily at their meals, they aren't as likely
to be grazing their way through the afternoon to dinner time.
So we've cut back on our snacking too.

Also, I'm trying to concentrate on feeding my son more protein, especially at breakfast.
I hear that's really good for the brain connectors to get connected first thing in the morning.
He's kinda a simple carb fanatic though, so it's been a trick finding things he'll actually put into his mouth in the protein category. He prefers a carnivorous diet to the vegan of course, but I don't always have money in the budget for all that meat.
But when we do snack we've been enjoying:

Mini bags of microwave popcorn (100 calories each)
Costco's tortilla strips (chips)
Little clementine oranges
Bananas
Apples
Toast with peanut butter
Strawberries
Cheese
Hard boiled eggs


The next thing I'm going to be experimenting with: Cutting back even MORE on our gluten intake!! More on that later!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

What's on the menu??

After doing all the reading that I've been doing online, and thinking through what my family enjoys eating, here is what I've decided I wanted to eliminate FIRST, in my baby steps toward a "cleaner" diet for my family:


1. High Fructose Corn Syrup
Do you have ANY idea how many products that sweetener is in??
I didn't.
So I started looking through my cabinets and refrigerator.
It was everywhere.

Here's a partial list of where I found it hiding at my house:

Certain brands of store bought bread (every brand that I had, of course)
Go-gurt yogurt
Graham crackers
Heinz and Hunts Ketchup
Almost all brands of salad dressings (italian, french, etc.)
Ice cream
Premium (brand) Saltine Crackers
Many brands of store bought cereal
Seasoned bread crumbs (such as Pepperidge Farms!!)
Hotdogs
Here is another comprehensive list of products containing this ingredient:



2. Artificial Colors particularly Red #40, and the Yellows

I found this hiding in several unexpected places:

Nacho Cheese Doritos
Our jelly
Hawaiian Punch (this was not a surprise, but I didn't usually have this anyway)
Almost all cake mixes
Crystal light drink mix
Candy


3. MSG
(Monosodium glutamate....a flavor enhancer most notoriously used in Chinese food)

Here's where I've found this:

Some of those mix-it-yourself salad dressing mixes (in the packets) such as
Hidden Valley Ranch and that Italian Dressing in the glass shaker

Cream soups such as Cream of Mushroom


4. Reducing milk intake

For right now, I don't think I'm going to completely eliminate all dairy products.
We all really like our cow's milk ice cold!!
But we do like that Silk Chocolate Light Soy Milk.....yummy when processed in the blender with coffee ice cubes!!!
I'm allergic to almonds.....so don't start with the almond milk.
I have reduced our cow's milk consumption down to 4 gallons a week though. That's about 1/2 gallon per person a week at my house. (Probably a little more for those little people who
sneak in the fridge and drink out of the milk leaving their gum behind to turn the rest of the milk all "Minty" tasting....EWWW!!)


5. Using organic (less processed) sugars

I've been buying the organic cane juice crystal sugar from Costco instead of regular
white granulated sugar. Nobody knows the difference.
I try to stay away from brown sugar if I can and we've been sweetening our oatmeal
with pancake syrup (sugar free for the diabetic).
I'm also trying to sneak honey in where I can since my children aren't huge fans of it.

6. Much less convenience, high saturated fat laden snacks

I used to try to make it easy on myself and get those mini donuts really cheap at the outlet
store for Sunday morning breakfast.
Not anymore.
Too much high fructose corn syrup. Too much high saturated fats.

No more goldfish, or packaged snacks. Too much processing, too many chemicals, too much salt
.
No more hotdogs.....at least not on a regular basis. We used to eat them every Wednesday because they are cheap, quick, and everyone likes them!!


Here's what we do eat.

4+ pounds of fresh strawberries a week
10 pounds of apples a week
(Around) 5 pounds of little clementine oranges a week
Torilla strips from Costco with Hummus dip
Peanut Butter and "Schmucker's" low sugar concord grape jelly
on Nature's Own 100% whole wheat bread
Homemade casseroles and pasta dishes
Salad with homemade salad dressings
Hard boiled eggs (cage-free, hormone free chicken)
Cheerios
Home-made "instant" oatmeal
Rice chex
Homemade pancakes
Ground turkey
Chicken tenders
Raw baby carrots
Protein bars


Tomorrow I'm excited to share the AMAZING, very surprising benefits my husband and I have noticed since leaving out the above ingredients from our diet. I didn't notice any big changes until about 2 weeks into this, but they have been so good, that I won't be going back.

I'll also be sharing some of the recipes we are leaving behind and new ones we are enjoying!!
Stay tuned!!!


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Going through "the CHANGE"....

Don't worry. This isn't "the change" you might think of that usually begins to torment women somewhere around 50 years of age. Hopefully, that is still way off in my future.
But I have been doing a lot of thinking lately, along with a ton of reading online, about the nutritional benefit of changing the way my children are eating. Though Grant is still doing pretty well on his 3mg. daily dose of intuniv, he still struggles in a lot of areas. We still have emotional meltdowns (though they don't last nearly as long or are as frequent as they were before intuniv), and he still can be very touchy and very disrespectful to my husband and I. I'm not looking for a magic cure here, but I know we still can see more positive changes that do not require medication. I'm beginning to see that managing the hyperactivity, the volatile anger, the impulsiveness, the ugly side of ADHD has to come from a multi-faceted approach. We have experienced the benefits of changing up several things in our family dynamic, but we still have more progress to make. Some of the things we have done include:
**Getting an official diagnosis from a trained physician who knows what he's looking at when he sees a child with multiple issues challenging him/her.
** Completely ditching the homeschooling curriculum we used for several years, and going with something totally new to all of us. We were using ACE (which is a nightmare for the ADHD child) and have loved every minute of Math-U-See, and Shurley English.
**My husband made a concerted effort to move from a night shift to a day shift. This has allowed much more interaction with Dad as well as setting aside his day off (Monday) as our "Funday" where we incorporate a lot of field trips and just plain fun without a schedule. This has done a lot (and I believe will continue in the future) to build a great rapport with our children when many days we are correcting, and correcting, and correcting.
**Modifying the way we discipline our children. We've learned that spanking our ADHD son only causes him to escalate in his emotions. It has lost much of its effectiveness and only causes him deep, deep anxiety. Not just the normal "I don't want a spanking" kind of thing, but throwing chairs, screaming, mouthy disrespect that only escalated. We've learned what his "currency" is and that calming down in his room before having something of value (i.e. Xbox time or computer time) taken away for a time speaks so much louder to him than spanking ever did. Plus, we've found that reminding him of what we expect of him BEFORE we get in a public situation really helps him behave better.....especially if we express to him that we noticed his good behavior and especially if there is an unexpected award to go along with the praise!!! WOW!!
**Being willing to try some medication for him to see if it would help him gain some inner control and take that edge off of his anxiety so that he was calm enough to LEARN when we tried working with him. We needed him to be able to listen to US and not have his brain going crazy wild. He has had no side effects except for feeling sleepy some days in the afternoon. No loss of appetite, no crazy mood swings, no head or stomach aches. He has been taking intuniv now since January.
**I've noticed that he does indeed do pretty well on a rigid schedule. He gets bored when we let things slide and relax, and then he starts bugging people. He is constantly looking for something to be moving or playing with. If I have it all laid out for him, it seems to help him know what the next thing is and how long before it is coming.
We have noticed a tremendous change in our son since implementing all these changes, but I know there is still more that we need to try. I've been hearing on the ADHD forum, that has been a tremendous support to me, that some people have found unexpected, surprising benefits of making some changes to their diets. Here are some of the things I've been reading that have gotten me to thinking:

The fact of the matter is what we put in our bodies affects our mental state. Our bodies and minds are bio-chemical machines running on the fuel given to them. Diet is not a cause of ADHD, but diet can and does affect our child's mental state, and they have enough going on up there that they don't need to try thinking through dairy and sugar clouds.
My son starts getting distracted from lack of fuel and begins to become more emotional about 3 hours after his last meal. The longer he goes from that point, the worse it gets, and nothing is going to help him when he's at that state. There are a number of arguments about whether medication is the way to go with ADHD children. I leave that between you and your doctor. What I will say is if his meals are not regular and balanced, and if they are absent of foods that are nutritious but more difficult to prepare, medications are not going to matter.
http://www.4-adhd.com/internet-addiction.html

New scientific research proves children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) function better if they spend part of their day outdoors in nature.

The research results were very specific. In order to improve ADHD symptoms, the children in the study had to be outdoors in a natural setting.

http://www.4-adhd.com/greentimeadhd.html


Finding Out if it is ADD ADHD or Food Allergies

What NOT to eat for TWO WEEKS: the first step in this ADHD Diet

First, let's find out if there are food allergies causing the ADHD symptoms or behaviors. Eliminate these foods for two weeks, then get ready to add them back in to the ADHD diet...

  • NO DAIRY PRODUCTS, especially cow's milk.

    This is the single most important restriction. The American Pediatric Association estimates that a significant percentage of all children are allergic to milk. Instead try Almond milk, Rice milk, or Better Than Milk. And drink lots of water instead of milk for two weeks.

  • NO YELLOW FOODS. Especially Corn or Squash. Bananas are white, but don't eat the peel. About 1/1000 people have problems with the stuff that makes these foods yellow in color.
  • NO JUNK FOODS. If it comes in a cellophane wrapper, don't eat it. Stop eating junk food and your brain will work better. Junk foods tend to be very high in sugars and carbohydrates, and our brains get fuzzy and our kids get more hyperactive when sugars and carbohydrates are eaten together.
  • NO FRUIT JUICES. They have too much sugar. One small glass of apple juice has the sugar content of eight apples. Later on you can have juice, but for now if you have to have any juice just dilute it with water 50/50.
  • CUT SUGAR INTAKE BY 90%. If you can, cut it down to zero. Sugar is in just about everything, but give it a try. Do your best to reduce your sugar intake without going crazy.
  • CUT CHOCOLATE BY 90%. No more than a single piece, once a week.
  • NO NUTRASWEET. None. Period. Never. It's bad for you. It is bad for your brain.
  • NO PROCESSED MEATS and NO MSG. Only get meats with labels that say, “Turkey and Water,” etc. If the meat has chemicals listed that you can't pronounce, don't buy it and don't eat it.
  • CUT FRIED FOODS BY 90%.
  • AVOID FOOD COLORINGS WHENEVER POSSIBLE. See if your child is sensitive to any particular colors, such as Reds, Yellows, etc. For now, though, avoid all if possible.
  • AVOID FISH. We hate to say this, as there used to be so many benefits to eating fish, especially the Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) or Omega Oils. But the problem these days is that the mercury levels in most fish is simply too high to be either safe or healthy. Mercury is the second most toxic metal on earth, and is a terrible neuro-toxin. Until we clean up the oceans and the rivers of mercury, just don't eat it. Sorry.

SUMMARY: Just eat foods that God made for a while. Eat like people did in the 1940's, or the 1840's. Go to a used book store and get some good old cook books for recipe ideas. There really are about 10,000 meals that you CAN eat. Just not much in the way of “fast foods” or “convenience” foods.

http://newideas.net/adhd/adhd-diet


Here are some more links also:

http://www.add-adhd-help-center.com/adhd_diet.htm

http://www.add-adhd-help-center.com/adhd_recipes.htm

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1659835,00.html

http://blog.naturalremedies4add.com/2009/02/02/high-fructose-corn-syrup-horrible-for-addadhd/

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/health/9-ingredients-to-avoid-in-processed-foods-1268429/

http://www.nativeremedies.com/articles/adhd-feingold-diet.html

So, I've begun to wonder how in the world I should go about experimenting with a different approach to the foods we eat. Where do I start? I certainly agree that our bodies are very chemically based. Our bodies were designed by the amazing Creator God to chemically transform the food we eat into energy that keeps every system in our bodies functioning. So it makes sense that the better and more nutritionally sound the food, the better our bodies can work the way it was designed to.

I also am learning that the ADHD brain operates and responds to stimulus differently than what is usually considered "normal". Sometimes I wish Americans would really think through what "normal" is and if that's really how we want to box everyone in, but that's another soapbox discussion for another time. The Lord God created all species of every living thing as well as non-living with great complexity and variety. What would this world be like if we all looked the same or thought the same or reacted the same or behaved the same? Anyway, because we are looking for a more focused, clear, sharp, fully functioning brain in our children which facilitates better interpretation of their environment as well as the ability to control impulsive behaviors, I'm researching what others have found to be the most helpful in achieving these goals in the areas of smarter nutrition.

This week I'll be talking name brand food items that we have eliminated as well as things we have added in their place. Come on back tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

An update on Ashlyn's Type 1 Diabetes


Yesterday was Ashlyn's regular 3 month visit at the endocrinologist's office. We had a great visit.
She is still on manual injections to control her blood sugar levels, and she usually has to test her BS levels 4-5 times a day.
Her carbohydrate to insulin ratio is currently at :
Breakfast 1:7
Lunch 1:6
Dinner 1:7
She takes Humalog as her short acting insulin at mealtimes and uses the pen.

Her long acting insulin, Lantus, is taken only at bedtime.
She is currently on 18 units daily, and takes that by syringe.

Her endocrinologist mentioned today that he wants her to get prepared to move to the pump. We just so do not want to do that. She doesn't want it and I don't want to have to keep up with it. I hope he doesn't demand this of us, or treat us like we're idiots for wanting to stick with the insulin delivery system that we are most comfortable with and can keep good control of her BS levels with.

Her A1C level was 7.7 today!!!
That's a great number, and one we've been camping out on for nearly 6 months now!!

For those not familiar with this diabetic lingo, the A1C number gives you a ballpark figure
of your blood sugar levels for the last 3 months.


Last month she had her bi-annual visit to the dentist. She had a giant cavity on one of her childhood molars, but the dentist wasn't about to go to the expense of filling it since it was loose and on its way out anyway. That puppy came out in church yesterday morning.

She also had her very first visit with our ophthalmologist last week. She had been doing funny things with her eyes all-of-a-sudden, and couldn't tell us why. She would turn her head and look out the corners of her eyes, or would tilt her head down and look out the tops of her eyes. She never scratched at her eyes or complained they were itching even mildly. We waited for about a week after she stopped doing this, but then she started up again. Our eye doctor did a very thorough exam and found nothing wrong with her eyes except for some new allergies that were bothering her. Some eye allergy drops will fix the itching that was making her feel like she had to look out the corner of her eyes. Her vision is perfect and he even said she has absolutely no prescription whatsoever!! He dilated her pupils to get pictures of her retinas so he would have a baseline idea of what her eyes look like normally in case there are any changes related to her diabetes. He also showed us pictures of the diabetic eye of a person who was not in good control of their blood sugar levels. Some pretty scary stuff!!

This week I will be talking at length about some dietary changes that I have made around our house in hopes of better managing more of Grant's ADHD issues. One of the surprising, unexpected benefits has been the enormous change in Ashlyn's blood sugar levels. In the last 2-3 weeks since making some of these dietary changes, her blood sugar levels have almost always been in her normal ranges (80-150) where before we were chasing down high levels (225-400) almost EVERY time she tested. I'm so excited about that and hoping that at her next endocrinologist visit in late August, we'll find her A1C level even lower!!!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Thoughts on Mother's Day

I thought I might share with you some places I've visited this week that have encouraged my ponderings on this great calling of motherhood. Some of these sites have some really fun ideas of things you can make with your children. "Annies homepage" has tons and tons of links to loads and loads of different things pertaining to Mother's Day.
My heart was particularly burdened this week for the precious lady in the very last blog I've listed here. She was 20 weeks pregnant with her second baby and lost that baby last Saturday. This was her second time losing a baby at 20 weeks. How difficult this Mother's Day will be for her. Maybe you'll want to wander over to her spot and encourage her anonymously?
I hope that tomorrow you'll savor the day if you're a mother, and encourage those mothers around you that have helped shoulder your own load, as well as love on your own mother or the person who "mothered" you. Enjoy!!!

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."
III John 4

http://www.executivehomemaker.com/2010/04/mothers-day-activities-for-the-kids/












Monday, May 3, 2010

Updating our family pictures

Spring in Texas means several things.
Wild storms, beautiful sunshine, allergies,
and
bluebonnets.

See.....here in Texas,
the bluebonnet is the state flower
and only pops out for a few weeks in March or April.

You never know exactly when you'll start seeing them or how long they will last.
The previous winter's precipitation affects how thick and beautiful they are and with the heavy snows we received this past winter, the bluebonnets were especially grand.
You start noticing them in little patches along the road, here and there,
and before long,
they are splashed in huge purplish swaths all along the highways and open fields.
Rumor has it that it's against the law to pick them.
So we always see people stopped along the interstate,
climbing the embankments,
taking pictures of their children.

Since it had been 2 years since our last set of family pictures, I thought it might be fun to try
to get some new ones done in 2010. Usually we have family pictures made at the end of the year so we can use them for Christmas photos. But this year I suggested to my husband that we try to get them made while the bluebonnets were out. This is also the same time that we are celebrating our wedding anniversary, and most of our children are having their birthdays.
This year, the week of our birthday bash was perfect especially because we were
also on spring break from school.

Another reason I thought we might try to get our family pictures made early this year is because our favorite long-time friend/photographer is due to have her 6th baby in September, so I was thinking it would be nice to get them done before she has her baby.
We asked her if she could help us find a great place for pictures this year,
and she didn't let us down.
The best place to get pictures with the bluebonnets is usually along the
embankment of the highway somewhere.
They blanket up behind you and are just glorious.
The trick is always finding a place where there isn't much traffic,
and where these wildflowers haven't been trampled by previous hunters
of good portrait locations.

We think our friend found an amazing spot.



















Saturday, May 1, 2010

May is building her house.....

May is building her house. With apple blooms
She is roofing over the glimmering rooms;
Of the oak and the beech hath she builded its beams,
And, spinning all day at her secret looms,
With arras of leaves each wind-sprayed wall
She pictureth over, and peopleth it all
With echoes and dreams,
And singing of streams.

May is building her house. Of petal and blade,
Of the roots of the oak, is the flooring made,
With a carpet of mosses and lichen and clover,
Each small miracle over and over,
And tender, traveling green things strayed.

Her windows, the morning and evening star,
And her rustling doorways ever ajar
With the coming and going
Of fair things blowing,
The thresholds of the four winds are.

May is building her house. From the dust of things
She is making the songs and the flowers and the wings;
From October's tossed and trodden gold
She is making the young year out of the old;
Yea: out of winter's flying sleet
She is making all the summer sweet,
And the brown leaves spurned of November's feet
She is changing back again to spring's.

~~Richard La Gallienne