Monday, April 26, 2010

A bit of serenity on a rainy day

This is where you can find Hayden toward the end of most evenings. He usually needs to "play drums" once a day. This means the robot drum show is on in the background, while he uses two markers to play drums on the couch.  He has his own drums and drumsticks, but for the robot show it has to be markers and couch.

This is where you can find Jason if he's actually home on a week night.  : )  He's usually writing music for school, while wearing headphones to block out the robot drums.  

This is Jason's homework assignment from me.  We'll see how quickly it gets covered in music pages and forgotten. : )

This is Hayden jumping all over the couch when I said it was time for books and bed. 

This is Hayden rolling around on the floor and whining. We've had real trouble with bedtime lately. 

We've been going to bed earlier and earlier, but lately he doesn't want to participate in the bedtime process.  It used to be bath, books, bed.  Now it's bath, whine, run, scream, roll around, skip the book because I'm over it, bed.  I'm not really sure why there's been a change, except that it started soon after the diet changes.  He acts like he's too exhausted to go on once we mention books.  He doesn't want to pick any of the choices, but if I ask if he wants to skip the book and go to bed he'll roll around and say, "Noreadabook! Readaboooook!"  (It's all one word.)  I'm thinking I need to take some pictures and make him a bed time poster. In fact, I'm going to go do that right now.  

The last two bedtimes have been BAD.  Just as I finished writing the title of this blog post last night, I asked Hayden what book he wanted for bed. It had been a  successful day, more tranquil than usual.  The bedtime that followed, on the other hand, was the exact opposite. He rolled around and whined. I picked him up and put him on the couch, he went back to the floor. He said some really funny things that I can't remember now. Then he threw the car you see in his hand in the above picture. It hit me right in the head and hurt. I lost my patience at that point and went into the walk-in closet and slammed the door.  I hid in the closet until Daddy made him come say sorry.

BUT, I do have to say, that Friday's events made me put life into perspective, once again. When Hayden was left on the bus in February, it made me remember how much I love my little boy and would miss him if he was gone, despite how difficult he is some days.  On Friday, that feeling happened to me again.  The school where I work was on lockdown. Someone robbed a bank and ran toward the woods adjacent to our school. You can read about it here:   And here:  The person(s) were literally right by our school.

There were police all over the parking lot, carrying rifles. We were all to stay in the cafeteria, gym, or computer lab (no windows). A teacher heard gun shots (it turns out there were 20 shots exchanged), and so we were all herded into the tiny cafeteria.  I think we were in there for two hours before they let some people back out into the computer lab. I was overstimulated from the noise at that point and glad to get out. I was also scared, because there was a window into the dishwashing room behind the cafeteria, which opened out into the cafeteria. I went to put up my tray and found myself looking out on the grounds of the school. I was supposed to be in a safe room with no windows! There were two guys out there somewhere with an assault rifle and a sawed-off shot gun, and here's this window looking in at all of the kids! I pulled down the thin metal grate that closed the space between the cafeteria and the dishwashing room, but it wouldn't have stopped a bullet.

Finally at 4 they decided the second guy got away, and the first was found shot, and we were able to go home.  And I went home and hugged my husband and my sweet little boy, and I'll try not to take them for granted! I promise.  

For a few more days...  : ) 

Time to try out the bedtime schedule I just made.  Let's see how this goes.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Is it Friday yet?

I finished mulching the front yard. That was the easy part. Now it's time to attack all the weeds in the back.

Hayden's current arsenal. The three on the right I sneak into his juice. I'm going to need to add better vitamins. And I'm going to try the orange juice with calcium, since he won't eat the chewable calciums.

Candidates for Hayden's arsenal that did not make the cuts. They are kind of gross. He'll take one lick and put them down and say, "nah-oh."

And good news-- the GFCF pizza (after I found the right cheese) was a huge success!  He loves it.  So we now have pizza and spaghetti that he really likes. He's not too into the chicken nuggets.

Hayden has another sinus infection, probably brought on by allergies.  We are trying the liquid zyrtec, and we'll see if it helps.  

I'd better get the little guy to bed early. More updates later!  : )

Sunday, April 11, 2010

When milk-free cheese isn't really milk-free...

Well, folks, this is why my head was spinning when I left Whole Foods a few weeks ago. I had written "Galaxy brand non-milk cheese" on my list in order to try and make Hayden some pizza, his favorite food. I looked in the cheese aisle, but they didn't have it, so I asked an employee. She said they kept it with the dairy items. Go figure. She showed me where to find it, and I looked at the package:

My list of "safe" products told me to buy Galaxy brand Rice cheese. Package says soy free, Lactose free. Check. I didn't read the back until I talked Jason into helping me make pizza yesterday:

Second ingredient? Casein. What's Hayden on? Gluten-free, casein-free diet. Grr. So Jason and I each tried a corner of it, and then I threw it away. It tastes like absolutely nothing. A chalky nothing. I looked in the fridge at the American cheese slices I'd bought him (which he didn't like and I'll probably be throwing away, too.) They are the same brand:

Instead of just "Rice," they're "Rice Vegan." And they have no casein. Ahhh. So apparently I need to find the "Rice Vegan Mozzerella cheese".

Here's a pic of the cheese we tried. The back was weird, but the front looked like normal cheese.

Hayden and I have had an upper respiratory infection for a week. I've been wiped out, but he's been basically his usual self but not as hungry. He's had a harder time sleeping than me, because I've been sleeping on propped up pillows, and he refuses to. The cough is definitely lessening, though, so that's good. The doctor said it could take up to two weeks for it to go away, and that it's viral, so we can't take much for it.

I finally got out in the yard and did some weeding today, and Jason's mowing. Then we'll be going to Meijer on the hunt for something Hayden can eat. I am going to try to make the muffins again, and cut up the blueberries so they're smaller. And I'm going to add a bit of extra sugar. ; ) He's been eating lots of the spaghetti, and I checked the ingredients and they're fine. So that's a small success!

Mr. Man out and about

Hope you're enjoying the beautiful weather today!

: ) Sheila

Sunday, April 4, 2010

GFCF Muffins and Spaghetti

Hayden wore his really cool new Star Wars shirt for about an hour today before he begged to take it off. No clothes most of the day, as usual.

The recipe for the muffins, cut from the TACA newsletter. Hayden helped by cutting it at the sides a bit.

For GFCF Spaghetti, I made rice noodles and used Newman's Own Garlic Basil sauce. There is probably an ingredient in there he's not allowed to have, since he liked it! ; ) I will have to re-check. The spaghetti was a success, though; he asked for more.

The muffins took a bit longer to make, but it's really a pretty simple recipe. It just took a while to make the flour mixture. I liked the muffin I tried: at first taste it was kinda boring, but it grew on me and by the end I wanted another! (But I'll wait a few days and see if Hayden wants to eat them.) Plus, I put butter on top of the one I ate, and he's not allowed to have that. He didn't want anything to do with it, but he usually eats muffins in the morning.

Just bagged up some GFCF snacks for both schools, too.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Starting the GFCF Diet

Well, I knew it wouldn't be easy changing Hayden's diet. But my head was spinning when I left Whole Foods on Wednesday. The problems are these:

1. I am doing the no-milk diet first, so anything with milk is out.
2. I am going to ease into the gluten-free diet, so I'd like to stay away from that if possible.
3. Soy is supposed to be high on the allergy list, so try to avoid that.
-- Everything that's prepackaged has #1, 2, or 3!!
4. You're supposed to start with foods the kids already like, and switch over to a healthy alternative. Hayden likes very few things, and they almost all have both dairy and gluten. I'm debating where to start.
5. The pre-made stuff is super expensive. I joked that in the entire Whole Foods store I found 14 things Hayden could eat, and each cost $8.99. I might be exaggerating. A little. But not by much.
6. I have always been averse to cooking, but I'm willing to make a change for my son. But when do I have time to make all these super-complicated recipes? My evenings after work are already filled with driving Hayden all over creation. I could make lots on the weekend and freeze it, but will it freeze well? And what do I put it in? I'm supposed to Just Say No to Gladware for him... Do they make glassware for the freezer? And what will this do to my wallet and emotional well being when I make all this stuff and he won't eat it?
7. The stores are all 30 to 60 minutes away. If I do the online option, I have to pay shipping, so I want to try to avoid that. So I need to buy in bulk. But I don't really know what ingredients I need yet.

Shoo, thanks for reading that rant, I feel better! It doesn't help that I got my first sunburn of the season while mulching yesterday, and that always makes me feel tired and cranky. Here's what I did get at Whole Foods:

butter and cheese (made from rice)
sugar snap peas and some blueberries
chicken tenders, fish sticks, and spicy fish sticks (He likes spicy things, I thought it would be worth a try)
rice pasta and corn pasta
safflower oil
aluminum free baking soda and baking powder
white rice flour
tapioca starch
xanthan gum (replaces the gluten to help food stick together)
sea salt
gluten free spaghetti sauce

I spent $92, but all of these were items listed in multiple recipes, so it will be a good start for the GFCF pantry. I got some great recipe blogs from family and friends who are GF, and the pictures of the foods actually look like something I would want to eat. : ) I hope to make blueberry muffins, spaghetti, and pizza first, three of his favorite things. I was so mind-warped after being in the store for an hour and a half that I didn't even get all the ingredients I need! So I'll go to another store (maybe try Trader Joe's) today or tomorrow so I can actually bake something! Plus we need more almond milk, which we have to get in Greenwood. The local store carries soy milk but not almond. (We switched over to get away from the soy, and he loves the taste of it).

It was just hard to read the labels, and remember the other words for gluten and dairy, and think about the prices at the same time. I know it will get easier, but sheesh! I kept almost buying things in the gluten-free aisle, then remembering to check for dairy and soy. It didn't help that the aisles were tiny, barely big enough for 1 cart, so I kept having to move out of people's way, and start over with what I was doing.

I think what's bothering me the most is Hayden's reaction to the diet. It's a good thing, don't get me wrong! His language skills, like answering questions, and willingness to start conversations, has just exploded! He is really showing signs of a "typical" three year old kid. But like the books say, taking the things he's allergic to out of his diet is messing with his body. His diapers have been more runny than usual. And his behavior has been pretty wacky. He's been cranky, impatient, more OCD, and more fragile about change. But he hasn't wanted to watch shows all day! He wants to play with me. : ) And he has said two times, without my prompting, "the tummy hurts." I think he's finally able to tell me that his poor tummy has been hurting all along from the wheat and milk he ate all day but couldn't digest. He has never told me that anything hurt before, I don't think, so it's wonderful that he's able to understand the concept, and relay that in words. He is better able to communicate with us in general, so it's all worth the hassle. And of course I don't want my little boy's tummy to hurt any more! But it's going to be a bumpy road these next few months!

I'm really grateful that I had spring break this week to go shopping for gluten free things, relax, spend one day (Monday) not thinking about Autism at all, spend time outdoors with Hayden, and go to the Children's Museum and zoo with Hayden and Jason. It has been a good week.


Spring is finally here!

The roosters were too loud at the zoo.

So I picked him up and took him to them to see that they were still cool.

He sure loves jumping!

This is Daddy being annoyed that we had to sit for a few minutes and take a break so Hayden could have a snack. When I told them to smile, Hayden scooted to the side into his "assigned seat". He gives us assigned seats on the couch when it's time to read books before bed. Daddy at one end, Hayden at the other end, and Mommy in the middle. Not sure why he needed assigned seats for this picture. : )

Pouting because Mommy and Daddy don't want to ride the train today.

Trying to be patient for the Plains exhibit to open at 10 am.