Friday, November 14, 2014

New Sessions!

Whenever I find these I am posting them because I think it's so important to take control of your health and learn and research as much as you can.  I usually put these on at night as I'm doing chores.

This session is called the Digestion Sessions.  It's already in progress and I've learned new things!  Love that!  Each group of videos is available for 49 hours.  Enjoy!

November Goals

My before and after P90x3 pictures
I keep meaning to sit down and write this and I keep putting it off.  Now we are almost halfway through November!  So this can serve as both a goal posting and a halfway update.

I post a monthly healthy goal post on Instagram every month but there isn't a lot of room to post long explanations for why my goals are what they are.  Above you see my before and after P90x3 pictures.  Great progress right?  Yes and no.

I finished P90x3 in September and while physically my results were good, my moods have been way off.  I feel like I have been WAY more snappy with the kids.  October was pretty stressful for me because Daddy was working late every night and every Saturday and every Sunday we had plans.  I need breaks.  I need nights out alone and days with no plans.

And I still have 5 lbs that will not leave. I try not to worry about the scale and if I looked my best I wouldn't but I know I've looked better.

So I decided that in November I would focus on mental health.  I keep hearing again and again that stress can cause you to hold onto weight.  It may or may not be the reason I'm holding on to mine but it never hurts to focus on mental health.

My workout is now Metabolic Aftershock which is 20 minutes 3x a week.  Sounds crazy right?  But I feel just as fit as I did when I finished P90.  I will post my after pictures so we can compare but even if I lose a little muscle it will be worth it because my moods have totally stabilized.  No more grumpy mommy!!  The more I hear on High Intensity Training instead of long workouts the more I am convinced.

Walking every day was a goal I posted on Instagram but it's just not happening because it's dark too early so I've changed that to Tuesdays doing Total Synergy (weights) from p90x3 and Thursday doing Yoga from P90x3.  You really aren't supposed to do anything else with the Metabolic Aftershock program but I find I'm losing my rhythm not working out every day.  I need to be in "wake up and work out" mode.  Hopefully having a workout to do every day will keep me focused.

My other goals were making jewelry which I have been doing on the weekends.  It makes me so happy!!

I also quit my three month sugar fast.  I think this was really important for me...the fast.  I've always had crazy sugar cravings.  I feel like with the Holidays rolling around, I don't want to be stressing about food and what I can and cant have.  I plan to be very conscience about it.  I've already had a treat here and there but have been very conscious not to let it be a nightly occurrence.  Hopefully, my old habits of turning to a tasty treat for a pick me up are long gone.  I may need to do another Whole 30 in January to get back on track but that's okay.

Lastly, for November I wanted to take time to be Thankful.  I decided to involve the family with this one.  We have made it a dinner time tradition this month to name things we are thankful for.  If I forget, Buddy reminds me.

I focus so much of my time on our food.  I also spent a lot of time working out in the last few months.  I just think there is more to the picture.  I'll post my results at the end of the month.

A Paleo Cheese Substitute

A year and a half ago we took gluten out of our diets for Boogie who was having a major reaction to it.  While this helped the major problems she was having with self control and behavior I have never felt like we were totally dialed in.  She still had stomach episodes here and there and taking corn out would help then it wouldn't.  A few weeks ago she was having up to 10 stomach aches every day so I told her I wanted to help her and asked if she was willing to take out dairy and grains completely.  She agreed and her stomach aches have almost disappeared completely.

She has done such a good job making good choices to heal her body.  She even came up with an idea for a recipe hack all by herself!

A few months ago I made this Cheesy Chicken recipe from Empowered Substenance.  It was a huge hit.  The chicken really did taste cheesy!   It is in our rotation every few weeks now.

When Bella and I were talking about Thanksgiving meals and what grain free things I was making and what she would miss she mentioned that she would really miss cheesy potatoes.  My mom makes a cheesy potato casserole similar to this every Thanksgiving.  Then she said "MOM!  I know!  Use the cheese sauce from the cheesy chicken!"

Well we tried it and it worked!  Obviously it's not exactly the same texture.  But it really does taste like cheesy potatoes.  Boogie was a very happy camper.

This morning as I was getting ready to cook the squash for another batch of cheesy potatoes I got another great idea.  I have been missing broccoli cheese soup BIG time as it gets colder.  It's practically a once a week meal around here when it gets cold.  Gluten free broccoli cheese soup is easy but dairy free?  The cheese sauce!  Of course!

I cooked a few shallots in butter (yes I realize butter is dairy.  It doesn't seem to bother her.  Cheese absolutely does).  Then I added 2 heads worth of broccoli florets and 3 cups broth to the pan.  After the broccoli was tender I put the soup in my blender until is was nice and smooth then I put it back in the pot and added 2 cups of cheese sauce.  It was pretty thin so I made a slurry of the sauce and 2-3 TBS arrowroot powder and added that in too.  It worked!  It's delicious!!  Boogie was so excited when she got him.  I scored major mom points!

Now, to nitpick...I would definitely use more broccoli next time.  I like to have a few chunks in my broccoli cheese so I would probably double the broccoli or do some broccoli and some carrots.  I was just working with what I had.  Instead of blending it all I would take out some broccoli first.  It might also work with using almost milk instead of broth.  I just had some broth I needed to use it.

You could probably also cook the butternut squash right in with your veggies and blend all at the same time then add in the additional cheese sauce ingredients (I used butter and used almond milk instead of cream because it's what I had.  Usually I use unsweetened coconut yogurt.  It's honestly pretty forgiving!  I also add nutritional yeast for even more cheesy flavor)

It really is a tasty substitute and I'm so happy I stumbled across the original recipe by Empowered Sustenance! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Mental Health Day

My dad and I have started these date days to our favorite rock hunting spot.   We mostly collect agates but we are suckers for all pretty rocks, especially green ones, and we also collect sea glass for Boogie.  I call these day my mental health days because I'm doing something (nerdy) that I love, and I'm in nature and there is nothing more therapeutic than the sound of crashing waves.

This magical spot has all these wonderful pitted formations in the rocks formed by the pebbles and the ocean.

Heaven right?  Well maybe not to something who doesn't give a hoot about rocks but to the rock lover this is paradise.

We even found our own private beach.  No one else is ever there.  There are tons of pebbles instead of sand and treasures galore.

This was my loot just for that day. I know it's completely nerdy but it truly does make me happy.

Chicken Shenanigans

 We have two chickens.  It's going to be six real soon but for the moment these two are keeping me busy!  Their wings were clipped a few months ago but they have since molted so they started pulling this stunt recently....

That's our patio swing they are on top of.  Fortunately, we could reach them up there and put them back in their rubbermaid shed turned coop (these are low budget chickens) On Saturday night I had to run out to the store when they normally go to bed and when I got home I checked to make sure they were in bed.  Well, Pepper (the black one) was on top of the swing so I put her back in bed thinking Dorothy was already in bed.  Dorothy was nowhere to be found.  I figured she would show up in the morning.

The next morning she was nowhere to be found.  I started freaking out thinking she had jumped the fence.  There is nothing behind our house but some shrubbery and a road.  I woke Daddy up and Boogie and I circled the block looking for her.  After three loops we gave up and as we pulled in the driveway Baby came out yelling that she found Dorothy.  

She was in a tree.  We don't have trees in our backyard.  There are trees that hang over our fence from behind.  She was in one of those.  So, still in my pjs, I got out the ladder and tried to coax her down.  Well that backfired because she flew over the fence into the shrubbery.  Giving my girls quite the thrill, I hopped over the fence in my crazy pjs and chased Dorothy around for a few minutes.  Finally, I caught her and threw her back to our backyard.  Then I had to figure out how to get back over the fence.  there was no WAY I was walking back around the block in these pjs...

We all laughed and thought it was a fluke until dinner last night when Baby looked out the window and screamed "The chickens are in the trees!"  Because of the time change I wasn't even paying attention to what they were doing yet thinking I had another hour.

See that black thing in the tree way up there?  That's my chickens..


I decided they really needed a perch.  I had not made them one because they seemed perfectly happy huddled on the pallet in the back but clearly their perching instincts are strong so today in the 40 minutes that I had with no kids (Bunny at therapy and Buddy at preschool). I cut down some branches and made a perch.  I even bought my own hammer because Daddy didnt know where his was. 

I was pretty darn proud of myself.  I modified it a little more tonight after watching Pepper try to use it.  I added another branch across and some short branches on the sides for steps.

After school, I asked the girls to catch the chickens so I could clip their wings.  Not an easy task because Dorothy wants nothing to do with us but they did it!!  They were really worried about losing our girls! 

Tonight's bedtime was still an ordeal because they were trying to fly back to the tree and the swing.  They couldn't make it and Boogie kept blocking their way so they would be forced to go in their coop.  Hopefully, the perch will make them happy and we can be done with the drama once and for all!

Getting Creative

My first necklaces in over 3 years!!  It feels good to be creating again!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Always Learning

I know I'm pretty out there when it comes to food.  People are always rolling their eyes at gluten free and even more so at Paleo.  I am not making these choices for my family on a whim or following trends.  I have done extensive reading and research.  I'm just trying to do the best for my family.

One of my favorite ways to learn is to listen to online "summits"  My very first and favorite summit was the Gluten Summit.  As you may or may not know, Boogie has gluten sensitivity so I was learning everything and absorbing everything I could so I could help her heal.  I learned so much!!

I am currently watching the Women's Weight Loss Solution.  These summits are usually a 24 hr viewing window but this one gives you 48 hours to watch each presenter which is nice for a busy mom.  I throw a presentation on while I'm doing my nightly chores.  I highly recommend listening to a few!

 My dad was telling me I was like Johnny #5 last night.  "Input! Input!" (If you have no idea what I'm talking about it's because you are way younger than me! ha ha)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Finding my Creative Side

As some of you know, I made jewelry for years.  I sold my first necklace right off my neck then started selling to friends and family then moved to online.  A few months before the twins were born, I closed my shop because I knew things were going to be too crazy to continue.  I was right.

All of my jewelry making stuff is currently boxed in the boys closet.  I have toyed with the idea of making jewelry again but I have nowhere to set up my stuff.  Buddy would be into it in two seconds and beads would be all over my house (which is hilarious because the girls used to sit with me in my bead room and never got into trouble).

I really have been longing for a creative outlet.  This weekend I got some money gifted to me and I was browsing Etsy for a piece of jewelry to buy myself and went through pages and pages only to realize that I just didn't love anything.  I love what I make.  So I did something crazy and used that money to buy some supplies.  I honestly have no idea how I will pull this off.

When I say I don't have spare time I'm not exaggerating.  I do make spare time but something always suffers as a's currently the cleanliness of my house.  I really think I need this though.  I need to create something from start to finish and to see the tangible result in my hand.

I'm really excited.  Now I just have to figure out where to set everything up.  I have no plans to make this a mother son hobby.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


I've been wanting to make my way back to my blogging lately and last night I read an article that was the kick I needed to sit down and write something.  I am not going to link to the article because it is vile but basically a mom of an adult man with Down syndrome tells the world all about how she wishes she would have aborted him.  She rants on and on about his bad behavior and lists the many ways he has ruined her quest for a "happy" life.

I was a little scared to read it because, if I am honest, one of my fears is dealing with an adult child with major behavioral problems.  I do believe in living in reality though so I cautiously clicked over to the article.  One thing that popped out at me immediately, was that her son was put in a group home from a very young age.  I believe that that was encouraged back then (I think the man is in his forties). Nowadays, babies with Down syndrome receive early intervention from birth.  I wonder how that would have changed her son's life?  I just can't even imagine sending my Bunny away to live with other people.  Can you imagine how that poor baby felt being sent to live away from his parents?  He saw them on the weekends too.  Talk about instability!

At first my heart did go out to the mom a little.  She was in her twenties when she had him.  I don't know about you but my maturity level from my twenties to my thirties was light years.  She said she was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  One night her son was crying for hours and had been for days and he couldn't communicate what was wrong and she almost threw him down the stairs.  She checked herself into a mental institution if I remember correctly. 

I get how hard that is.  BUT if her newborn baby was crying for days would she have reacted the same?  To me it sounded like she resented him from birth.  She was mad that he was three and couldn't tell her what was wrong.

I don't think any mom of a special needs child is going to tell you that things are always easy.  I don't think any mom period is going to tell you that!  It was very clear to me that this woman has chosen bitterness though.  Instead of accepting her unexpected reality and finding the joy and beauty in it she has made up this alternate reality where everything would have been better "if only".  That is a ridiculous way to live.  She has no idea if another typical child would have made her happy and let all her dreams come true. 

This women claims to love her son.  It's honestly hard for me to believe.  I understand being mentally unstable and doing and saying things we don't mean but to have an article published for the world to read saying you wish you aborted your son?  To me that just proof that we need to let go of bitterness and the "what ifs" and choose to be happy and find joy in our situation.

While that may be a case of "easier said than done" it seems a whole lot easier than being bitter and resentful for forty some years.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Park Fun


My Middle Child

I've been thinking about my Baby bear a lot lately.  She has been moodier than normal and when she gets mad she really lashes out with hurtful statements.  I know that middle children tend to feel left out so I have been trying to think of ways to spend meaningful time with her.  Boogie and I have so much in common that I know how to reach her but with Baby it's harder for me.

One thing that we do share is a fascination with bugs.  I do not mean spiders.  Or cockroaches. I mean things like ladybugs, rolly polys, crickets, grasshoppers, caterpillars etc.

I remember that in third grade we had to do a "bug board".  It was my favorite project.  I spent hours collecting bugs.  At one time I had a collection of beetles in my room.  Apparently, Baby inherited my love for 6 legged creatures.

I had the great idea yesterday to ask Baby to hunt for ladybugs with me for our garden.  We have some ladybug attracting weeds in our front yard so Baby and Buddy and I went out front while Boogie watched Bunny inside (I told her it was her first babysitting job and I gave her a buck.  She was thrilled)

Then, of course, we made it into a contest.  I found a baby cricket and that thrilled them both and I found a black widow which terrified all of us (But I was able to show them both exactly what a black widow looked like so they could steer clear).  We had a great time.  Baby is not afraid of dirt or bugs and was definitely in her element.  She beat me 8 to 6.

When I had to give up and come inside (after I got sprayed down by the hose thanks to Buddy) I ordered some ladybugs online for us to release in the garden.  I don't care if they stay or not but I know it's a little thing I can do for Baby that she will think is magical.

Although when I went through her homework last night I realized that all I need to do is play games on my phone and I'm golden.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Some Thoughts on Being a Mom

My treasures.  Even when things are insane I love these little boogers so much and would do anything for them.  I am so proud of each of them.  Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the responsibility of raising them to be loving, independent, capable adults because I am not even those things all the time.  But they make me try harder every day.  I am determined that they will grow up knowing that they are valuable and loved.  There is nothing I wouldn't do for these four precious faces.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

And Then the Curveball

You know how sometimes someone is staring at you...screaming at you...waving at you...desperately trying to get your attention and you still miss them?  Then, when you finally see them, you realize that you heard the screaming and subconsciously wondered what it was and dismissed it.  You saw the waving but didn't think they were waving at you.  You wonder how in the world you were so oblivious.  They were right there in front of you.

I am the oblivious mom and the person waving is Autism.  I am 100% sure that Bunny has a dual diagnosis of down syndrome and autism.  It makes so much sense now that I have no idea how I have missed it.  How everyone missed it.  Now the autism yells at me all day long and I think I must have been completely blind not to realize it before now.

Two weeks ago I was making an appointment for Bunny.  There is a naturopath that just moved into our area that specializes in autism.  I wanted him to see Bunny because there are many crossover issues between autism and down syndrome.  Bunny has skin rashes and gut issues that his pediatrician was blowing off as "down syndrome".  I wanted someone to help me figure out what was causing these issues.

While I was talking to the naturopath's wife on the phone she asked if I thought Bunny had autism.  I said I didnt think so I just wanted a Dr who was "fluent" in special needs.  But the question gave me pause.  I googled.  The official websites that give symptoms of dual diagnosis (DS and ASD) were hit or miss. It was when I went to the blogs of mom's whose kids had a dual diagnosis that I knew Bunny had autism.  They described my son over and over.

Four days later we had our appointment and they also agreed with me.  Then as I brought it up with Bunny's therapists and I described my concerns and they watched him they also agreed.

Everything finally makes sense to me.  It's why Bunny is SO delayed in gross motor.  It's why Bunny is perfectly happy to play by himself all day.  It's why he stims all day (if I let him).  It's's's why.

I am having a REALLY hard time with this.  I feel like my heart has been broken all over again.  My sweet boy already has so much to overcome and now he has an even larger obstacle.  I am so afraid because I have no idea what this means for his future.  I really try not to dwell on it but my biggest fear is that I won't ever get to know my son.  I've been waiting so long to see his personality develop and to see a relationship grow with his twin brother.  The little personality I was beginning to see is just slipping away from me.

It was a shock and it was hard when I got his diagnosis of down syndrome.  But over the last three years I have fallen in love with down syndrome and I was looking forward to it.  Now I have no idea what I'm looking forward to.  I truly feel more alone than ever because I know no one in this situation.

The big picture is escaping me at this moment.  In my very small blip on the picture I am wondering what in the hell the plan was putting us all in the same family.  My kids all have big personalities and big needs.  Buddy takes up so much of my time just managing him.  Meanwhile Bunny stims away.  Boogie tells me on a daily basis she wishes she had me all to herself.  Baby is acting out because "I never listen to her".  I do most of it on my own because of Daddy's job.  It just seems like a bad plan.  I know it's not and I know there is a big picture but in my narrow view of exhaustion and heartbreak I am having a hard time remembering that.

I believe that the things I was already putting in motion...his neurodevelopmental program and working with a naturopath are the very best ways I can help him.  I have already seen a slight improvement in him just in the last few weeks.  I doubt I will go for a formal diagnosis at this point.  I don't see any benefits except that we would get aba therapy which I feel he is not ready for anyway. I may change my mind.

This does not change how much I love my son.  This does not change my commitment to helping him.  If anything, I am on a warpath.  I am in research mode. 

I haven't said anything to people because there is no formal diagnosis but I am certain it's the truth.  I wish with all my heart that it wasn't.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Working our Program

Listening to Mozart with his headphones.

I finally figured out how to get him to keep his glasses on.  Baby Signing Time on the ipad.  He doesnt even try to take them off.  He's getting used to it!  Doesn't he look cute??

It's been quite an adjustment to do this program with Bunny.  Last week I felt like a complete failure because I just could not get it done with all the kids home.  I am not a scheduled over-organized person.  I have always said I could never homeschool because of how I am.  But here we are and I am determined to make this work to help Bunny.  I finally had an epiphany last night about how to structure things differently and today it worked magically.  I fit everything in with no stress.  Things are looking up!


This is our new favorite drink.  I'm the mom who only lets my kids drink water.  They drink kombucha and almond milk or raw milk too but mostly water.  When I saw this "Cool-Aid" pinned on Pinterest it cracked me up so I decided to try it.

We love it.  I go back and forth on stevia but it isn't very much so I think it's okay.  And you can't taste the apple cider vinegar it just gives it a slight tang.  We've tried Tazo Passion Fruit and Tazo Wild Orange.  Even though the orange has more of a herby taste to it my kids all like the orange best.  Daddy and I like it too. 

Spring Break

Ah the dreaded Spring Break.  That sounds so mean to my kids.  I do love having them home and having no wake up time or pick ups.  It is hard to keep them all happy and entertained for a week.  And fed.  My kids literally ate me out of house and home when they were home all week!

I promised the girls if they were my super helpers and did chores during the week so I could keep up with Bunny's program that we could go to the beach on Friday..just us girls.

Monday did not start out on a high note.  By the end of the day I had broken up multiple fights, witnessed the death of a few of my baby plants, cleaned the flood of soapy water off my kitchen floor, cleaned the poop off my bathroom floor (???) and had been rained on because someone decided to unhook the shower head during shower time and sprayed the bathroom.  It was not looking like anyone but myself and a bottle of tequila were going to the beach on Friday.  Maybe two bottles and I don't drink.

Thankfully, the girls rallied big time and the rest of the week was so much better.  In fact it was so smooth that I am wondering why they aren't always these angels!! 

The deal was the girls had to earn 10 tokens each to go.  They got tokens randomly for being extra helpful to me or helping their brothers.  They didn't quite earn their tokens but I told them that because I was so proud of their effort that I was going to show them grace and mercy like God shows us.  That apparently made a big impression on Baby because she kept writing me notes that said "Thanks for showing us gras and mircy".

It was such a nice day at the beach.  A little overcast but it was not crowded at all.  What a difference to take just the girls to the beach!  I still kept my eyes on them the whole time they were in the water but I didnt have to chase anyone or get sand thrown on me or anything stressful.  My lunch was sand free.

My crazy girls went in the freezing cold water.  Baby was scared of the water at first and Boogie was teasing her by running into the waves which would make Baby squeal. Hilarious.  By the end of the day Baby was in the water all by herself.  A little caution is fine with me!

It was the perfect way to end our Spring break.  I am glad we didn't end it on Monday!

Monday, April 7, 2014

My Current Workout Love

About 5 years ago Daddy and I made an attempt to do P90x.  Both of us love to work out and we could do this at home and together (unlike the gym).  I loved it and stopped only when we moved because I had nowhere to work out (We stayed with my parents for awhile while we were house hunting).  Daddy enjoyed the workouts but thought they were WAY too long.

So when I heard P90x3 was coming out and it was only 30 minutes long I was so excited.  I was doing the Firm at the time (which will always be my true love) but I wanted to challenge myself and mix things up.  I was hoping Daddy and I could do it together again.  Of course this has been the busiest winter his work has ever had so he hasn't been able to (He HAS lost 40 lbs to date though!!)

P90x3 is a three month program.  You do three weeks of one schedule then a transition week and then into the next schedule and so on.  I am in my second transition week so I have one more month.

I have to say that I am LOVING it!!  I was worried that 30 minutes wouldn't feel like enough of a workout.  I was used to doing an hour.  Let me tell you, the first month I was sore after every workout.  Now it is only after the kickboxing workout but I always feel my muscles were worked hard the next day.  I also like that it is not a ton of cardio.  I loathe cardio.  I prefer to get cardio outside.  I hate doing it at home.

My muscles are way more defined than they were when I started.  I have a ripped stomach.  I have had 4 kids and twins and I am way too close to 40.  Yes I am pretty pleased with the results.  I am way too shy to ever post a picture but I swear it's true.  Daddy now calls me "Little fit wife"

The workout moves are hard.  I'm not going to lie.  The yoga is crazy.  But you work at your level.  I still can't do everything but I am definitely better than when I started.  Thirty minutes FLIES by.

If you want to get in shape or challenge yourself or are tired of going to the gym I really can't recommend this workout enough.  It's 30 minutes!!  I plan to start it over when I am done. 

And if you are a weirdo like me who loves to watch exercise infomercials then you can see the one for P90x3 here.

Little Lion

Buddy's first big boy face painting.  I posted a different one of him and Baby on Instagram but this one is my favorite.  He waited patiently in line for at least 30 minutes and then sat there like such a good boy while she painted his face.  I truly didn't know he had it in him!

After his face was painted he spent the night "Rawring" at people.  Pretty darn cute!

My Big Decision

As I alluded to a few weeks ago, I was not happy with what our IEP team had to offer back in March.  I told them that at the meeting and told them I would keep an open mind and visit the school they suggested for Bunny.  The school is for children that are labeled "Severe".  Not a very nice label if you ask me.

In the meantime, I came up with my own plan.  I wanted to take Bunny out of preschool altogether and work with him at home.  Because I am so tired of him being sick.  And I am tired of our lives being run around his schedule.  Our quality of life (the boys and I) has gone way up since Bunny graduated from his early start preschool.  We have time to read books and take walks and play in the backyard and go to the park.  It's been heaven.

I know myself though.  I am not great on follow through.  I did not want to take Bunny out and fail him.  I don't want him to be further behind than he already is.  I needed a plan and accountability.

There is a program I have wanted to do with Bunny since he has just a few months old.  I researched it to death and read books on neurodevelopmental programs and begged Daddy to let me get him evaluated.  Daddy told me 1. I was crazy (we were barely surviving when the boys were that tiny) and 2. It wasn't fair to the other kids because this program is intense and takes a lot of work.

And he was right at that time.  My other kids needed what little they could get of me.  I was consumed with taking care of the boys.  Baby still wasn't in school and she still needed me.

I put the idea in the back of my mind and revisited it every now and then wishing that I could do it because I really thought it would make a difference for him.  I was jealous every time I saw that a new parent had started the program.

Now it is our turn.  I had Bunny evaluated last week and we started a neurodevelopmental program right away.  Once I realized I could do this instead of the preschool I felt peace.  I was worried that I wasn't making the right decision for days but when I called our Neurodevelopmentalist and talked to her about setting up an evaluation I knew that this was right.

These programs are somewhat controversial in the therapy world.  That is not a problem for me.  We eat different and I have different beliefs of medicine than a lot of people.  I am okay with doing something that is not the norm.  As it turns out, the Neurodevelopmentalist and I spoke extensively about Paleo eating and supplements.  I feel like this is the perfect fit for us.

Two days after his evaluation I took Bunny to visit the preschool.  I am beyond relieved he doesn't have to go there!!  It was small and run down and just honestly...sad.  It would break my heart to drop him off there everyday.

Bunny eating with socks on his hands to encourage pincer grasp.  He rocked it although he never will use pincer if he has full use of his hands.

Today was our first day to do a big chunk of our program.  I spent the weekend organizing our activities (we have about 30 and they vary in frequency from 1-4 times a day).  I cleaned the playroom and purged a ton of toys so that could be our workroom.  Buddy participates with us when he feels like it or plays on his own.  He is happy as long as we are all together.

I'm sure I will get better with organizing our time as the weeks go on.  I was fumbling a bit today but I'm just trying to figure out how to make it most efficient so that we can still enjoy our adventures outside together.  I don't want to lose that!!

I have already seen one MAJOR improvement in Bunny.  He is not a huge fan of 4 point crawling.  His preferred mode of movement is still army crawling although he can definitely crawl.  (Incidentally, his ND was thrilled that he was army crawling and not butt scooting and was going on and on about how great it was but I finally said "But he's 3!!"  Mommy is done seeing army crawling)  Anyway, today he 4 point crawled more than I have seen him do it in the last few weeks combined.  Every time I turned around he was crawling like a big boy!!  I am thrilled and quite honestly shocked to see such a huge improvement already.  It's amazing!

So that's what I have been cooking up these last few weeks. I am so sure this is the path we are supposed to take.  I truly believe this will help Bunny reach his potential.  There is no doubt in my mind he was not meant to go to the "severe" preschool.  Not happening on this momma's watch!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Quick Tip: Paleo Nachos

These were born out of necessity.  I NEED to eat guacamole on a weekly basis and I can no longer eat corn chips.  I tried to do the root veggie chips a few times but they didn't sit well and they do have sunflower oil which I try not to eat.  Acceptable as an occasional treat but not a solution.

So I came up with Paleo nachos.  My goal is always to eat two different veggies at each meal.  Done and done.  The bacon is what I had but leftover taco meat would also be awesome.  The bell peppers are perfect dippers and surprisingly delicious with guacamole.  The snap peas are not as good but they'll do.

I made another variation of this last night for dinner.  Egg salad over bell peppers.  A huge hit. 

A Surprising Kitchen Helper

This morning I was supposed to help at preschool for Buddy but it got canceled last minute so I decided to get a few food items prepped instead.  It rained yesterday and is still pretty gloomy and wet outside so it seemed like a good morning for it.

Buddy pulled up a chair as soon as I started washing carrots and asked to help.  I was reluctant but agreed he could wash the carrots.  He washed and I finished washing and chopped.  And then to my amazement he ate 3-4 carrot sticks raw.  He has only once tried a carrot and it was this recipe.  The one I was prepping for tonight since I know it will get him to eat veggies. I do carrots and broccoli together and omit the thyme.  It is our very favorite way to eat carrots now.

I've always read that if you have your kids help in the kitchen they are more willing to try things.  It just hasn't been the case with Baby.  If anything it makes her less willing to try things but apparently it works for Buddy!  Good to know!

Buddy also helped me peel kale chips from the dehydrator.  Then he ate them.  He does love his kale chips.

Next we made the broccoli sausage patties.  I made them last week and Buddy and Baby  won't eat them but both Boogie and I really enjoyed them, especially dipped in mustard.  I made a double batch today thinking she could take them to school and then remembered they have almonds in them and her class just went nut free.  Oh well....great after school snack and I am going to try them with sunflower seed flour next time and see if I can make that work because then she could take them to school.

We both thought they were a little bland last time so I added sea salt and onion powder this time and they are perfection!  I didn't have dry mustard so I skipped it thinking we would be dipping them in mustard anyway.  Also I forgot to squeeze out the broccoli and I just added more almond flour and cooked them a bit longer.  They turned out great.

And the best part?

Bunny LOVES them and ate three patties!!  Nothing could make me happier.  They have both meat and veggies in them!!  Two things he wont normally touch.  It made my day.

The only down side to my morning in the kitchen with Buddy is that Bunny couldn't be involved.  He happily played in the family room with his toys but it made me feel bad that he wasn't part of it.  So I have to think about that and how to make it work.  But I love that Buddy enjoyed himself because I want my sons to know their way around a kitchen!

Quick Tip: Pasta Sauce

This is our favorite store bought pasta sauce.  It has no sugar so it is Whole 30 friendly.  It is also free of junk.  I would love it even more if it was organic but you take what you can get.  It does have a zip to it which we love and my kids can handle spicy foods but it is something to keep in mind if you can't.  The best part is they sell it at both Safeway and Nob Hill and it goes on sale quite often at Safeway.

I always puree it in the food processor because we hate chunks.  The flavor is worth the extra step!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sunday Fun

We don't spend a lot of time in the front yard.  Our street is semi busy with quite a few teenage drivers so managing the kids by myself when Daddy isn't home is not doable.

On Sunday, Boogie wanted to practice riding her bike so she and I set out.  Buddy saw what we were doing and insisted on joining.  I called in reinforcements and Baby joined us as well.  Bunny was still sleeping.

We got a balance bike for Buddy for Christmas because I am determined that he will ride a bike earlier than the girls but so far he is not all that interested.

He calls it his bouncy bike and he will walk around for a few minutes and then gets off and grabs his trusty pink and purple tricycle. (A hand me down obviously).  He is a great pedal-er. Daddy and Buddy went up and down the streets.

Boogie is doing better at bike riding.  I think if we had more time to devote to it she would be riding already.  It would also help if she was gentler on herself.  She wants to be perfect every time and gets greatly distressed when she falls.  I try to tell her it is just part of the process!

Baby started out riding bikes but quickly spotted a few ladybugs and she and I abandoned the others to catch ladybugs.  She is a girl after my own heart.  I loved bugs when I was little. 

It was all perfect and wonderful until the last five minutes.  Then all hell broke loose including Buddy throwing Baby's ladybugs into the driveway.  Daddy came to help and Baby yelled "YOU'RE KILLING THEM!" as he unknowingly stepped on them.

Of course right then our neighbors drove up and heard all the commotion.  Three kids melting down at the same time.  Thank God they have kids and grand kids.  They gave us some sympathetic looks.

Grandma and Pa showed up a few minutes later looking a little scared but a perfect distraction.  The ladybugs were mostly found and safely put away and all the bikes got put away.  Just another Sunday afternoon.