Friday, August 27, 2010

Two steps forward..

And a couple of steps back. :(
Not great days with either of the munchkins the last couple of days. I'm so frustrated with the whole thing. Trying to stay hopeful that this is the reason they say you have to stick with it for 3 weeks, and get 5 good days in a row.
Perhaps we're all going through withdrawal, me included.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Progress?

I'm trying really hard not to get excited, but it can't be denied that:
  • Younger munchkin has slept through 2 nights in a row and his teacher commented on how calm he seemed today. He also came home and washed dishes, was a dream to shop with and whispered in the library- unheard of!)
  • Elder munchkin remembered to take his bag to the car today for the first time in 2 years, he's been reading without being nagged, and his teacher said there was a little more focus today...and that his handwriting has significantly improved overnight! (the book mentioned handwriting!!!!)

I'm trying really hard to not see things that aren't there, but these things were obvious and brought up by the teachers. I've told them about the diet and our agreement is that in the weeks ahead when we try out the challenges I won't tell them, they will hopefully notice it and say 'THIS WEEK!!' when it happens.

Elder Munchkin's teacher has seen a few of her students on this diet. She said in half the cases there wasn't a substantial enough change to warrant it being food alone, but in one case it was definitely so. She said that little boy was intolerant to salicylates (tomato was a particularly bad trigger). If he'd eaten tomato you could guarantee he'd punch someone out in the playground within 48 hours. Poor kid.

Fingers crossed. One day at a time.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

EXTREME!!!! I'll give you extreme!!!

I did something so out of character today. I got MAD in public at a man in a shop.

I was waiting in car while Hubby went inside the store. While I was sitting there, I read the posters and notices on the window. One of the was a huge poster with labels reading 'Ban Fishing', 'Ban shooting' and 'Ban 4wding' - 'Stop the Extreme Greens before they stop our sports'.
I sat there reading this rubbish and suddenly felt really mad. I can deal with the to and fro that goes on between political parties but THIS crossed the line. THIS was ABSOLUTE RUBBISH!
WHAT LIES!!!
'
I got out, found hubby and said 'Look, is this the only place we can get this thing from?. He's looking at me strangely and says 'er...no - why?'
'Because I don't want to shop here. Have you seen the posters?' He looked, saw (the place was plastered in them) and understood. We thanked the owner, but told him not to worry about the item, and went to walk out.

The owner asked me what the problem was .....and (I still can't believe it) I told him. I said I didn't like his posters - they were utterly untrue, and people will believe that kind of stuff.
He said "Well that's the truth." I replied 'No it's not - those are complete LIES. The Greens have never said they would ban fishing or anything. That's totally misrepresented. They only want to have it managed so that future generations can enjoy the same lifestyle we do. We fish, and shoot (only rabbits for conservation purposes) and still vote Green.
He said - 'Yeah well I'm a conservationist love, but you've to read the fine print'.
Hubby, who'd already made it to the door, has now returned to drag me away from what is becoming a scene (customers are staring). As I get exited I cry 'I HAVE read small print - that's HOW I know!!!

Then I sat in the car totally abashed. What was I thinking? I never cause scenes. I keep my opinions to myself in public. Weird - is it the diet? I just got sooooo mad at how outrageous the poster is.

Anyway - for those of you wondering about the small print. The Green's do NOT want to ban fishing - especially as a sport (nor are the other claims accurate). Their suggesions for restraint apply to commercial fishing, not recreational. And as for the 'ban', the fine print reads...and I quote

"It is not 30% of the marine environment (as some parts of the fishing lobby is erroneously claiming) but 30% of the marine reserve areas."

Yeah I know, EXTREME huh?!

OMG what have we got ourselves into!

We're trying to stay chirpy about it all. Hubby has been a great sport and so have the kids althought younger munchkin confessed to me this afternoon this 'diet thing in the book is stupid mum' - 'stupid' being his strongest word. Luckily he was ok after we chatted again about why this was important, and that it's only for 2 weeks. 'We can do it!' I encouraged enthusiastically. I think I sounded convincing.

THANK THE GODDESS it's only 2 weeks is all I can say. It is killing me feeding my family the sort of stuff we have avoided like the plague for years. I actually felt embarrassed loading white sugar, Pretzels, and Crisps on the counter at Coles - what a way to feed a family.

It feels like all we're eating is sugar and carbs. It would help if the stores stocked the stuff we are craving - like the soy yoghurt and cream cheese. That would go a long way towards increasing the range of meals we could make. Unfortunately Coles and Woolworths don't carry the stuff. There is a Soylife Vanilla one - but they had to go and stick 160b in it didn't they?

So far I have definitely learned something - that it is really hard for the people out there who are intolerant to things to access the products they need. I didn't appreciate how easy shopping is for us. I have new sympathy for those who deal with it always.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

FAILSAFE diet

Elder Munchkin has been having troubles at school for a while. Early in the piece he had surgery for constant problems with his tonsils and ear infections. That should have fixed some issues relating to his speech but it hasn't seemed to fix it all. Granted he doesn't snore as much or get tonsilitus (obviously) but his speech sounds like he constantly has a blocked nose. When he blows it, nothing comes out - it's more like the membranes are swollen. The specialist thought it may have been allergies, but nasal sprays haven't helped either. As a result, his speech is poor, he has poor habits also - drops end sounds and doesn't open his mouth enough. We've been working on this for ages with limited improvement.
In addition, I was approached last year and again this year by his teachers who suggested he was on the Autism spectrum. I'm a teacher myself and ok, you might say I'm in denial, but though he has behaviours that overlap with Aspergers (and don't we all) he doesn't exhibit the key ones or enough of them in my opinion. They suggested this because his social skills and attention aren't in line with his abilities in other areas (where he appears gifted)
If I was asked I'd say he would be diagnosed as ADD (not ADHD). His attention and focus is terrible, he can't follow routines, gets lost halfway through instuctions...just gets distracted by other stuff constantly (just like me as a child, less so now). He's not hyperactive, and happily sits quietly playing Lego, Kinex etc for hours - loves construction. I'm so hoping I'm utterly wrong, as the idea of medicating my child for this sort of thing just isn't something I want to have to face.

We have had routines in place for this child since he was born. Our house has charts with morning routines, evening routines. Our children don't watch TV (except for movie nights), they don't play hours of computer games (that sort of stuff is closely monitored). They don't eat rubbish etc etc. EVERYTHING we are supposed to do for a child's ideal development is done. And yet, the problems are there. It's frustrating. Obviously, there are thousands of families out there in the same boat. I have a dear friend (Asperger herself) who has all 3 of kids diagnosed with the same thing and she is an amazing mother. It's wrong of me, but I feel a little jaded when I see families (and in my line of work you see plenty) who don't bother putting in half the effort we do as parents, and yet their kids present as 'fine'. Ok, that's a stupid thing to say, but I guess I'm grieving this a little.

In any case, we are booked to see a paediatrician in a fortnight and in the meantime I stumbled across the FAILSAFE diet, which thousands and thousands of families apparently swear by.

The FAILSAFE stands for Free of Additives, Low in Salicylates, Amines and Flavour Enhancers. http://www.virtualmedicalcentre.com/healthandlifestyle.asp?sid=191

The results of this system seem too good to be true - and this stage, that's what I'm looking for because I do suspect food has an impact on our Munchkin - it explains why some days he seems fine, and others he's terrible. If it was something else, you'd expect more consistency in his behaviours.

So today was spent emptying our pantry and fridge and filling both with only 'allowed' foods so we aren't tempted. I'm lucky enough to have a gorgeous husband, who's every bit as wonderful a dad - who said, 'Right, well we'll all be on it then'. So the house is 'clean' to ensure no mistakes during the next 2 weeks while we're on the elimination part of it. We want to do this right, to give it the best possible chance.

There's reports that it has helped migraine sufferers too - so I might get something out of it too.

It's going to be an interesting 2 weeks....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Five Glorious Five....

A Munchkin in our home turned 5 today! We had a fun filled morning with the Munchkin's Kindy friends and a family gathering tonight.
Munchkin seriously stalled going to bed tonight. Obviously didn't want the day to end. And stroking that soft little Munchkin's hair as they settled into bed tonight, neither did I . Where does the time go? How do babies grow so fast? I try to savour the moments and yet every time I stop to look, it feels like so many have just slipped through my fingers.

I guess most parents feel this way...and to those of you out there who don't - please share your wisdom. I could use it.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Introducing Zeus, Medusa and Persephone

Zeus (the Goose...well ok gander) was so named because he was the underdog in his previous home. We felt he needed a fresh start with a bold name. He is the white one with beautiful blue eyes.
I guess we had a theme at that point, and Hubby suggested Medusa for one of the females, as she is very beautiful, has a snake like head and hisses!!! You can see her in the background to the right.

We have named the second female (hidden behind Zeus) Persephone. Goddess of spring who was said to make the earth fertile (one of the reasons we got geese!). She is also beautiful.

They are settling in it seems. Though they are still nervous of us, Zeus will take food from my hand, and the others from less than half a metre away if I put it down between us. They love carrots!

Hubby saw some mating antics happening amidst the waterplay, and indeed one of the females - I didn't see who, is making a nest...and has laid an egg in it. I'm not counting any goslings before they hatch. I'd LOVE for them to hatch some this spring, but realistically, I would have thought the trauma of moving home would mean she probably won't sit that well.

Time will tell. Meanwhile we are thoroughly enjoying them and looking forward to letting them out into the orchard in the weeks ahead.

We Have Geese!!!!!

My camera's batteries are dead but pics tomorrow I promise!!!

It was short notice - and a busy weekend for everyone around here (thanks goes to our parents and Cousin Jim for all their help!) but they are home.

The new chook house is similar to my design (Hubby tells me he can make an outside door for egg collection cown the track) but a lot sturdier. It's made from 2 ute canopies, modified thanks to the amazing design and welding skills of our fathers. It's great and about $600 cheaper than the $600 dollar model we were looking at buying. All recycled too!

As for the Geese, they are Pilgrim Geese and absolutely beautiful. Hopefully in time they will become excellent weeders and feeders to the orchard. Currently they are staying in their shelter, just for a week or so until they settle in and feel at home.

Photos tomorrow!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The things we do!

This is how I communicate with my husband!




You're probably wondering what on earth this objet d'art is.. well, glad you asked. It's going to be our new chook house. (We are getting geese and they will be going into the current hen house so the chooks need a new home).


After numerous attempts to explain what I wanted and him trying the same - this got rather heated- and me failing dismally at some sort of diagram, I finally went away, then returned to plonk this in front of him.
"THIS is what I want!" I said proudly. He, rather rudely squinted at it, and made various remarks like "Do you think it'll need a door?" and 'What no roof or wire?".... ignoring the fact that it has an outside access point to eggs, and this design (unlike other unnamed people's) meant that the roosts are to the side so chooks aren't traipsing through their own muck to access the nesting boxes. Did he comment on those wonderful points...no! But at least he agreed to build it. Finally!

Now all we have to do is find a giant sized Nurofen box and we'll be right!