Friday, July 31, 2009

I can see clearly now....

It has been a little over a week since Tristan and I have been on our very strict and NON forgiving GFCF Diet...and I gotta tell you, we are seeing a remarkable difference in him. He is much more calm, focused, trying to talk more, trying to sign more, asking for help instead of getting upset beyond control. For the first time EVER in his life, he is listening and completing 2 step tasks, such as "Go to the couch and lay down" or "Go in your room and get your ball" he is understanding when we ask him to wait a minute. Usually when I give him something to eat or drink, I repeat "Can you say Thank you?" and he will ramble some two syllable idea of what he thinks "thank you" sounds like....well, today, he says very clearly, without prompting "TAY TOO" I was the point of tears. We are so excited for what the future holds for him, and can't wait to share more mini victories with all of you.

Meet the teacher night

Trinity had her Open House last night and she got to meet her teacher. We were so thrilled when we received a letter from her new teacher in the mail a few days ago welcoming her to class. The teacher comes highly recommended and was Teacher of Year for 2009...she also has a child that has special needs, so, she understands the sibling dynamic that Trinity is faced with. Trin LOVES her, and, we do too.

She has their day planned out so well, they have centers that change every 15-20 mins so the kiddos are constantly busy and engaged. The school focus is on the virtues, RESPECT, KINDNESS, TRUST, HONESTY and more...all things we strive to instill in our kids. The best part about this schoolyear is that we are right across the street from the school, our dog is being trained to walk her to the cafeteria and then run home, so, in time, when they are both comfortable enough, we can send him out *with us waiting down the street of course* to drop her off at school.
Monday is the first day, and we have some fun stuff planned. We have been telling her a story now for 3 days about a little puppy *named Trinity* that has her first day of school...we make up all these fun adventures that she experiences, and Trin helps us with the story. We are planning a "YOU DID IT" welcome home party family party for her, nothing big, just us, some streamers, balloons and a banner we made to hang outside of the house. When she gets off of school, and we are walking home, it will be the first thing that she sees. We are going to make all her fav foods and just really let her know how proud we are of her. You only go to Kindergarten once, it is the start of your first FORMAL years in school, and one to be remembered, I can't wait to give her a memory that she will remember for years and years. *I will be sure to post pictures later*

Fake Shop Friday

So, I fake shopped another one of my FAV shops Urban Outfitters....raging consumerism tells me to buy, buy, buy...but, luckily, I am broke and don't have the need for most of this stuff, but, I wanted to share my cart with you anyway, ENJOY!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Holy hell....I think I got 2 hours of sleep last night....

Seriously. It's like we have a newborn again...he is up like every 30 mins to an hour. Last night, I had to pin myself in the living room because he was sneeking out of his room, sleep walking really, and going into the fridge. The living room is the halfway point to the fridge, so, I was acting as "Guard" and the sofa was my post. Ah, man...I am beat.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

We are having withdrawal...

It's time to get technical...Tristan is on what is called a GF/CF diet, short for Gluten Free / Casein Free. I have been receiving lots of questions about Tristan and this diet that we have him on. Hopefully, some of this will help you out, and this is also allowing me a second to talk about our withdrawal from dairy....I will tell you, withdrawal is a real thing, opiates hide inside casein, the main dairy protein. As casein molecules are digested, they break apart to release tiny opiate molecules, called casomorphins (NOTE: in the same thing found in MORPHINE). One of these compounds has about one-tenth the opiate strength of morphine. The especially addicting power of cheese may be due to the fact that the process of cheese-making removes water, lactose and whey proteins so that casein is super concentrated thus injecting the consumer with a power packed punch of euphoria...but, the effects are short lived whereas the residual damage remains. The peptides from gluten on the other hand, [gliadorphin] and casein [casomorphin] are important because they react with opiate receptors in the brain, thus mimicking the effects of opiate drugs like heroin and morphine. So, in a sense, autistic children, which are particulary sensitive, are walking through this world in a drug like's my job as a mom to help clean him up, and....though this withdrawal REALLY, REALLY sucks...the aftermath will be so divine.

Now, back to our withdrawal issues...last Thursday, our DAN! Doctor put both Tristan and I on a STRICT Gluten Free/Casein Free diet (since T still nurses at night, if I eat ANYTHING with gluten/casein, he will be exposed) and...well, we are having withdrawals. It sucks. Tristan is a mess, crying uncontrollably, screaming at the top of his lungs, squinting his eyes, trying to make himself vomit by forcing his hands down his throat, and tonight, for the first time ever...he bit me. I cried for a straight hour, not because it hurt physically, moreso because of how it made my heart hurt. I know that right now, he is unclear, his body is going through this withrdrawal and cleanse, but, it still hurts.

Now, having gone through this before when we removed Gluten from his diet, I know the good, the bad and the in between. The bad news: This diet, for the first month or two, may make you crazy. The good news: This feeling will go away and it will become second nature to your life. Not only that, but I know that he will gain so much more clarity and his tummy troubles should lessen up too...which, that alone is worth it's weight in gold really. To those who thought that gluten hides in everything (which it does), casein is even worse....casein and caseinates are used as extenders, tenderizers, nutritional fortifers, and texturizers, therefore can be found in products other than foods....*YAY!!!!!* it's in everything from meat tenderizers, baking sodas, toothpastes, teething tablets to sausages, soups, stews, high-protein beverage powders, fortified cereals, infant formula, nutrition bars and bakery glazes to name just a few. So, for fun one day *not really "weeee, this is fun!" kinda fun* but, if you have a minute one day, pretend to be one of the millions of people affected by Celiac, Autism, IBS, Krohns and more...flip to the back of the ingredients, and look for some of the key words we have to search for:
-Enriched/white/whole wheat flour
-Graham flour
-high gluten/protein flour
-Spelt (dinkel, farro)
-Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
-Triticum aestivum Wheat bran/flour/germ/starch
-Modified Food Starch (this one is my favorite LOL, it hides in's a type of filler, so, it's often found in hotdogs, hamburgers, drinks *SOBE Life Water has MFS in it...who would have thought!*
***And to top it off, we have to avoid anything with the statement claiming to be processed in a facility that manufactures products with wheat, or traces of wheat....

-Milk solids ("curds")
-Casein (sodium caseinate, most commonly)
-Lactose (sodium lactylate, frequently)
-Lactalbumin and other names that begin with lact
-Galactose (a lactose by-product)
-Protein (often "high protein" or "protein enriched" version of another ingredient, such as wheat) The added protein in foods (particularly "high energy" foods) is often milk protein.
-Caramel coloring. Many kinds of caramel coloring use lactose, a milk sugar, to help get that rich color.
-Recaldent, this ingredient, found in some Trident brand chewing gums, is milk-derived.
-Fruit flavored Tums contain undisclosed dairy.
-"natural ingredients", some of these may contain dairy products or byproducts, so, if I see this, I have to call the manufacturer (an 800 number is usually listed on the packaging) for further information. And the obvious:

I guess some of you that are not familiar with this diet may be wondering why in the hell am I "doing this" to is why... the GF/CF diet helps an estimated 85% of the children that are on the spectrum in improving everything about their learning disabilities and overall well being. When I say improvement, I mean with their speech, better bowel movements than before, better sleep patterns, happier demeanor, less stimming behaviors, less in a fog / daze look and more ready to learn than ever before. Tristan's attention to task is 100% better when he has a clean diet, so...this is our next step to take him above open him up to learning all that he can.

Please pray that we can make these next few months...I know that it is bad before it gets better..but, this is day 3, and I am feeling it.

LOVING this weather....

FINALLY, a much needed break from the everyday super sunshine and body baking heat. Don't get me wrong, for those reading that are not in AZ, it's still ridiculous hot...but, at least we have a bit of overcast and actually rained this morning, not the usual nighttime rain and vampire evaporation when the sun hits it.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Food Industries Dirty Little Secrets

I care about where my food comes from, I didn't always...but, times, they are a changin' and I think we all need to make an effort to eat healthier. We buy locally, shop organically, and investigate what we are eating. Reading labels may at first, seem like a major pain in the ass, but once you are armed with the power of understanding, it is super easy, and empowering. The more you learn about your food, the more you understand about nutrition and lead a healthier lifestyle. WE have the power to change how the industry is dealing food to the FDA shells out crap that we eat everyday...we need to change what we are feeding to our children, GOOD LOCAL foods should be first choice, not an option. Chipotle is hosting a free showing of Food Inc. and if you are interested in seeing it, you can find out where it is showing here.

And for those interested in shopping locally, Farmers Markets are the way to go, no stress heading through the supermarket aisles, no rush of shoppers....just good food and good's a joy to go shopping, and it's fun for the kids too.

Oh, if I had money...."Fake Shop Friday"

I battle with the idea of usefullness, want, need, overabundance, and lack...I wonder, "do I NEED this?" "how usefull is it?" and then....there are these fleeting moments where I just GRAB and GO! Now, I haven't had ANY of these moments in a long ass time, and that is due to lack of funds. BUT, I love to "fake shop" online. Have you ever done it? I'm sure you know, where you go to your favorite website, put all your wonderful little finds into your shopping cart, and's like window shopping, online. Well, today, I fake shopped at my favorite store, Anthro, and this is what I "bought" Enjoy...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tomorrow is the beginning of something great....

Tomorrow we go to our first appointment with Tristan's DAN! Doctor. I am excited, it marks the beginning of biomedical intervention for Tristan, and a chance to finally gain some much needed clarity into his endless allergies and ailments. We have wanted to do this for sometime, but illnesses and finances have prohibited it, finally, we have some time, no illnesses, still no money but, we are making it's worth it.

I am not searching for a miracle, and I know that biomedical interventions very rarely show overnight success...we are ready to make the prolonged efforts that it is going to take to help Tristan. MANY parents are reporting a 95% success rate with several of the treatments...can you imagine if we were part of that 95%??? What if in a few years from now, Autism will have just been a distant vivid memory for us? What if Tristan gains clarity enough to be able to hold a conversation? To make friends? To grow up and get married....I worry about these things, not every day, but every so often. As a mother, it's always in your mind to want what is best for your children, and when you have a child with special needs, the future is even more unclear. So, if you have a second or two tomorrow, say a little something for us, we really want to help Tristan recover, and this is our first step.

I know, it's so cliche, girl meets new boy in school, she falls instantly head over heels in love with him, they date in high school, continue on to college, live together, get a dog, get engaged, get married, have babies, move, life changes, etc., so on and so forth...and then, after all that life has thrown at them, and 15 years of memories, she is still head over heels in love. I adore my Shannon. I love him more than anything, even vanilla ice cream. I think he is the most amazing person that I have ever met, and having him home this past week really rekindled that adoration for him...he cares so much for us, for Trinity and Tristan, and our marriage, our friendship. He is funny, incredibly funny...and he constantly has me in stitches. I love him, and am so happy to have met him....

Loving this picture

I am...and before you go and heckle me about using it in the california post...I will tell you, I don't care...I love it. Incidentally, it is VERY similiar to a picture taken of my brother in good old 1976, *note to self, find picture of D and post it here* I think what I find most alluring in this picture is the sense of oldness that it evokes * yes, I am aware that "oldness" isn't a grammatically correct word, but just go with it* it's a moment captured that is innocent, unedited and pure. His hair is almost always in his face, and yet, in the attempts to capture the "perfect picture" I brush it out of his face, and then here, I fall in love with the ONE picture where it's the opposite of my quest.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Our AWESOME trip to California...kinda late I KNOW *super long post*

Where in the world do I start?? I have been super busy...but, I wanted to be sure to show you all some pictures from our CA trip we took the end of May. We were told in April that Shannon was being laid off in July. We had already paid for a summer trip the December prior, so, we decided that come May 27th...lay off or not, we were outta here, and we made good on that promise!

The whole trip was based on the Annual Bot Con that we so LOVE to attend *note the sarcasm* Shannon, LOVES to attend...Trinity enjoys it a bunch too, me and bubbub, not so much. BUT, we are there for support and because we have no where else to go.

BotCon is this HUGE dork, I mean, it's an awesome gathering of Transformers Collectors world wide that come together to gawk at tons of toys that they had when they were little and have to have again. No, I am being silly, really, it's pretty cool. There are a ton of booths set up all over the place, oodles of toys for sale, and bunches of fun stuff for parents and kids alike to partake in.

We have been going since Trinity was born. I will include previous pictures for your viewing pleasure now....

This year, it was PACKED...and I mean, "we are all sardines in this overgrown tin can" kinda packed. I will say, they had some really cool costumes this year though, Bumblebee was the alltime favorite of course, and then there were a few others.

After the convention we walked along the streets of Old Town Pasadena, what a photographers wonderland. TONS of greenery, trees, old brick buildings, awesome for sure. We played at a great park and just had fun, nice, time constraints kinda fun.

I visited one of my all time favorite natural cosmetics store. They carry the BEST smelling soaps, perfumes, bath fun's called LUSH, and if you go there once, you will be addicted *just ask my cousin Shawna*. While we were there on our final day, I met an amazing sales person, she was so sweet, and had an awesome tattoo in the works, she was kind enough to let me take a few pictures.

We then began our 7 hour journey to Grass Valley to see my cousin from whom I haven't seen since I was 4!!!
We really get along well though, she is a concious thinker and we are very like minded when it comes to many things. I love her immensly, and I can't tell you the amount of fun we had visiting. Her kiddos are so well mannered, welcoming, accomodating, super rad and really sweet to Trinity and Tristan. Their girls are the most giving and loving of any children I have met in a long while, and their personalities are reflective of great parenting.
The first night there we stayed up until about 3AM just chatting and getting caught was funny, it seemed like we were all old friends, and that was a wonderful feeling, like your favorite doesn't care what you look like, what you drive, it's always there for you, no matter where you are in your just loves you unconditionally and it's so familiar, that is exactly how she and her family made us feel.

They live in an idyllic setting..nestled in the woods off the beaten path at the top of a scenic ridge, beautifully breathtaking and simple. No microwave, TV wasn't on, we just played in nature and spent time together.
I think during this visit I realized what true friendship really meant...that no matter how much time you have spent apart, when you are together, that's what really matters. We made the most of our time together, and we appreciated one another. Shawna was awesome, and fell in love with Tristan the day we arrived, I appreciated how she would sneek into our room in the wee hours of the morning, scoop him up and play with him letting us sleep in...something that hasn't happened in 3 years.

We went to town and they had this AWESOME face painter, it really was amazing how fast she could make a normal face into something so much more.

Thank you Shawna and Steve for being so open with your home and welcoming us into your family. We love you guys so much!

Thank you Ella for sharing your room, your beloved Strawberry Shortcake toys, and your time with Trinity...she just adores you.
Thank you Amanda for taking the time to spend with the kiddos, you are an amazingly giving, loving and rad girl!
Thank you Ciana, you took the time to show Trinity around and even though you got me super lost, you were a trooper and maintained your awesome personality through it all!
This trip was so needed, and it truly showed us what was/is important in our lives, family. We had an awesome time and really can't wait to go back. Here are some more pictures from the trip...ENJOY!