Tuesday, May 28, 2013

We're So Close.....

This is Lily's last week of kindergarten.

Summer: Very simple graphic happy sun.Please visit my stockxpert gallery:http://www.stockxpert.com ..

And I think my brain has already started summer vacation mode. 

I can't seem to put together enough sentences to form a coherent blog post.  All I can think about at the moment is how great it felt to be a kid at this time of year.  The end of school and summer stretching before you.

Mary Engelbreit Summer Ideas Projects Visual Inspiration How To

So I thought I'd just put up a few of my favorite quotes about childhood.  Enjoy!

"Some things can only be understood when you're in a treehouse.  With a pile of warm chocolate chips cookies.  And a book."  Dr. SunWolf

"Think of what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap."  Robert Fulghum

"I'd like to be a kid again but only because naps were insisted, twirling in circles was acceptable, and the only password I had to remember was open sesame."  Adar Burks

Let's jump in the sprinkler!
photo courtesy of Megan Jordan at Babble

Want to share a favorite quote about childhood or summer? Please do!    

Friday, May 17, 2013

"The Confessional - Edition Sleeping In"

So, in case you hadn't noticed, I'm trying to add a few new little features to the blog these days.

One that you might have noticed is "Five Favorites", in which I list five of my current favorite things.  You know, important things like special needs books, special diet cookbooks, and summer shoes.  OK, maybe not every five favorites post is filled with important stuff but you can certainly count on it to be filled with fun and hopefully helpful stuff.

The other feature I'd like to start is "The Confessional", in which we come clean about the areas of our lives that don't show up on Pinterest.  Or we bare it all about how hard raising a special needs child can be.  Or we rant and rave about important real-world issues, like why Chick-fil-a stopped making the Southwest Char-grilled Chicken Salad (I'm looking at you, Ashley!) or how hard it is to find good make-up once you hit the big 4-0.  Or the big 4-4, in my case.

I've got some other fun things in mind that I think you'll enjoy as well.

But I can't reveal them all at once.  Y'all would just die from the excitement.  I'm taking things slow for your health and safety.  You're welcome.

Sometime, I'd love to re-do the blog just a bit and add some tabs so you can easily access these new features.  But that's a project for another day.  Or never.  We'll see.

Any-who, here's the topic for today's "The Confessional - Edition Sleeping In".

Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.  Sometimes, I let my school-age child sleep in on school mornings.  Meaning they will be tardy for school.  And I don't really even care.

OK - I've only done this twice in an entire year of kindergarten.

Which I personally think deserves a medal of some kind but whatever.

Sometimes, our kiddos, special needs or not, just need a few extra zzzz's.  Maybe they had a hard time falling asleep and were still awake at midnight.  Maybe they had a rough night and woke up for a couple of hours and couldn't fall back asleep.  Or maybe they woke up at 5 AM in their cold and lonely bed, got into Mom and Dad's bed, and fell back asleep, all cozied up and snuggly.  And were sleeping so soundly and peacefully, you just couldn't bear to wake them up.  So you gave them an extra 30 minutes, understanding that one tardy is typically not the first step to more serious crimes.

Actually, I don't know that for sure.  I've never interviewed prisoners and asked them if their lives of crime all began with a single tardy in kindergarten.

Maybe it did.

But it's a risk I'm just going to take.

Every now and then.

Because really, what person couldn't excuse the occasional tardy from a kid this dang cute??

Now it's your turn.  Got a "sleeping in confession" of your own?  Do tell.  Your secret is safe here.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Five Favorites: Special Diet Cookbooks

One thing that often accompanies a special needs diagnosis is the recommendation of some type of special diet.  It seems like Bird has been on some kind of dietary regimen since the age of three.  We started with the gluten-free/casein-free diet, then moved to a modified Feingold diet, and now we are on the paleo diet.

To be perfectly honest, I'm not 100% sure that any of these diets have given us the kind of results that many people claim to witness in their kids.  But I will say a couple of things regarding diets:

1.  The one positive change I know I saw in Lily that was totally the result of a food restriction was when we removed dyes from her diet.  I saw a marked difference in her behavior.  She was more calm and focused on tasks.  I highly recommend that if you do nothing else, you consider eliminating dyes and see if you get the same results.

2.  Since beginning the paleo diet about eight months ago now, I know that I myself feel better.  Ryan has lost about 40 pounds and has kept the weight off without starving or feeling deprived.  While neither of us has celiac disease, I don't think we realized how wheat and whole grains were affecting us, from feeling bloated around the midsection to the ups and downs in our energy levels.  I'm going to assume that if the both of us feel better, than Lily must, too.

3.  Lastly, while I may not be seeing miraculous results like removing wheat then hearing my child speak her first word, I am confident that I am healing her from the inside out by making smart food choices that will set her up for a healthy life.

Now, on to the cookbooks.

Cooking for Isaiah by Silvana Nardone is one of those unique cookbooks where not one of the recipes I've made has been bad.  Filled with lots of gluten-free/casein-free treats, this is one cookbook that you won't regret purchasing.

Special Diets for Special Kids - Volumes 1 & 2 by Lisa Lewis was the first cookbook I purchased when we decided to try the gluten-free/casein-free diet for the Bird.  Not only does it have good recipes, it also thoroughly explains why the GFCF diet works for well for so many special needs kids.

Special Diets for Special Kids, Volumes 1 and 2 Combined: Over 200 REVISED and NEW gluten-free casein-free recipes, plus research on the positive effects for children with autism, ADHD, allergies, celiac disease, and more!

Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan is a great book for those embarking on the Paleo diet.  In the first few pages of the cookbook, Melissa explains her time saving "weekly cook-ups" and that alone is worth the cost of the book.  

The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam is another good option for "paleo people".  While there are recipes for entrees, my favorites are the baked goods.

The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook: Breakfasts, Entrees, and More

If you'd like to try a special diet but are a little confused on where to begin, this book just might be the perfect starting point.  Eating for Autism - The 10 Step Nutrition Plan to Help Treat Your Child's Autism, Asperger's, or ADHD by Elizabeth Strickland lays it all out in an easy to follow format, allowing time between steps so you determine what works and what doesn't work for your child.

So what about you?  Do you have a cookbook that you turn to over and over again to help with a special diet of some kind?  Please share!  I'm always on the lookout for great recipes.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Beyond the Sippie Cup

Lily has been using a traditional sippie cup for quite some time now.  

I've also known for quite some time now that she needs to start using a regular cup.

But since I spend a large part of my life trying to avoid unnecessary messes, I've been dragging my feet on this one.

 But it's time. 

Thanks to a sweet church member blessing us with a gift card, we had lunch at Saltgrass Steakhouse last week.

And Bird was only too happy to show off her cup skills.

Making sure that Dad is watching.

Feeling quite proud of herself.

Good to the last drop.

She thought she was such hot stuff.

So yeah.  I'm thinking it's probably time to loosen the reins just a bit and buy a few extra rolls of Bounty. 

At home, cleaning up spilled cups of juice won't be that big of a deal.  

But at school, cleaning up spills several times a day is going to get old pretty quick.

So I'm thinking of getting a couple of these awesome cups for Bird to use at school and church:

They're called Reflo Smart Cups and I think they're pretty genius.  It's a regular cup but with that snazzy little insert that just controls the flow so if the cup spills, it's not an instant gusher.  Click here to read more and watch a video about the Reflo cup.

Another good option is the Tervis tumbler that you see all over the place now.  We have a couple of the slightly smaller kid size cups like this:

And we use these travel lids that have an open/close slider for drinking...
as well as these thick, flexible straws:

It's funny how I can remember wondering if Lily Bird would ever learn to use a straw.  Or if she would ever be able to drink from a good old-fashioned cup without always pouring it all over herself.

And now that day has come.

It's the little things - little things, that in the life of a special needs parent, are actually big things.  

Can I get an amen?

Have a lovely weekend, my dear readers, and I'll see you Tuesday.

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