Tuesday, January 25, 2011
P has had "robotic dinosaur" on his wish list for two years. You can't even imagine how tickled I was when I found this wooden puzzle R/C T-rex last December. I believe I squealed.
Because he loves putting together these 3-D wooden puzzles. One that walks and roars too? Forgettaboutit. But.... It took us a while to get it together (so many projects, so little time;) And then the batteries weren't quite charged, and then the leg wasn't put together correctly... And then the whole thing finally came together today. Powerful batteries, a ferocious roar, the whole nine yards. The child immediately set up BB's chateau for the attack he has now envisioned for two years.
And thanks to fantastic holiday presents, the onslaught was even more lovely than it would have been before. The ever amazing Aunt Alicia hand-sewed two monster dolls for P's BB family (because, what is a monster clan without an Aunt and Uncle?!?!) They happily reside in BB's chateau, as P wishes his Aunt and Uncle would reside in ours ;) Then, Uncle Ian gave P some bendable sculptey. Whalah! We now have a BB that can stand on his own two feet, and even wave his monster arms a bit. And so the final show-down occurred, with lots of roaring and pleading and cackling...
Monday, January 24, 2011
Its the beginning of the end... He's lost his first baby tooth! It was loose for about a week and he worked it pretty regularly. Then, as I brushed my teeth and E laid in bed, the child pulled it, all by himself, sitting in his little studio. After proudly showing us both, he declared that he didn't want it to go to the Tooth Fairy. He wanted to keep it. Apparently, he built a house for it. I haven't seen this special abode, but I've heard him tell his grandparents this ;) Hopefully, it won't pop up somewhere too unexpected when I'm cleaning...
The shape of his mouth isn't the only thing aging these days. The words coming out of it seem to be, too. We went for tea last week while he played with Tom (his sweet little 13 year old friend next door, a gem of a baby sitter). As E saw Tom out, the cute kid reported that the Little Man had uttered "shit" when he dropped something....
We hadn't thought to tell him that this isn't normal kid fare :) He says it regularly and we hadn't really thought much of it. So we had to share the culture's general guidelines with the kid before bed that night ;) He, of course, thought it sounded like a silly double standard, but seemed interested in keeping the general peace. I guess we'll see...
And then, this morning, as I flipped pancakes I heard him exclaim, "For God Pete's loving sakeness!" Hehehe. Didn't quite get those two right, but I really, really enjoyed them as a combo....
Monday, January 17, 2011
Sweet P, Christmas morning, digging the magnetic darts from Uncle Greg....
(Pretend its just late December...)
So, the Little Man had a lovely holiday season. He wrote a lengthy letter to Santa this year, with detailed descriptions of his desires:
A mouse for his cat (Danda).
A car. A real car. That goes invisible and can drive on the city streets. And can morph into a submarine. It should have a special seat for his cat (and future dog) and a nice little spot for his cat's mouse.
In desperation, I asked if there were any items, something typically found in an elves' workshops, say?
Oh, yeah. He wanted a Pogo Stick. But one that bounces better than the grown-up kinds.
So, the child left out cookies and milk under his over-decorated ficus tree. And awoke to find a pogo stick.
In a definite detour from Christmases past, he didn't try and pry the Santa story wide open. Perhaps he felt my new determination to lie through my teeth for the greater good. After declaring last year that he wanted to believe, I was sure the hell going to make good on that this year. And, as I actually tossed those cookies in the trash and the soury-warm milk down the drain, it was not a complete lie when I promised I had not been the one to eat the cookies and drink the milk....
Granted, a Pogo Stick is not the world's wisest gift to a child residing in a fourth floor flat.... But, as we have the world's kindest neighbors, they indulged the child in an afternoon of thunderous practicing. The subsequent snow-storm has derailed his hopping hopes, but come this spring, he'll be ready...
His comment at the end of this video seriously cracks me up. Talk about a positive freakin' outlook.... "Didn't quite make it..."
That night, Seth and Alicia joined us for a low-key dinner (the full family fandango being the following night) and play. The child was, as always, in heaven with them. My camera battery died pretty immediately, and the phone couldn't handle the low-light, but I loved watching P and Seth play at human jungle gyms.... After, of course, bow-hunting BB....
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Just a quick catch-up on the last two weeks... (Next week is my bday and I'm going to luxuriate on my butt for an hour and get through the holiday pics... who knows, maybe I'll even finish our summer vacation stuff too! I will not clean during my free time, I will not clean during my free time, I will not.... well... ;)
So, the beginning of the elimination diet was really hard for the kid. His die-off symptoms were pretty severe for the first week and we just lolled around the house doing projects and cuddling. He didn't even want to sled.
I was finally able to woo him outdoors for a late afternoon walk one day... that ended up lasting forever ;) Hard to get out, hard to get in.... It was beyond dark and E was curious by the time we peeled off our layers...
The next leg of our house arrest ended with a trip to the AMNH. It was warm there :) Though the two block walk to the subway.... well. It was warm inside. And P was giddy to see his good friends. He had chosen to skip the Rockefeller Center tree this year (for the first time) and was thrilled with the (warm) origami substitute at the museum. Plus, there were no crowds ;)
Even his wrist band had him almost in tears....
In for many more .... and then out for ice skating! The kid was psyched to skate. He'd really enjoyed it on the chintzy plastic rink last year at AMNH (and picked it up fast too). Well. Granted, he'd just upped his probiotics and moaned on the way there that he was having some bad die-off, but... Oh, bad mommy. We stepped out onto the ice and the kid was like a Charlie Chaplin movie. His feet were slipping out from under his little butt so fast it was cartoon-like. I was holding him up to give him a chance, but after a certain period of time, the sheer ridiculousness of the visual (his little legs slipping at the speed of light) proved to much for me and I was laughing so hard I could hardly stand up. Bad Mommy. But, honestly, if you had seen us, you would have been beating the ice with your hands and knees it was so funny.
I was laughing silently, of course (I'm not that bad ;) And I was the picture of patience as he grumped his bruised butt around the rink. But the music was l.o.u.d. And the teenagers were f.a.s.t. And the kid was m.i.s.e.r.a.b.l.e. You know the face. When they're so tired and frustrated the pucker gets pinched and if they were just a few years younger the geysers would gush. So we had a snack :)
Then the zamboni came, to the delight of children everywhere, and he and his buddies were ready to head home. He, once again, swore off all things ice related that day. Except for the partially frozen fountain. Which he quite approved of.
Obviously, back in for a bit ;) Pulling back on the probiotics to lesson the die-off helped a great deal. I have been shocked at how pleasant the child (ice skating ordeal aside;) has been. Could be developmentally appropriate, could be thanks to eliminating so many problem foods and being so freaking careful. Who knows, really. But he's been quite close to an angel at home, greatly making up for my craggy die-off bitch phase.... He's also been eating like a super champ. Come to find out, if all shitty food is removed from a child's diet, they'll eat the healthy food in ridiculous quantities. I mean, P's always been a fun eater, and will even choose tomatoes over candy, but there's so much more room for nutrition now that the chocolate and bread are gone. He's shoveling in seeming gallons of 24 hour homemade yogurt, soft boiled eggs, avocados... And after swearing off hamburgers when I was 8, I shocked my entire family by cooking them for dinner the other night. The child ate his with relish (not literal, it was fermented pickles, raw cheddar, mustard, avocado, tomato and lettuce for him;) Then, tonight, we had tomato sauce with beef meatballs over spaghettis squash. And the kid ate an enormous helping, meatballs and all. Yummy, yes, guilt and nightmare inducing for the natural vegetarian, yes... There's so much to these decisions, its literally gut-wrenching, but the boys are flourishing...
Then the kid came up with the best project. We would make turtles out of the fabulous clay Uncle Ian gave the child. They would be stacking turtles. Like a game. And an owl would be the top player. It all came from a picture we made when we were lolling in his newly minted "studio" he carefully crafted under our island table (its sheeted off, has a little desk and recycling can and everything. Its kinda precious ;) It all turned out so cute, I wish I'd caught a more careful phone pic...
Then, it was back out again. The day after the last big snow. His best buds, who live on the opposite side of the park, invited the kid over to see their igloo. After little outside exercise, the child set out, marching through knee high snow. For two hours. I kid you not. It took us TWO HOURS to get there. Walking. In the snow. I wasn't a particularly happy camper, so you can BET the kid was less than tickled. But on he trudged. Walking, without being carried, still being a bit of a sore-spot for the child.
After this little schlep, the child swore off winters for the rest of eternity. But we always have the rice bin. And the swing ;) And all of the projects....
Saturday, January 8, 2011
That's two blog posts with acronyms for titles. The child is having a hard time with acronyms, as an aside. At any rate. Just wanted to toss up this fascinating tidbit. We're outside of the CNN loop, so I don't know if this is reported everywhere or stymied by the big corps (am betting big bucks on the latter) - but you gotta take a gander at this short little blog post. Apparently, animals won't eat GMO's. Seriously. Take a peek.
And then change your shopping list ;)
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Ahhh, so behind. I'm still planning on getting the rest of our trip pics up (yah, from last summer!) And I definitely want to get to the holidays, because some of the family balloon blowing pics are priceless. (Yah, Seth, I'm talking about your face here :)
But the big changes first. The day after the Christmas holidays we started a crazy, gut fixing diet. Which has consumed my every waking moment for the last few weeks (result? shitty blogger). If I'm not up in the kitchen till 1 in the morning, I'm reading the science behind it and trying to figure it all out. Its something we read about a year or so ago. Tossed around for a bit. And finally decided to implement.
It was going to just be Ethan. A few weekends ago, while we were seriously discussing it, the Little Man was mysteriously short on interruptions (my pet peeve of late, never getting to finish a thought to Ethan. Repeat Mantra: The child is only young for a while, he is only young for a while....)
At any rate. The kid was cutting paper, without having us pause our parental musings. So we dug into the diet info and E decided he was game. (I mean, he can't really feel much worse on a day to day basis. And eating most anything makes him feel like shit, so it seemed like an easy gamble to try and straighten out his gut flora and see...)
Then the Little Man jumped in. "I wanna do the Gaps too."
Its not that kids don't. They do. Lots of them. With great results. Its not that I don't think it would help P tons. Its that it starts out reeeeeally restrictive, broadens slightly and then broadens again, but still remains, well, restrictive. Healthfully so, but definitely not featuring Newman's Minty O's.
I informed him of this fact. He said he'd do almost anything if it has a good chance of healing his food intolerances. Which have been growing (now including mango and pineapple and chicory and ....) He was adamant. He'd heard the babble and wanted to follow the book. Period.
So we jumped in, all three of us. Well, jumping would be easy. We read the entire book, the history, the theory, the science. We lugged (ok, E lugged) home tons of groceries and we cooked. And cooked. And cleaned. And cooked. And cleaned. And, well, you get the idea. And we waited for miraculous good health (that is supposed to take, oh, about a year and a half to happen ;) No, not a quick fix ;)
I assumed E would be ill the first week. Die-off being pretty miserable for everyone in the highly restrictive beginning. I also assumed it would be cake for P, since the intro included his current fave foods, eaten multiple times a day: Fermented pickles, saurkraut, chicken broth, boiled chicken/turkey, and veggie soup made with said broth.
And he was fairly content the first day. Except for the sugar cravings. Which just about did him in. He had tiny licks of raw honey a few times to get him through. There was quite a bit of (uncharacteristic, I hate to even type the word, but...) whining. The next morning, he woke up puking.
And was ill from die-off allllll day. He even slept. Mid day. While we chatted around him. And cooked and banged next to him. He was ill the next day too.
Lest you think we are doing something scary or starving the sweet babe, go read the book. Or the website. Its all good, promise :)
But the nasties in his gut weren't happy, and they reeked havoc on his little body. E and I were dizzy and faint with die-off, but (possibly because our typical diet contains much less, erm, sugar than his...) we were managing our brain fog decently (Brain-fog being E's constant state and all:). The kid, he was pissed. After puking up his favorite foods a few times, they were no longer his faves ;) And he had very few options left on the first few days of intro. Thank the stars we quickly added eggs and yogurt. It was like he grabbed a life-line, leaving his former loves behind with a nasty smirk, he consumed more eggs and yogurt than an army. Then it got a little better, and a little better. And the detoxing Epsom Salt baths made it even better.
But, honestly, the road has been much harder than I imagined (such is life..). I knew his gut was messed up (thus the food allergies) but jeez. And then, of course, was the tricky subject of limits and restrictions. We talked a good deal about what those would look like, before undertaking this little endeavor, and the kid was all game. In the middle of cravings and a pissed system, determination went right out the window. E and I whispered into the night, should we listen to his guilty gut and give in or help him through the rough spot? We knew his intent, his hopes, his peanut filled dreams. We also knew how his diet had been deteriorating in the last year . This formerly fab eater was reacting to more and more foods, more and more additives and it was sad. He was becoming a much more restrictive eater too, which wasn't natural for him. I also loathed the idea of cooking him separate meals every day. And the disappointment he would have when E is better in the future (my typos to gawd's ears) and he, would not be.
So, it was hard, but we stuck to the plan. Thank the stars above. Now, over a week into it, the story is totally different.
He's drinking broth again. And happy with his roasted chicken now, too. We're nearing the end of intro, and this means more interesting foods and an absolutely ecstatic child. He jumped for joy today for our simple tomato soup. He swoons over asparagus spears for snacks. Begs for sauteed mushrooms in broth and yogurt for lunch. Consumes yogurt and eggs like the hungriest of carnivores. Hasn't needed a titch of honey in days. And went on two grocery runs this week without even glancing at the chocolates. (For real. He has a cabinet full of snacks and sweets and he hasn't, not even once, opened it and pined. Granted, its only been a week... But I'd swear the hard part is behind us. Hopefully, desserts made with seeds and honey are just a few weeks away...)
Moral of the story for me: I'm all for listening to my kid. Letting him listen to his body so it can show him what he needs (as I've yammered about in endless posts). But when modern food fucks it all up (alongside antibiotics), well. I'm really, really glad we helped him stick with his larger goal when he needed the support. And even more glad that it was his goal. Because I'm sure that's what has made all of the difference.
What I'm not especially glad about, is how hard it is to cook for this diet. I'm still getting used to the whole consuming of animals business. And now our grains are out, and that's been my staple for the last 20 years! And everything is from scratch. I mean, we did scratch before, but this is s.c.r.a.t.c.h. Like, we made our own cheese today. Thrilling for the child, who was flashing back to Little House in the Big Woods as he watched the whey drip out the cheesecloth lining. But this is definitely an added step. To make our crackers (to go with said cheese) I had to start days ago. First, to soak the seeds overnight, then, to dehydrate the seeds overnight. Then, to grind the seeds....
But its going to be worth it. To really determine his food intolerances, give his gut a chance to heal and then reaccept those foods. Not to mention the simplicity it will eventually involve, once all of these new methods become status quo. Not to even mention if Ethan, holy schmoly, can eat without narcolepsy ;)
Until that far distant time, I'll look to the immediate pleasures, like the kid is. He's super psyched for tomorrow. He gets acorn squash sunflower seed cakes for breakfast. And our salsa, that's been fermenting on the cabinet for the last two days, will finally be done, to be eaten with our zucchini and chard chips, chillin' in the dehydrator, getting their crisp on through the night.... (Yah, mom, I can hear you gagging all the way up here ;)