Thursday, September 23, 2010

Look What I Won!

Thanks to Suburban Princess for this awesome giveaway! It turned up in my mailbox this morning. If you can't win the lottery, three boxes of gluten-free cereal is a pretty good substitute!

Happy Thursday!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

7 Years

On September 20th, 2003, after four miserable hours of pushing, I earned myself a new title: MOM. Turns out, that was the easy part!

Those of you who have been following my trials and tribulations for any length of time might think that Rosemary's Baby is the only one around here pushing my buttons and wreaking havoc everywhere he goes. But, while Firstborn is definitely the calmer, quieter, gentler soul in this house, he too has had his moments. Let us review.

The four hours of pushing caused my 9 1/2 lb alien-baby some distress and he ended up inhaling his own poop on the way out. He had to be intubated and kept in the Special Care Nursery on an IV for the next three days.
Motherhood lesson #1: Being a mom is terrifying, and full of incidents involving poop.

Aquatots! While all the other babies splashed around with their parents and had fun, mine cried for the first half-hour because the water was too cold, and then fell asleep on me for the rest of the class. This shot was taken as we stepped into the water. One minute later, he was bawling.
Motherhood lesson #2: Saturday morning sports are for other people's children.

Firstborn loved his food and would fight sleep in order to keep eating.
Motherhood lesson #3: Blueberry pie+a tired child+a camera-happy new mom= some rather disturbing images.

An early attempt at watching Hockey Night In Canada as a family. Judging from his expression, I'm guessing the Leafs were doing what they usually do, and he was wondering why on earth we were cheering for them.
Motherhood lesson #4: Eventually, every kid comes to realize that his parents are idiots.

He has always been crazy for reading, which of course isn't a bad thing. But he's also always had a bit of a thing for characters who get into mischief. As you can see, it started with Curious George. Now he's into Calvin and Hobbes, and has learned that when he does something naughty, he can blame it on his stuffed toys.
Motherhood lesson #5: Hide the No, David! books until he's 30. We don't need him getting any ideas.

The Captain's Artillery School graduation. When Firstborn saw his father go up to accept his certificate, in his two year-old exuberance, he yelled out "Daddy!!" This got him a good few laughs from the crowd and encouraged him to stand up and do it again. And again. And again. I finally had to drag him outside, kicking and screaming, until the whole thing was over.
Motherhood lesson #6: A good babysitter is worth the expense.

And finally, what is fondly known around here as "the chocolate syrup incident".
Motherhood lesson #7: Lock up the fridge, and avoid shag carpet.

Tonight, we celebrate the occasion with a Batman cake, and lots of new Lego. But don't get me started on Lego...

Happy Birthday, little monkey!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Hola, blog buddies! I'm not doing too well at updating here lately, and I'm doing even worse at visiting your blogs. I have no idea how people with 1000 followers manage it. I'm just glad I'm not one of them!

The reason I've been so notably absent is that I have a new (unpaid) job, which is to fill in for the tutor we had working with Rosemary's Baby. I've been learning how to do his ABA therapy from the professionals and working with him on it every morning, which takes a chunk out of my day and leaves me feeling frazzled and stressed by the time the kids are in bed at night. But the good news is that, while I can't do this long-term and stay sane, for the time being I am learning some really important, really interesting stuff here. And it's made me realize that when we do get a new tutor (and there's one on the horizon now--woo hoo!) that this is something I can creatively implement during his downtime. So this whole sorry situation hasn't been a complete waste.

A few people have asked questions which I've been meaning to answer, so I'm going to switch gears for a minute and talk about the diet my boy's been on for about a year now. If this is simply not something that interests you, by all means stop reading, go grab another cup of coffee, and enjoy the rest of your weekend. I understand completely.

When I first realized that Rosemary's Baby was, in fact, not the seed of evil, but actually autistic, the lack of scientific knowledge of this disorder was deflating, to say the least. The idea that my baby had something that couldn't be cured by modern medicine, and that no one could guarantee me could be treated with any degree of success was pretty devastating. The most frustrating thing was that I had absolutely no control. And that's when I decided it was worth it to look into some of the alternative treatments that are out there. To be honest, I didn't really expect them to do any good. I just needed to feel that I was taking control of the situation.

The first thing I should say about the Gluten-Free Casein-Free (GFCF) diet is that it does not work for everyone and it is not a cure. And despite popular perception, for the record, Jenny McCarthy has never claimed that it is one. I am no autism expert and I cannot speak for anyone else. But what I think is happening with my own child is that yes, he has autism, but he also has some other medical issues (mainly of the gastrointestinal variety) that seem to be making the autism symptoms more severe. I believe that all of his medical conditions, including the autism, are ultimately the result of genetics. But that doesn't mean that environmental factors (like the Hep B shot he received unnecessarily at birth, the severe vaccine reaction he had at 18 months and the ever-increasing amount of junk that's put into our foods to make them last through to the next ice age) haven't helped his autoimmune problems along. And putting him on the GFCF diet and a probiotic, upping his vitamins (under the supervision of a pediatrician--VERY IMPORTANT!) and reducing the amount of sugar and processed food that goes into his body has made a tangible difference to his behaviour.

For my child, the big changes we saw were as follows: he started sleeping better (which affects absolutely everything else in life, no?!), his hyperactivity level changed drastically, his focus and attention improved, his language increased, and his skin and digestive problems improved. His stimming also slowed down. He is not cured of autism. He is not cured of digestive problems. But he has improved enough that I think it's made a difference to how receptive he is to the therapies that are proven to be most effective for kids with autism. So for me, the herculean effort (and horrendous cost, unfortunately) is well worth it.

Stepping down off the soapbox.

On Thursday night I was doing dishes when I was alarmed by the most almighty crash I have ever heard coming from the living room. I ran in to find Rosemary's Baby standing on the window sill, grinning at me, surrounded by yards of curtain fabric and a pile of debris fit for a scrap yard. Turns out that when a 45lb kid wants to swing Tarzan-style from the living room curtains, he'll bring down not only the curtains, but the curtain rod and 8 feet of crown moulding with it. Like I was saying, seed of evil...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Photo Project

Well, it's September, and I'm very glad to have a reason to post something that ISN'T just me whining and complaining about my life. I do appreciate none of you telling me to shut up after those past couple of posts. I find that in life, you get a lot of things thrown at you at once, but in the end, it kind of all evens out.

Onto the fun. This month, I embraced my creative side and indulged in a little photo-a-day project. Here are my favourites:

Around the middle of the month, we started to get large groups of monarch butterflies just hanging out in the trees. The Captain watched out the window with amusement as I tried to get close enough for a good shot without scaring them away. Thank heavens for my long lens, and living in the age of digital cropping.

Firstborn's portrait of Ozzy Osbourne. Dead on, no?!

First salsa of the summer! My life revolves around food...

I'm finding the best time to pick vegetables in the garden is after the kids are in bed. Now, of course, it's getting dark a lot earlier so I really have to move my butt out there. Either that, or wear one of those flashlights on my head. But the sunsets are worth it.

My final photo, taken yesterday while we here enjoying some cooler weather in the backyard. I can never seem to get just one shot of my kids together without one of them doing something goofy with his face!

And there you have it. Another creative project brought to a close. This fall, I move onto jewellery, knitted toys and purses for the Christmas craft sale I've (insanely) agreed to do. I hope I have as much fun as I did with this one. Wish me luck!