Sunday, October 31, 2010

The more you eat healthy, the less you like mainstream food

An interesting thing happened today.  Kaio has been mostly wheat and dairy free since April this year.  We went this way after months of very strange poop.  I have noticed a direct correlation in his bowel health and his dairy consumption.  Still we have not been able to keep him 100% off the products (mostly due to my mom giving him that stuff all the time).  Actually this morning she gave him a bran muffin, and yesterday she gave him slices of cheese.  At least they were from Trader Joe's.  I am slowly bringing her on board and teaching her quality over quantity.  It has been a long process to get her out of the habit of mindlessly buying cases of whatever from Costco just because, "I had to, they were so cheap!"

So I gave her some credit for giving him the hormone free cheese this time.

So anyway.  We've been doing this diet as best we can while living with grandma.  But Mari and I agreed back in April that we would not prevent Kaio from having cake and pizza at birthday parties.  We would not bring cake for him or anything like that.  I believe that food is one of the most important aspects of a culture, and parties are for sharing you home and your food with friends.  I think that it is rude to not participate in these rituals.  You have to at least try the food.   Unless you are really allergic to it.  But Kaio is not allergic, it just doesn't digest well.

So we went to a birthday party today and he had a little slice of Papa John's pizza.  Then something strange happened.  He left the eating area to go sit by himself on a bench.  I went over to him and he was almost crying,  "No.  I don't want to eat the pizza.  I don't want the pizza, it's yucky."
I said, "Kaio, you don't have to eat it it's ok.  You can just play with your friends."

He cheered up after our little talk and went off to run around with his good friends.

So Mari and I think that the pizza made him feel kind of sick.  I'm going to make sure to give him some probiotics tomorrow morning.

The other thing that took me was how he isolated himself and I had to talk him through what was going on and say the right thing to help him feel comfortable again.  I have had to do this with Nala a couple times too.  She get scared of things and hides by herself.  Moving from provider to therapist is a new role in my mothering journey.  It felt reminiscent of an afternoon family sitcom, like Family Ties or Full House.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

First Day of Preschool

Sunday morning Kaio woke up at 9am in bed next to Mari and said, "Papa, my pinto (penis) is growing."

Mari, "yeah Kaio, papa has that problem too."

I seems our little boy is turning into a man before our eyes.  This week he started his new preschool program.  Despite my reservations, we decided to go ahead and put him in the county's morning Special Education program, and team that with a Montessori school in the afternoon.  Here he is on the way home from his first day in the public education system.  We decided this because the outdoor Reggio Emilia school that I loved, was just a little too out of the way to choose it over the very close and cheap options next door.  
Side Note: My ultra-conservative Tea Party brother *loved* hearing that we were taking a hand-out from the government instead of financing our kid's education with our own money - just because the government was offering. 

 If we are still in the area next year, then we'll probably send him to the Discovery Woods Reggio Emilia school.We loved it!

Well now, he is a big boy.  We went shopping to try to find a Thomas the Tank Engine backpack, but no local stores seem to sell backpacks after back-to-school week.  I had to order one off Amazon.  

The school bus is going to start picking him up this week, but today I had to drive him.  
I went to pick him up midday to take him to the Montessori, but I must have got there late because the teachers put him on a bus to the school.  I frantically hauled my butt to the Montessori, really hoping that I would beat the bus there. I did and he was so happy to see me.  We walked into the hectic preschool, lots of kids were getting ready for nap and this scared him.  Inquisitive kids hovered over him, repeatedly asking us questions, "Why doesn't he want to lay down?  What's a new place?"  "Why does he want to go home?"
I could tell that he was getting very nervous and anxious.  I asked him if he wanted to take a nap or go in the classroom. He wanted to go in the classroom and so we did.  There were older kids siting around a mat for story time.  Kaio sat on the mat but turned away from me.  I told him I would be back after work.  He did not even say goodbye.  He was mad at me for placing him in such a frightening situation.
I went back to work and fretted about him the whole time.  
After picking him up, I learned that he ended up opting for the nap eventually.  He seemed to really like the place and the kids.  Then in the car ride home he acted so much more mature than usual.  After I took this picture of him 'smiling' he asked if he could see the picture, so politely.  Only the first day - but it seems that moving out of the hectic daycare, and into the preschool with kids his age, is what he needed.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

No Sugar?! What?!

So I took the kids to a holistic doctor yesterday to see about detoxing heavy metals out of their system.  I've been feeling so great since getting the metal out of my mouth that I though they might have some residual mercury accumulated in their system from their time in the womb and nursing.  I had a lot of fillings: 9.  And a couple of them were cracked while I was pregnant.
So I went to see this doctor that my dentist recommended.  She had planned to hook the kids up the Asyra system to scan their bodies for chemical imbalances, but the kids were afraid of the metal rods.  Nala wouldn't touch them and Kaio wouldn't hold them long enough.  So then she starts muscle testing me to come to the conclusion that Kaio has liver problems and this all boils down to too much sugar in his diet.  The key to them detoxing is to take the sugar out of their diets so that their livers can function properly.

I was like, 'What? seriously?'  We eat really healthy.

I had given the kids little snack packs of Annie's Fruit Gummy Treats to keep them occupied while we talked.  She showed me the back of the pack - 10 grams of sugar - "That is too much."

Ughhhhhhh.  I was pissed.  I couldn't hide how pissed I was.  I kept thinking, seriously I'm paying $200/hr to have this doctor tell me that we have to take another thing out of our diets.  I think that these doctors just come up with some really impossible unattainable thing so that they can blame you for not following the regiment if it doesn't help.  Like, lets take out the gluten, then the dairy, then the sugar, then the starch... what's next? Oh your bath water is not filtered.  it never ends.
and the muscle testing.  I just don't get it.  Really? - Pointing that machine on my hand is going to tell you something diagnostic about my kid over there?  It just seems like complete quackery.  So when she brought out the muscle testing and told me to take the sugar and starch out.  I was mad.  I was ready to leave.

But I decided to stay and argue a bit.  My kids eat so much less sugar than other kids do.
1. Why should I alienate them from the rest of their friends, who are doing just fine eating tones of sugar?
 - it is all about accumulation of toxins.  If the kid's body does not have other toxins that it is dealing with then it is able to process the sugar.  But if it has been exposed to other toxins (like metal fillings, vaccines, mold, etc) then the kids will get sick more often.

2. I ate lots more sugar than my kids do when I was growing up.  My parents used to give me M&M's.  I turned out fine.
- Things were different back then and children are exposed to many more pollutants in the environment.  Now-a-days children are born with over 200 different carcinogens in their blood.  Their bodies have a lot more to deal with.  Also the vegetables we eat are not as nutrient rich as in the past.  Now, with the use of fertilizers, vegetables that grow lack the variety of vitamins that existed in mineral diverse healthy soil.  

3.  But they love fruits, and fruits are raw.  That has to be good for them.
- Eat seasonal fruits in moderation.

4. If I keep them from eating the snacks that the other kids have at daycare, they think that they are being punished for something.  At daycare they eat yogurt, rice crispy treats, cookies, and pretzels.  Even healthy substitutes have sugar, like those Annies Organic Fruit Snacks
- Give them healthy, but similar options as much as you can. Focus on totally taking out the sugar at home.  That way they can easier detox it when they get it at daycare.
- Try it for 2 weeks and see what happens.  You will notice a change I promise.

So I can't argue with that.  It does not hurt to try it.  "Ok, I can try taking the little-bit of sugar that they have in their diet completely out for two weeks."
And that's what we are doing.  I called my mom, and talked to Mari.  They are both on board.  Although my mom gave me a lecture about all the wacko doctors I frequent!  "I don't understand why you are always taking them to these crazy people.  They are not real doctors."  But she quieted up as soon as I pointed out that our kids are the healthiest on the block.  Nala has never had to take an antibiotic in her life.  Kaio, only twice, and he probably would have been ok without them (but I was a scared new mom).  Kaio has not been sick at all with more than a quickly passing cold since we took him off wheat and dairy.  The kids are incredibly healthy compared to the kids of our mainstream friends and coworkers.  Kaio had a friend, the same age with the exact same coughing problem two years ago.  They were both prescribed nebulizers and inhalers.  For Kaio, we identified the carpets as a trigger and replaced them with cork. We took out the wheat and dairy.  Now he is fine for a whole year not coughing.  The other child has been hospitalized three times already.
So I know that we are doing things right.  But I also recognize that Nala has started acting odd and complaining of things hurting at night.  I was worried about her contracting Lymes, since she has been bitten by 3 ticks (one deer tick).  This doctor said that she is really nutrient deprived because all the sugar she eats is preventing absorption of vitamins from the healthy food. "She may eat tons of healthy food, but her body is not absorbing the minerals.  She is vitamin starved.  Take the sugar and starch out and she will improve."

Ok so we are trying it.  But with Halloween coming, I think this is going to be really freaking difficult.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Magical Connection of Very Young and Very Old

A snap shot of a photograph printed on a plate.  My mom recently took this picture on he trip to Romania this year to visit family.  The woman on the right is my Great-Grandma, and the little boy on the left is my mom's brother.  He had Leukemia, and they both died together in a fire when he was three years old.  It is pretty tragic.  And I feel a little bad writing about tragedy on this blog because I'm sure everyone has enough to deal with and no one particularly wants to hear another sad story to bring them down.  But I need to get this off my chest and chronicle the family history in a safe spot.  So ignore if you please.
My mom says that Kaio reminds her of her brother; so animated, sweet, and happy.  And that her grandmother loved her little brother so much.  They were inseparable.  When the fire started, he was playing by her feet in the kitchen, which is where he always stayed.  They say that she tried to dowse the cooking fire with oil.  Totally what you are not supposed to do.  But my Great-Grandma predicted that she would die with him.  Or said that she didn't want to live without him.  So it turned out to be a self fulfilling prophesy.
And here is my grandfather, Tata, at a graveyard in Trenton, New Jersey.  This is where he is buried, where his wife is buried, and where his bothers and sisters - who died as children - are buried.  Five of his siblings died of childhood diseases during the short period that they lived in the United States.  That was in the 1910's.  They moved back to Romania in 1920, when my Grandfather was five years old.  Only he and one younger brother lived into adulthood.
At then here are the two brothers, Easter 2006.  The last Easter before Sabin passed away.  My grandfather followed in 2008.
As Tata's health began to dramatically fade in 2006, I prayed that he would hold on until Kaio's birth.  He made it, and lived for a year and a half longer.  Seven of those months we lived in the same house together.   They had a cosmic affinity for each other from the beginning.  Since the day Kaio was born, he brought life and love into Tata's aging soul.  I remember that Tata would just look at him and laugh at everything that baby Kaio did.  He would give him his pacifier if he dropped it.  he would come to help if he heard him crying.  One night, when Kaio was 4 months old and crying in his crib, Mariano and I were obviously too sleep deprived to wake up, Tata went into Kaio's room and somehow was strong enough to lift him out of the crib and rock him back to sleep.  I came into the room later in the night and Tata was still holding him.  It was so sweet to me, but it frightened Mariano because Tata was suffering from dementia and shouldn't be holding Kaio without supervision.
Actually Tata didn't know that Kaio was my baby.  He always called him Mikey, referring to my little brother Micheal.  And if both Micheal and Kaio were in a room together, Tata still didn't get it.  He would just brush his hand at the thought that the baby was anyone other than baby Mikey.
Kaio would crawl to him, sit in his lap, kiss him, and play with him.  one day when we visited Tata in the hospital and Kaio saw him in pain, well that was the most upset that I ever saw baby Kaio.  I feel blessed that they were able to connect.  And although Kaio was too young at the time to remember, and Tata too old to understand, there was something profoundly magical about the connection they shared together.  The connected in the purest possible realm of existence, where their spirits danced and no words or actions were needed, only a look, a laugh, and maybe a tickle.  Witnessing this is what drives me to believe that children and elderly need to play together.

Friday, October 8, 2010

All About Teeth

A holistic dentist removed the last of my Mercury Amalgam fillings last Monday, in a treatment way cheaper than my conventional dentist had quoted.  The process was also very different.  He gave me supplements of charcoal and chlorella to take prior to beginning.  He created a balloon dam to protect my mouth and throat from flying particles,and he had a vacuum sucking the air in front of my face to catch any further air born particles. The vacuum was lined with little grey spots.  I asked him if those were Mercury, "Yes, they are evidence that this thing works."  
Once they were done, he gave me a kiwi rinse, which is like a magnet for any remaining Hg particles.  To my amazement, even after all the precautions, little pieces of Hg showed up in my rinse spit.  I couldn't believe it.  I had had 5 fillings removed by my conventional dentist, and she did not use any of these precautions, although she assured me that she would get 'everything' using the vacuum sucker and this was the safest way available.  Now I doubt that.  Man, I was even nursing Nala at the time.  Imagine how much Hg I must have ingested and inhaled!  At least I did not feel any noticeable effects following the filling extraction done by my conventional dentist, so hopefully the pieces just flushed right out. 
This time I did notice some extraordinary things.  Like, I have been headache free for the four nights since getting the metal out!  
 For the last 4 years off and on and for the last 2 months straight, I have been waking up with headaches.  Chiropractic care really helped make the headaches go away.  Vacations , yoga and being pregnant also helped :).   Changing pillows and changing beds only makes them worse.  So we have a memory foam bed and pillow, those along with chiropractic adjustments and yoga keep the headaches away.  
But I have not had the chance to visit the chiropractor much this year since his office is very out of the way from my new job. 
So now, magically they are gone!  I don't really understand the relation between metal in my mouth and headaches in the morning like I understand the relation between pinched neck nerves or structural problems while sleeping and headaches.  So I was not expecting this at all.  What a bonus!
I still have three years of dental treatment scheduled.  I'm getting a ALM piece to fix my bite and TMJ, braces to keep the teeth in place after the bite work.  It's pretty expensive stuff.  I was expecting the headaches to resolve after the TMJ work.  What a bonus that they seem to have resolved already!
I'm looking into Mercury detox programs for the kids now.  

Monday, October 4, 2010

Be the Cause

to have a bigger purpose, don't think forwards. think backwards. see, feel, understand the effect you want to have - and then be the cause. - Umair Haque

That quote came from the twitter feed of a business advisor, but it has been sticking in my thoughts as guidance that needs to apply to all our lives.  I noticed, that I've been 80% reactionary, and only 20% proactive in my family's life.  Like, we have made some conscious decisions: move to DC to get better jobs, have kids, and change my schedule to have more time with the kids.  But most of the other circumstances (changing jobs, changing daycare, moving to my mom's house to save money, and looking for preschool) have been reactionary, based on trying to find the best approach to the situation that we landed in.  I think that even the big decision to buy a house was more of a reaction to the fact that we had jobs that paid enough we could afford a house, than a fulfillment of the dream of home ownership.  
Perhaps it is time to step back and think about 'what is the life that we want to lead?'  And then be the cause.  That is the type of 'planning' that we have not been doing.  What exactly do we want our life to look like?   What environment do we want for our kids?  Then take that vision and fill in the steps to make that happen.  I think that could send things on a different trajectory entirely. 


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