Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It is the little things........

I have been using the dish washer again, FOR ALL THE DISHES. Yes even the kids cups, plates and utensils. Yes in the same load with all the other dishes. Do I rinse off every bit of food from the dishes used for my food, yes.

This is a big step for us. For years we didn't put the kids stuff in the dishwasher for a few reasons. Firstly we couldn't risk washing the kids stuff with ours because they were just that sensitive. Secondly we could not find a dishwashing soap that wasn't filled with chemicals and corn (GMO corn is in everything here in the US). Lastly it just wasn't cost effective to put a handful of dishes in there alone.

I am back on GAPs finally as we are settling in well. So late one night or morning around 2am I was just too tired to stand and wash a kitchen full of dishes. I put a load in that night and the next morning I did a second load. The kids have been fine and the new dishwashing detergent is wonderful (Nellie's nuggets). I no longer even have to stand washing what feels like a million glass bottles (which have a billion little pieces covered in broth fat) and sippy cup nipples. They all go in the dishwasher too!

Some people might not get this simple joy, but for me it makes my life feel just a little "normal". Yes it is normal for me to be awake at wee hours of the morning cooking the kids food :) and still be in the kitchen whole day!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


For those of you who have kids without poop issues feel free to stop reading here. For those of you in my shoes it is one more thing that GAPs helps.

If you have a child anywhere on the PI spectrum, from MSPI to EGID you know poop usually consumes your daily life......

Well it did for a long time, but not any more! It is rare for us to see the burn-your-skin-off-after-a-few-seconds-of-contact-in-the-diaper-poop in our house anymore.

GAPs is healing the kids and sensitivities to foods are not violent severe reactions that they once were. They are there because we are still healing but they are not sending me into panic mode anymore.

The reason for this post was to say, since the first day of bringing a baby into our house we have finally had a "normal" smelling poop!!!!

This is HUGE and means gut bacteria is slowly but surely being balanced out! Which means this just may be the last post on this blog ever about poop!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Grateful in many ways...

It has been a crazy year filled with many challenges for the kids and I. We spent the summer prepping for our move from the West Coast to the North East. We left the West Coast mid august and by the end  of August we found a place in the North East. The kids missed the West Coast and unfortunately (and fortunately) the North East did not work out for a few reasons. By the weekend of October 26th we evacuated the kids to Florida due to Hurricane Sandy. We just could not risk being without power indefinitely with their mainly meat diet. The kids and I have not been back since. Once again we have moved. Within 3 months we have lived in three different states! It has been tough on us all, but the kids are finally settling here and I think they will enjoy their first winter without any playing in the snow just fine. They love the beach.

Now onto all the things we are grateful for!

1. We are thankful for our wonderful family and friends who have been there for us always, and especially new friends who have helped us with these moves without really knowing us for long. Without their help I don't think we would be where we are today!

2. We have had to leave friends (who are like family) behind on the West coast and our hearts are still there. We miss you all! However we are thankful to be close to family here. The kids can grow up like I did with cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents around more often, and our West Coast friends can come visit.

3. I am ever grateful for wonderful online support community for healing using GAPs! Every day we move a step forward and sometimes backwards but these families support each other through the good and bad.

4. I am thankful because the kids are CHEWING!!!! Both children have oral sensory problems and for a long time could not chew. Textures are an on going battle, however they are both CHEWING meat! We have come a long way from children who would gag and regurgitate meat pureed finer than baby food. It has taken one year and three months to get here and it feels wonderful! They only chew ground lamb or beef but that is not a problem because we can ground any cut of meat and I can hide new vegetables into the meat (they do not like trying new foods)

5. Last but not least. The kids are EATING more than two foods!!!!!! If you look at the list of what the kids eat you would see it has grown quiet a bit! We had a goal of a few foods this year and I think we have surpassed that goal. It seems like from here on out we are going to be moving on up! It has not been easy and has been filled with many bumps and hiccups. However we are getting there and that is all that matters.

Slow and steady!

Once we settle into our new place more time will finally be allocated to updates.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Bye bye binky, binky, bye, bye!

If anyone watches Sesame street these days they know this song all to well. Even a parent trying to get rid of a binky might know the song. Well we have not gotten rid of our binkies yet but even better we have gotten rid of our bottle nipples and finally said good bye to elemental formula! Yaaahoooooooo!!!!!!!!

The bottle nipple happened while we were traveling for work on the east coast on June 1st and the formula happened the day after big girl's birthday! I was so busy I didn't have time to be excited for either. However a few days later when things settled down it dawned on me what we had accomplished.

Go back two years when my big girl was just a year and we were in hell trying to figure out what was wrong with her. She didn't eat, she cried a lot, she never slept for more than 20 mins at a time. I was pregnant and trying to get her to meet milestones. Meaning I was thinking that she would be reaching all the "regular" milestones like getting rid of the bottle by 12-18 months along with the binky, eating food and other things. Not sure if I was in denial that these things weren't going to happen or if I just felt pressured by everyone that these type of things should happen regardless of what else was going on in our lives. I soon came to realize that I would need to throw those ideas out the window and take on a "screw everyone" mentality (for want of a better term) for the sake of my child's needs. So we did it, we threw expectations out the window and stopped trying to force her to do things that she just could not handle while in constant pain and discomfort. It was a huge weight off my shoulders and I think hers too because we didn't sweat the small stuff anymore.

Along came little man and low and behold he has been meeting all these milestones without us even trying. You see he never had to endure the pain, tests and doctors that his sister did (because we had a clue the second time around about his special needs). He has more or less been a "typical" baby for the most part and hence is very adaptable in situations like this.

The best part is we follow his lead and so does his big sister :D She refused to drink anything out of a sippy cup until he started doing it. She was over two and very resistant and he was newly turned one and though not eager to try new things he would take a shot at it. In one evening I had both kids drinking water out of sippy cups because he tried it so she followed suit. Then we learnt about the chemicals in plastic baby bottles (yup even BPA free ones) and I decided we were changing them to glass bottles (and yes we still needed bottles for a few reasons, one being we used up to 12 each night for night time feedings). I had no clue how to change big girl to a new bottle because previous attempts had failed many times. So.... I tried him first and he made the switch no problem. We quickly ran to the store to buy enough glass bottles to last 24 hrs. She followed him no problem. The born free glass bottles have a sippy cup spout you could buy to use. I started buying them to use for water and both kids were fine with it. During the day I started slowly giving them their "milk" (bone broth) with the sippy cup spout. Of course she was fine with it because little man was doing it. I tried numerous times to use the sippy cup spout during the night time feedings but it would result in screaming from big girl so we used bottle nipples at night. Then one night we only had a bottle left with the sippy cup spout and little man drank it to go to bed, so I offered big sister the same and.....SHE DRANK IT!!! I promptly told hubby that we were not turning back! We threw out the nipples promptly.

Any one who knows our journey thus far knows how much we have been through, knows that Hayls has oral sensory issues, knows she won't chew most food and we spend hours pureeing lamb and carrots to the smoothest consistency. So this is a really BIG deal for us. I am excited and proud to say we weaned from the bottle at 20 and 35 months respectively!

Now onto the formula! When we started GAPs very slowly last July/August the kids were drinking about 40-50 ozs each (per 24 hrs) of elemental formula as their main nutrition. So we started with a teaspoon of broth at a time and as we increased broth and other food we decreased formula. The reason for going very slow was to avoid any discomfort for the children. Ten months later by big girl's birthday each child was only on about 1 oz of forumla (per 24 hrs, a tiny amount sprinkled into their broth). The night of Hayls party a friend (her daughter has the same problem as my kids and is also healing on GAPs) reminded me about something. She told me that 1 oz of formula could not be "helping" the children in anyway so why even bother. That night we dropped the formula! There has been no looking back since. The funny thing is once we got the formula down to that 1 oz the kids started to sleep better and this continued when we dropped it. Sometimes we get both kids sleeping 8 hrs straight. However for the most part Hayls wakes once and little man twice but this is so much better than 4, 5 or 6 times!

So long story short we have made leaps and bounds in our little world! We are beaming with pride and happy to be making progress!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Slow and steady wins the race

I was always an impatient person. I hardly rechecked my tests or assignments before handing them in (yes even in college). I just didn't have the patience. I always wanted things done right away and once I thought of something to do I would jump on getting it done, even at 2 am.

Then I had a baby with something the Drs couldn't figure out and my patience started to wear thin. No one could "fix" her, no one could help us or give us answers.

Two and a half years later I have learnt by experience that slow and steady wins this race and with it comes a lot of patience.

We are still at the same number of "foods" but are slowly plowing forward. We tried Elk broth two weeks ago and both kids got cranky with runny noses at the same time. Coincidence? No clue if it was the elk or if they both caught something at the exact same time. We decided to store the elk in the freezer and move onto fish. However, before that we added in fermented cod liver oil applied to the skin and gave that a few days to be sure it was OK. No rashes or problems with it yet, besides the smell, YUCK! As a lotion we also use coconut oil on the skin and no problems with that thus far.

For those of you that don't know, food or products applied to the skin can cause reactions so we have to go slow even with these applications.

We are happy that the food products are growing over time even if applied to the skin :)

The kids are doing great and therefore so are we. Last weekend Hayls even slept for 12 hrs straight! Of course she hasn't done it since but it was great and a sign of progress on GAPs even at our beyond snail pace.

Thank you everyone for your support!

We soon come fish, we soon come ;)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New year, New hope and a totally different way of life!

As 2011 came to an end I breathed a sigh of relief. We had set goals for a least one new food for Hayleigh for 2011 and well Heath we just were going to wait...............

We are happy to say that GAPs intro is working well so far and in 2011 we aim for over six new foods for each child.

Since starting GAPs in September we have moved verrrrryyyyy slowly from a diet of mainly elecare formula (yummy genetically modified corn based amino acid formula for kids like my own who have severe illness or digestive issues with a side of chemicals in the lovely cans) to avoid "die-off" for both children.

Some may ask what on earth is "die-off" and what in heaven's name has gotten into this woman? "Die-off" from what I understand is where the bad gut bacteria is being starved off and toxins are released into the body. A person with EGID or any other PI problem most likely has a lot more bad bacteria than good in the gut. Therefore as you do GAPs introduction diet and try to restore the balance of gut flora a person can become very sick. My sister and I both experienced some horrible "die-off" and it wasn't something I wanted to subject the kids to all at once.

So besides being able to eat carrots and lamb meat along with drinking lamb, beef (with very tiny amounts of beef in it) and chicken broth (also with very tiny amounts of chicken in) we have been able to add a little treat of "jello" for Hayliegh. We buy pure bovine gelatin, juice carrots or ginger and add a few drops of honey.

They are both on a probiotic that is GAPs "legal", nystatin to control the yeast (which as Hayls tolerates more juiced carrots we will reduce) and iodine applied to the skin (people with digestive issues tend to lack iodine and the skin is the best way to absorb it) to help us move forward.

Next on our list is lamb liver and either fish or venison broth and meat. Also more supplements to help them along and varying the type of sea salts we use to maximize the trace mineral intake.

There are a lot more things to add as we go but because the children have an EGID we are going very slow. Some people can move through the intro in a few weeks. I think it will take us minimum 2 years but slow and stead wins the race so we like slow :)

The learning curve has been very steep, we are still climbing and I don't think there is a plateau. That said, I am loving and embracing the learning. I am happy to know what I have learnt about SAD (standard American diet) which most of it is quite disturbing to me, but that is for another post.

Welcome to 2012!

Saturday, November 5, 2011


We have been very busy since coming home this summer. The main reason being we started GAPs with the kids. It stands for Gut and Psychology syndrome and is an old theory revived and reviewed by Dr. Natasha Cambell McBride in the UK. In short it talks about the connection between an unhealthy gut and different psycholgoical syndromes. However in this book she also addresses how to heal the digestive tract of people with non-ige food allergies, or sensitivities as she refers to them. An imbalance of gut flora can cause allergies which can then cause psychological and neurological problems. Hence the term gut and psychology.

We started very slowly in august on the GAPs intro and will continue to move forward slowly. We started by introducing chicken broth, then lamb broth, beef broth and now goat broth and lamb meat. We are ecstatic to have 2 foods for Hayls and Heath (he passed carrots over summer). Our goal for the year was one more food for Hayls and we have reached it (hopefully we exceed it). Not to mention the 4 broths they are both having. We will move forward with rabbit, pork and duck. Once we can find good sources (ensuring the meats are grain free) we will add more varity of meats.

It is so exciting to be able to FEED the kids. We have hope again!