Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I haven't been blogging much. Okay, at all. It's not that I don't want to. I think my issue is that we've really backtracked on FG and I don't feel like I should be giving advice or expounding virtues if I'm not walking the walk. We've had up and downs with Max. Right now, we are having downs. I was really naive about what a struggle going on vacation would be. I brought tons of treats and half a dozen bags of groceries. We still ended up piling infraction on top of infraction. Max's behavior has been proof of that. I think what is hardest for me is that Max's infractions are with approved foods, I.e. dairy, pineapple, etc. The good side of all of this is that I reconfirmed his various intolerances. No dairy. No corn syrup. No chocolate. Watermelon MIGHT be allowed back, so that's exciting. So we are spending the remainder of our time at the beach attempting to pull Max back out of Tantrum Mode. We've yanked all offending foods. I'm pumping him full of digestive enzymes and probiotics. He is at this moment taking an Epsom salt bath. All of his drinks have been dosed with club soda. I know Feingold works. I hate to compare it to something like Alcoholics Anonymous, but honestly, there are a lot of similarities. The program works if you work it. Even small slip ups can lead to disasters. So, right now, we're in a tunnel. We're working our way back out of it. I'm trying to be grateful for the fact that I know what FG is at all.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Peanut Butter Bliss

These are FREAKING delicious. Peanut Butter Blondies -- I can't get over how tasty they are. Everything I've baked since starting FG has been a slightly less delicious/more healthy version of the recipes I love. I've finally found something that tastes fantastic and is FG-approved and healthy.

Peanut Butter Blondies

1 cup peanut butter (I used Trader Joes Creamy/Salted)
1 cup flour (I used spelt)
3 tbsp. Ground flax
6 tbsp. canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. cashew butter

Mix the wet ingredients -- add in the dry. Pour into a greased/parchment papered pan (I used a weird oblong 6x10, but I think a 9x9 would be good.) Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Let them cool before cutting. They are a little crumbly, so you could add more binding if you wanted, but I love the texture. It's almost like the inside of a peanut butter cup.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Coping Mechanisms

 I think I've neglected to realize how easy the FG diet is when LIFE is easy.

Lots of people lament the difficulties of FG -- the expense, the time, the cooking, the reading, the educating yourself and others, the judgement. It's a lot to take in. On the other side of 11 weeks, we felt like we had a pretty good handle on what's what.

Then my dad got sick.

Between full time work and spending evenings at the hospital, there isn't much left for planning meals. Fortunately, I've been able to pack Max's lunches and I haven't had to rely on other people to follow the diet restrictions more than usual. Tonight, I'm actually home and plan to cook something homemade and delicious.

But this is when I understand why people have to start relying on the fast food options. I'll be the first to admit -- when a new FG member comes on the message boards and, within a day of joining, is asking about fast food options, I feel a little irritated. FG is a commitment -- a commitment to whole foods that are cooked at home, mostly by you. It took weeks for us to pinpoint Max's aversions to corn syrup, pineapple, and chocolate. The only one we discovered right away was watermelon. How could you possibly commit to something when you're already thinking about the drive-thru?

Now, though, I think I get it. As I commute from Jefferson to Frederick to Baltimore and back, I've been tempted many times to hit up one of the many chains with bright orange nuggets and crispy yellow fries. I haven't -- I've packed meals and taken them with me. But I've been tired enough multiple times that, had I not had that sandwich or those crackers, I would have stopped for a Big Mac...

So maybe this is a lesson that I should be less judgemental. I don't know what it's like to have multiple children or be a stay at home mom. I don't know what anyone has to deal with in terms of their relatives or their jobs. I do know that, while I continue driving back and forth, I can't promise I won't cave into the fast food convenience. FG is many things, but convenient isn't really one of them. Don't get me wrong. FG is still our savior. It's still a commitment to a life change. The problem, I think, is that life changes happen when LIFE CHANGES -- and that can throw everything into complete upheaval.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Week

I've been sort of struggling with this. I wanted to do something other than my typical Starbucks gift card. I decided that there were few things I, as a teacher, looked forward to more than summer. So I made these little tags that say, "A month until summer -- but who's counting? Wishing you sunny days all year long!" Then I filled these inexpensive plastic ice tubs with a reusable summer-themed tablecloth, butterfly napkins and plates, Popsicle molds and Jelly Belly cherry flavor, sun block, cocoa butter, and Lip smackers. I feel pretty good about it, I gotta say. It's bright. It's cheery. Most of all, I think it shows how very much we love Max's teachers and how important they've been to us.

Hopefully the Buffalo Wing dip and Crab dip I'm making for their lunch next week will turn out just as well!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Beauty of Normalcy

I'm absolutely shocked that Max had a good day today. I hate saying stuff like that, but after a weekend of strep, scarlet fever, actual fever, Advil with artificial flavor, and antibiotics, I was sure that a return to school would be disastrous. It wasn't. In fact, according to Ms. Sarah and Ms. Meagan, it was a great day.

This afternoon, I was waiting for a student to finish a test -- I'd already logged off my work computer and I was staring at the wall when I noticed my FG behavior inventory -- the one I filled out about 9 weeks ago. When I looked back over it, it was amazing to see that so many behaviors had been completely eliminated. Others had become the exception, not the rule.

One thing my parents have said several times is that I need to remember that Max is still a four year-old boy. FG has the tendency to prompt me to forget Max's age in favor of an ideal, a perfectly behaved boy who does nothing wrong. For the most part, Max actually has become that boy -- the only time he falters are in situations where he's anxious (uses his chewie, turtle, or other self-soother) or when he's excited and happy, where he goes up a notch in hyper behavior and will often zoom around like a car, honking and running into walls. I hate that a lot of people see these behaviors more than the every day normalcy -- around others, he's far more likely to be anxious or excited.

Regardless, I know we've made tremendous progress. We've introduced some Stage Two with good results. And today we found out that daycare is going to transition Max from the 3 year old room to the 4 year old room. This is something we never thought we'd see -- and the school is actually prompting it, meaning that they think he's ready. I really, really hope they're right.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


This poor kid just can't catch a break.

Two weeks ago he had the ear infection. We struggled and succeeded in finding dye-free/flavor-free Amoxycillin. Two days later, he erupted in hives. They switched him to Omnicef -- same struggle for FG compliant. Ten days -- no ear infection. Clean bill of health. And now this.

On Friday morning, Max broke out with a non-itching rash on his tummy and chest. Matt emailed me about it and I told him to put some topical stuff on it. Max has really sensitive skin, so this wasn't really a cause for alarm. But when I came to pick him up at school, the rash had spread over his entire body -- hands, hair, face - everywhere. And he had a fever. To the doctor we went.

Strep culture - negative. Consensus? A virus we had to struggle through.

We went home. Over the course of the next two days, Max vomited, had horrible gas and stomach pain, had cold symptoms, had a spiking fever over and over, and was covered head to toe in a pervasive rash. We couldn't shake it. I tried acetaminophen -- the only approved drug on FG for him. Not even a DENT in the fever.

Finally, yesterday, I broke down and gave him the dye-free but artificial flavor-full Children's Advil. I felt terrible about it but, by that point, he was so sick that I didn't care. We'd work through the reaction. He actually hasn't reacted yet, but that doesn't mean he won't -- we've given it to him twice more since the initial dose.

But, this morning, the fever was back, as strong as ever, and so was the rash, which had started to diminish. So off to the doctor we went. And this time? Strep culture - POSITIVE.

How do I feel? Happy. Really. Because even though this means another round of gut-killing antibiotics, I know that there is a source for this illness and it is treatable. I hate viruses -- hate the whole principle of "there's nothing to do but wait." It goes against all my instincts.

So, we're back on Omnicef. Since Max is having strawberries now on the weekend, I put enzymes in those and I'm going to sprinkle Culturelle on his dinner tonight. Hopefully we can balance things out -- and hopefully this will be the last round of ridiculousness for a while!

Friday, April 27, 2012


The IEP meeting was ... fine. It wasn't bad or anything. It was just, well, like our appointments with the behavior specialist, it didn't seem nearly as effective as the FG diet. Most of the behaviors we were experiencing when we made the appointment were things that have improved or disappeared. I should be happy about this, obviously -- and I am. However, I was sort of hoping they'd provide us with some OT sessions at the local elementary school. They did provide us with some documents about doing a Sensory Diet, which is something we're already doing.

So, no IEP for Max. I'm not surprised. But have have some mixed feelings.

Other than that, I have to say that things have been going really well. I mean, REALLY well. Max has been lovely. There was a day or two this week when he seemed a little more surly than he has been lately, but he'd also had a couple of items that could have caused a build-up -- Rice Shreds (Casien), Cucumbers (sals) and Sprite (corn syrup.) We pulled out the cheese and soda (cukes were a one time thing, anyway) and he's seemed a lot better.

I'm starting to consider making this blog more public -- as in, telling friends about it. My family knows and I've got it in my FGBB signature...but since we're seeing such progress and I'm learning so much...I don't know, I feel like I might be able to help someone else. I've got a close friend whose son has really horrible asthma. I hear about parents all the time with kids whose allergies are extreme. People forget that FG isn't only about behavior.

Oh, and I haven't been posting pics -- sorry about that! Maybe I'll do that tonight :)