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And the results are in on Finn’s food allergy/sensitivity testing.  (In case you’re wondering, we did an Organic Acids and IgG testing from Great Plains Laboratory on Finn a few weeks ago.)

The results?

  • He has a pretty decent bacteria problem in his digestive system.
  • He also has a little bit of a yeast problem in his system too.
  • He has a moderate sensitivity to egg whites.
  • He has a low sensitivity to: casein, whey, egg yolk, cow’s milk, cod fish, cashews and yogurt.

Some of those things are related like casein is the protein found in cow’s milk and yogurt.  And egg whites and egg yolks can never really be completely separated.

finnnovember2016

So…what does this all mean?  The answer has 3 parts:

#1: Remove the irritants from the system:

We’ll be removing more things from his diet.  Namely, eggs and casein products (milk, cheese, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream).  We’ve already been gluten-free for a month as well as having eliminated food dyes, artificial flavors, preservatives and a lot of fruits & veggies that have salicylates in them.  Those things (well, not the gluten free) is the basic tenet of the Feingold Diet that we’ve been on since end of October.

#2 Add good stuff back into his diet:

His behavior has been much better (by that I mean a lack of big meltdowns and outburts and he shows more impulse control), we’ll be able to start adding in some things that we originally took out.  Hello tomatoes!  Hello cucumbers and pickles!  Hello bell peppers!  Hello berries!

It’ll be a long process though.  Since his tests came back all clean for those items, we feel good about re-introducing them.  BUT…we still want to re-introduce them one at a time just in case there is a reaction that wasn’t caught on the tests.  And it can take up to 4 days before you see a reaction from a food.  It’s not like his hair will automatically turn purple once a tomato hits his lip.  Instead, the food will get into his digestive system and his body will start to react to it over the next couple of days.  A bad day on Wednesday could have easily been caused by something eaten on Monday.

Our doctor actually recommends waiting a week between introducing new foods.  We’ll see how it goes, but whether it’s 4 or 7 days, it’s gonna be a while before we have a bunch of new foods into our life.

Tomatoes are first though.  Pizza! (Though, no cheese sadly.)  Sloppy joes!  Salsa!  BBQ!  Spaghetti!

#3 Fight the bacteria!

Probiotics to the rescue!  A heavy dose.  A really heavy dose.  Our goal is 50 billion cultures a day.  Yes, 5-0.  Yes, billion with a b.  I was shocked when our doctor recommended it.  But we won’t get there all at once.  We started mid-last week and my goal is to be at 50 by the end of this week – assuming he continues to tolerate it.  We’ll likely stay at 50 billion for a month or so, then back it down to a maintenance kind of dose.

We’ve decided to hold off on treating the yeast problem.  It wasn’t that severe and you can really only medically treat it with an anti-fungal, which isn’t too kid friendly.  So we’ll limit his sugar intake and hope the yeast dies off as the gut gets stronger.

Is this permanent?

I hope not.  For 6 months we’re going to:

  • Do the milk-free and egg-free life.
  • Limit sugar as much as reasonable.
  • Treat heavily with probiotics, then continue a maintenance dose.
  • Continue with the chiropractic care (I don’t think that will be for 6 more months – just a couple heavy-duty).
  • Treat him as if he has a leaky gut and add in fermented foods, switch to organic food as much as possible/reasonable/budget allowed, make our own bone broths, and changing to grass-fed beef.

Then in 6 months, we’ll test again and see what the results tell us!

 

December 2016

Okay, December 2016 isn’t officially over yet, but let’s pretend that nothing momentous is gonna happen in the next few days and this is a “good enough” recap.  I’m loving “good enough” these days!

Highlights:

  • Ben turned 6 months old!
  • We got our first snow — well, enough snow to play in without being enough snow to make the roads a mess.
  • Finn had his Christmas program at his preschool.
  • We had Christmas!
    • We had my sister’s side of the family over a couple of days before Christmas for a “Cousin Christmas”, having spent the morning at Bounce U and then we ate pizza and opened gifts that night.
    • We went to Jeff’s side of the family for Christmas day.  No snow at all!  Weather was rainy in fact.  Not very cold, but windy.
    • The most fought over gift was Stephen’s new toothbrush.  Who knew?!
    • Big highlights: Finn got a real bike (with training wheels).  Stephen got a balance bike.  All the boys got a bounce house/inflatable.
  • Finn’s diet changes & chiropractor treatments are going really, really well.  More about that later, but I’m very happy with some of the differences we’re seeing.  Definitely not out of the woods yet, but major progress is being made.
  • Almost all of us got a cold or something.  Ben had it the worst; his cough lasted for a couple of weeks and really messed with his sleeping schedule.
  • We spent a lot of time in our pajamas – with sickness, days off school, no places to go.  So nice!
  • Jeff had several days off towards the end of the month.  A full day off here.  A half day off there.  It was nice!  We even got in a couple of afternoon movie dates!
  • We had some financial setbacks:
    • Our clothes washer died.
    • Our furnace got “twitchy” and needed some TLC.
    • The check engine light went on for the van.  $1200 later…

Some pictures:

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Ben – 6 months old!

Baby Ben is 6 months old!  (Well, he will be tomorrow.)  He is not a great napper, but is usually in a great mood, so I won’t complain about that.  This was a rough month for him as he developed a cold with a bad cough for a couple of weeks – that threw him off his routine!  But he’s on the mend and the cough is on its way out.  Just in time for Christmas – which is awesome!

His scrapbook page:

month6

A recent picture:

ben6months

Christmas Program 2016

Finn had his first Christmas program tonight.  Brought tears to my eyes – not in a good way.

It was essentially a really short church service where the kids came into the sanctuary, lined up in the front, (posed for pictures), sang 3 songs, a pastor gave a really short message and then the kids sang 3 more songs.

In the ‘pose for pictures’ part, he did okay.  Not great as he kept trying to block parents from taking pictures of their kids.  He kept hug-wrestling the boys next to him.

But when the singing started, he did better.  He mostly stayed in his place, but he didn’t sing.  (He has this thing with singing in a group – says it’s ‘too loud’).  He didn’t do many of the actions to the songs either, but it wasn’t too bad.

During the message, things started to go south. He tried to leave the front, but the teacher stopped him and she sat with him in her lap and he stayed there.  Great.

During the 2nd group of songs, it went really far south.  Texas south.  Mexico south.  Brazil south.  Tried running away again.  Wouldn’t stay in his spot.  Distracted others.  Random-but-luckily-not-too-loud outbursts of other words.

When it was time for the other kids to file out, he then refused to go.  Went all “spaghetti” and wouldn’t move.  Wouldn’t be moved.  Eventually, I went and got him.  Needless to say, we skipped the cookies afterward.

I knew that he had been having a bad day, but wanted to stick with the Christmas program.  If I don’t give him (reasonable) situations to obey and perform, then I’ll never how he’ll do.

We’ve been on the new diet for 8 weeks now.  Been seeing a Chiropractor for 4 weeks (12 treatments).  We have some really good days.  And a few good days in a row too.  But then there will be ‘something’ that will happen and we’ll have 2-3 bad days as if he’s reacting to something.  We just can’t identify what the something is.  It may even be somethings.

Sigh…makes the date complete as our washing machine died today unexpectedly.  Had to replace it.

Ben – 5 months old!

Ben is 5 months old!

Here’s his scrapbook page:

month5

A recent picture:

ben4months

And a video taken a couple of weeks ago:

6 1/2 years now I’ve been cooking for a husband.  Which means very little cereal for supper.

4 1/2 years now I’ve been cooking for at least 1 kid (well, more like 4 years since Finn didn’t eat solids right at birth).

And yet,this past week, 5 out of 7 of the dinners I’ve prepared have been miserable disasters.  3 times we ran out for fast food, given the time frame we had.  Another time we had cereal.  The fifth time, we ate what we wanted (mostly green beans and watermelon) and left the rest.

Oh boy.  It’s not that I don’t have time.  It’s not that I don’t have skills in the kitchen.  It’s not that I don’t have the desire. It’s that we’re trying new things nutritionally and it has me all in a tizzy.  I’m trying recipes that I’ve never made before.  We’ve removed ingredients from our diet that I realized go into a lot of my recipes (I’m looking at you tomatoes!).

I feel like a doofus.  Luckily, Jeff is understanding about it.  Especially when I have to make 2-3 trips to the grocery store when I realize that I don’t have all the ingredients that I thought I had.  And when lunch consists of nachos.  Not the fancy nachos, but nachos that are essentially chips, cheese and beef.

It’s been a rough week in the kitchen!

Our October 2016

I’m pretty good at updating facebook.  And sometimes, Instagram with things that we do.  But I’m really bad at updating my blog.  Which is a bummer because it’s an easier platform to search.  So here’s some quick updates on our October 2016, in no particular order:

KC Chiefs game

As we’ve done every year since we’ve been married (I think), Jeff and I went to Kansas City with his family to see a game. We just go for the day, but it’s kind of a big deal to us – getting babysitters (we got 2 this year!) and being able to just be husband & wife for the day.  It’s fun!

kcchiefsgame

Other:

 

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#1: The older 3 boys and I had an event at Finn’s preschool which fell right into Ben’s naptime, so Papa Bill babysat him.  I came home to Ben asleep on Papa’s lap, listening to jazz music on his phone.

#2 & #3: We played bed switcheroo as Sam was ready to get out of the crib.  We gave him Stephen’s bed since it has built in guardrails and will eventually be the top bunk to Finn’s bed.  Sam was thrilled!  Stephen, however, was not.

#4: Playing in the dirt!  You’re supposed to grow flowers there, but I grow boys.

#5: That’s how they get dirty.  Stephen looks upset, but he was quite happy.  Not so happy about the bath though.

#6: After a long day playing outside, Stephen just conked out.  So cute!

#7: I’m trying my hand at making my own bread — this was my first loaf!

#8: Tic-Tac-Toe.  Finn’s learned how to play, so we play often.  Most games end in a tie.

#9: You know I’m vacuuming because he’s vacuuming.  As soon as I get out the vacuum, he gets out the toy one.  All boys have done this so far.

october2016_2

#1: On days that I have MOPS, we pack a lunch before MOPS.  Finn’s in charge of putting the ice in the cooler.

#2:Then we eat it in the church foyer as we only have 45 minutes between the end of MOPS and the beginning of pre-school.  Great time saver!  I’ve told the boys it’s a “picnic”.

#3:Breakfast with dad!

#4: Lunch on the fort!

#5: Building with Stephen’s new train set expansion.

#6: My boys!

#7 & #8: Playing with “waffle blocks”, which we call “Roads”.  Sam, in particular, is getting better at not destroying what they’ve created.

#9: Sam eating his first apple crisp!  He loved it – especially the ala mode part.