Saturday, May 01, 2010

Smooth, Soft Skin

Typically, I'm not a frou frou type girl. I don't spend a lot of time or money on makeup or skin care. Not that I shouldn't; I just never learned about it when I was younger and so didn't develop good skin care habits.

I was over 40 before I discovered smooth, soft skin! What a shame to wait so long. I started using Waiora's Revitalizing Facial Serum and Regenerating Wrinkle Treatment on a regular basis just to combat wrinkles. One day, about a week later, upon inadvertently touching my face, I discovered smooth, soft skin! Wow! I didn't really look different (after all, what product would eliminate wrinkles in a week?), but my skin was so much softer, smoother, silkier. Just wonderful!

Obviously, I'd been missing out on all those good habits practiced by frou frou gals all those years. But not anymore. I get my Facial Serum and Wrinkle Treatment every day now!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Back on GFCF!

Back in June, we took Demi off the GFCF diet. We didn't see a significant difference at first.
However, over the course of the summer, it seemed that her number of tantrums increased.

While on the diet, I had moments of pleasant surprise when I witnessed her doing something more easily than before or doing something new that she couldn't do before. Her tantrum moments decreased to maybe once every two months or so - not that often. (By "tantrum," I mean that she gets fixated on something - something she wants or something that doesn't go as planned - and gets very upset when she doesn't get it or it doesn't happen as she wants. No explanation makes any difference. Redirection doesn't work. She just won't listen to anything.)

By August (after two months off the diet), the tantrums were maybe once a month. Since we hadn't seen them in a while, it was quite stressful. I didn't do a very good job of keeping track, so I didn't have exact numbers. Since supplements had not been 100% regular over the summer, I decided to get them back on a regular schedule and see if that resolved things. It did not. The end of August came and went, and September passed by.

Finally, last Sunday (9/27/09), after another tantrum (because we didn't have eggs to make pancakes), we decided to put her back on the diet. DH had not been terribly supportive of the diet, thinking it didn't help, but even he agreed to put her back on the diet. If the tantrums decrease (I'm trying to keep better track!), I think he'll agree that the diet makes a difference.

In addition to the increased tantrums, I had more moments of unpleasant surprise, when things were harder for her or she suddenly couldn't do something that she had done before. Concepts at school which she had mastered were suddenly lost. Teachers commented that she was inconsistent.

It's been almost two weeks now. Too early to really tell, but we haven't had any tantrums yet - just whiny on occasion. Just yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised that she did her math homework mostly correctly and mostly independently. While she was doing that at the start of school (early August), she has been struggling lately.

I hope I start to see more moments of pleasant surprise again. I don't expect any huge sudden changes, but I realize how those "small," "insignificant" changes really do add up over time. They become big when you start to see them evaporate!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Demi Learns to Ride!

On a lighter note, Demi learned to ride a bike this past week! We are very excited about that! We’ve tried getting her to ride on several occasions over the past few years. Her younger sister has been riding for almost two years now. But I don’t think Demi has been ready until now.

We started by getting her comfortable on the bike without pedals. The seat was low and she could easily put her feet on the ground for stability. She started just by pushing herself around on the level drive way. Next, she was able to coast down a gentle slope in the yard, balancing on two wheels, fairly easily for very short distances. Next, she was able to coast down the gentle slope of our street for a pretty good distance.

Next, we put the pedals back on and encouraged her to coast like before, but with her feet on the pedals. After that, since she had to get back up the slope, she started pedaling on her own relatively easily.

Then it was a matter of practicing to build strength and confidence. By the end of the week, she was able to ride down the street and all the way back up on her own. It's not an insignificant slope! Yesterday, she did that three times!

My husband has been very diligent about practicing with her every night. He bribed her each day with dessert or candy. If she did X, she would get her reward. Although she frequently didn't want to continue, she would toil on to get her reward. He raised the bar pretty significantly each day, but she was up to the task!

Of course, it was not without incident. DH had been running the length of the street with her to ensure she didn't fall over. The first time he had her do it without him, she fell over and skinned her knee pretty badly. The next day, she had new knee and elbow pads, along with little riding gloves. That day, with her new pads, she took another good tumble. Because of her pads, she "only" had bruises on her back and hip where she hit. Since she couldn't see any scratches, she "recovered" remarkably well.

Yesterday, we went to our local BMX track for Dana to practice. Demi was riding on a smooth track around the outside of the BMX track. As Dana was coming off the track onto the smooth path, Demi was coming down a small hill on the same path and (you know what happened) - front end collision! Unfortunately, Demi caught the brunt of it, flew over her handle bars, and landed on her face. :o

So now the poor dear has a skinned knee, a big bruise on her hip, a few scratches on her back, a huge fat lip, and scratches from her nose to her chin. What a rough week! BUT, in true Kabuki fashion, she has not complained at all! She's as cheery and happy as always, proud of herself for her huge accomplishment this week. We are very proud of her, too!

(Demi is 7.5 yo.)

June Update

We have a lot going on this summer, so I’m overdue for an update.

Last week, we went back to the Dr. (pediatrician with a “natural” bent) to discuss Demi’s custom vitamins and next steps. He said if the vitamins helped, we’d see a difference within a month. That hasn’t happened, so I went back to find out what to do next.

I also asked about GFCF. Although I believe GFCF helped with her meltdowns and emotional regulation, I had never seen a huge behavior difference. We've been doing it for 1.5yrs. I asked about re-introducing gluten and casein. He said to do them separately so we’d know if one and not the other caused a problem. He said gluten would be more likely to cause behavioral issues than casein.

We started Demi back on dairy last Friday, with no noticeable side effects. By accident, while at summer school, she was given ‘Nilla Wafers this past Tuesday. So, we’d had four days without casein, which should have been enough to verify that casein did not cause any substantial reactions. So, as of Tuesday, we started her back on gluten. Jury’s still out on that – it’s been five days. So far so good.

At the Dr’s last week, he mentioned three possible next steps: MB-12 injections, bovine colostrum, and neurotransmitters (oral). Of those things, he said the MB-12 injections would have the highest chance of making a difference (as judged by population at large, not Demi specifically) and they were the cheapest option. So, I ordered them and they arrived earlier this week. I’ve opted not to start them just yet, waiting for the gluten to reveal itself (or not).

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

First Grade Retention Part 3

Decisions! Decisions!

At the Pre-IEP meeting, all the teachers recommended retention. I resisted the idea, then kind of got used to it. At the IEP meeting, they all recommended promotion. I went along with it, since that's what I wanted, although I wasn't 100% on it.

Just this past weekend, I started having major second thoughts again. A series of coincidences (are there any coincidences?) made it pretty clear to me that God was sending me a message (hitting me over the head with a brick might be more accurate).

Saturday evening, we went to a church event and I ended up sitting next to a woman with a special needs child and discussing the retention question with her. They had gone through the debate with her 13 yo special needs (ADD, etc, learning disabled) child, ended up retaining her in 5th grade, and then sent her to a private school for learning disabilities for 6th grade where she has thrived.

Sunday morning while sitting in church, I started thinking about all the advantages to retention - confidence in her academic abilities, having school be fun, self-esteem, strengthening her academic foundation, etc. The social aspect that I'd been leaning on - I didn't want her to lose her friends; I didn't want two sisters in the same grade - seemed less important.

After church Sunday, I went to Starbucks instead of going home. Atypical, since my family was at home waiting for me. My cell phone died, so my husband couldn't talk me out of it. So I went and ended up meeting a father and son. Guess what? The son was special. I ended up talking to the father at length about challenges, including the retention debate, which he just went through again for 9th grade.

Something he said made more sense than it had before: At this point in Demi's academic career, we don't KNOW her potential. So we HAVE to give her the best opportunity to succeed academically, which I believe would be retention now, for all the reasons mentioned above.

This week, I received a number of end-of-year assessment results, including CRCT, all of which were more positive than negative. She actually passed (barely!) all of her CRCT's. Although she's struggling, she's getting it. With another year, she'll have a much firmer foundation and perhaps be able to succeed on her own. (I'm always optimistic!)