Thursday, July 23, 2009

Diet clean-up and finding hidden MSG

On Tuesday we had our monthly visit with Little R's DAN! doctor. During this visit Little R had his finger pricked for something called a Food IgG test. Poor Little R was scared, struggled and cried as his dad held him tight for the prick. But he saw the blood coming out, he was calm and interested. Little S was interested too as she looked on.

Once the taking of the blood was done, we talked about how this month was for Little R. Every time we go to see this doctor (especially since we pay a whole lot of money to see him) I always write a detailed summary of the past month. After skimming over my one page report, Dr. G commented that nothing positive was going on: Little was overall more hyperactive, regressed in speech (from string "I want" + item to not saying it), overnight incognitence and a lot of ABC behaviours. ABC (antecedent, behavior and consequence) behaviours. So for example, I would ask him to brush him teeth (antecedent), then Little R would flop (behaviour) and then he's supposed to face a consequence. Anyway, I had a lot of flopping, whining, jumping and babbling loudly on his duct-taped bed. And he would put up a lot of resistance taking his supplements (something he didn't really have a problem with the month before).

The doctor asked what additives I was giving to Little R. Since I mostly make everything myself I usually have a good idea of what ingredients Little R ingests (except for things other people give him that are prepackaged in a language I can't read and the gluten-free pizza from PizzaPizza). I responded that we had added back in soy (we did that so that the Food IgG test would accurately show if Little R had an intolerance or a sensitivity to it) for the month as well as used some nutritional yeast in some dishes. He pointed out to me that many ingredients that are MSG or that have MSG effects are hidden under different names. Wow. Here are some helpful links to understand what free glutamic acid is, and what other names it's hidden under:

Yesterday, despite warnings of thunder showers in Toronto, we decided to go to Centre Island for a family bike ride. The day was going well even though we did not get across to the islands (just found out today that the ferries weren't open because of some big civil strike in TO), then we got hungry. We stopped in Sobey's (an expensive grocery store) on the Habourfront. DH led us in the sushi section and picked up a package of vegetarian roll and cucumber roll. It wasn't until we finished our purchase, sat down at a bench before I decided I should read the ingredient list (which I normally do - but I wasn't suspicious of the sushi). Well, it turned out that the seasoning in the rice contained high corn fructose (bad sugar) and MSG among some other things that I think are not necessary in sushi.

After 4 pieces of vegetarian roll and 4 pieces of cucumber roll dressed with some green wasabi, pink ginger (hint hint: possible food colouring?) and soy sauce I actually felt a gush of migraine flush into the back of my head. At first I thought it could have just been the wasabi, but as the afternoon wore on, the headache worsened. I was in bed before 9PM, clothes left unfolded... and I was NOT going to take Tylenol or other synthetic drug (strong intention, anyway). Luckily this morning I was fine when I got up at 5:45 AM. So, what was it? Was it the MSG? I'm not sure because I've had MSG before and I don't remember headaches coming on that strongly.

Please do go on the links to find out more about free glutamic acid in our food. I really think it's quite important to know what we eat, and what we feed to our children.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Little S and Little R Report for Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Meow, meow! It's me, H-Cat. I'm hardly in the house during these beautiful warm days of summer. I like going outside and having fun. I do come in the house here and there to eat and be pet, though.

Little S has been talking up a storm with her "I want ..." and she's been petting us nicer, too. Little R was saying "I want" for about two weeks, then he stopped on Saturday afternoon. It seemed that it was too much for him. The world seems to expect so much from the little guy. So, the expectation is for him now is to ask with one word (the item that he wants) again. Then they're going to build with "want" + the item. I can understand him perfectly with my cat telepathy, but the rest of the world wants him to talk like them. Oh, well.

The front yard and backyard do look a lot more attractive than before. I still get to hide in the hedge in the front, but it's been trimmed a whole lot. The big shrubs in the front are now like huge bonsai trees. They've planted other things in the beds as well as surrounded them with big rocks. The kids seem to like this too. Little R was helping with all this home yard improvement. Little S kept trying to run (or walk very fast) away from everyone. I think she wants to be free like my brother and me.

Little S came downstairs while we were upstairs, and she ate from my bowl! That little girl is getting into everything. I think she liked our food, too. I hope she doesn't try eating our food again because there could be ants in it... that's another reason we stay mostly outdoors these days. I don't know how they got so many ants in the first place, but it looks like they've been here for years and years.

Little R has been hyperactive when going to bed in the last week. His poor mother has to stay with him in his room singing and reminding him to lie down and go to sleep until he does. Tonight was an improvement; he slept around 9:15 PM. At least Little S has been sleeping well, and still getting up at 5:45 AM or so. It's good when she wakes the adults up so that they can open the door for me to come in and eat my breakfast. Little S has been off of breast milk for over 60 hours now, and I clearly notice her withdrawal symptoms. Poor little girl, but she's growing more independent.

Meow. It's almost bedtime for the adults... I'd better bug them for food before they sleep. Meowhow.

Monday, July 6, 2009

"I want juice!" says Little S

"I want juice!" I've been saying this since last Saturday after Brother got his juice. I've been saying this phrase for cookies too. Sometimes I even say and sign "pease" (I can't pronounce the 'l' yet), and the adults think I'm really cute so they give me what I want. I think that using words may even be more effective than my loud cries and wet tears. But I still cry to get my way.

Today was a rainy day. Brother came upstairs for lunch with Liz at 12:30 PM as usual. But after lunch, and after Liz left we didn't go out for our usual afternoon wagon ride. I love walks. I get my shoes when I hear Daddy say walk. I can't put them on yet, but I try. I also know to wear my hat, and sometimes I get shoes and hat for brother, too. We watched some Barney instead of the wagon ride. We love Barney!

Finally, Mama took us out to the backyard to play. I went straight to the sand table to play while Brother swung on the swing with Mama. Then I saw the bucket of water for the plants, so I started shovelling water into some pots with plants. Brother saw me and started scooping more water out. We both got a little wet. Then Mama put the bucket on the other side of the gate. But Brother and I had other things to play with like the trampoline. Brother likes imitating what I do. When I lay down to look at the sky, he did this too right beside me! He made me laugh gleefully.

When I tried to dig in Mama's garden, Mama kept ushering me away, but I persisted. Then Brother brought a little basket over, and we filled it with pine cones, topped them with grass and presented it to Mama. She was delighted to see such a nice basket. But what was more delightful was watching Brother and me co-operate in collecting the pine cones so quietly and harmoniously.

Mama said it was time to go inside, but Brother wanted to fill the watering can with the hose. He somehow managed to open the gate (he is growing taller and taller day by day), so I managed to escape almost onto the street, but Mama caught me. However, that just gave the chance for Brother to bolt in the direction of the stumpy cedar hedge. Luckily, he did not go through the tree trunks. It was starting to pour rain, and Brother ran off into the direction of Mama's vegetable garden while she put me back into the house behind the sliding glass door. She ran and brought Brother back in.

After supper I got my juice from saying "I want juice", and Daddy took Brother and me for a walk too. And now I'm in bed sucking my thumb happily.

Friday, July 3, 2009

"I want..."

Little R has been learning how to use "I want" plus the item that he wants. Most parents with typical kids would probably want their kids to stop saying "I want," but for us, it's a milestone that takes consistent and persistent effort. Once he masters this string of words (subject -verb-object), we will start replacing these words. So, we could replace "want" with "have" or "give", etc.

Therapy is going well, but what is very important is for us to implement the things that Little R has learned or is learning during the time Elizabeth is with him. She works with Little R Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 1 PM. Little S also helps by providing him with some socialisation and a playmate. He imitates her when she plays, crawls up and down the stairs, walks and sits. It's delightful to see the two enjoying each other's company. Little R always gives Little S his cookies and strawberries. In fact, he will get things for her that she can't reach. Little S is like a little commander with a high pitched baby voice.

Here's a few recent little pictures. So much to do, very little time to get on Internet. Hope everyone is doing well!

Little S has started to use the toilet like her brother, and it's been going very well. She likes doing what her brother does. When I used to put her on the potty on the floor, she would get up and go away, but being on the high toilet prevents her from doing that.

Little S still loves being carried around. She is getting heavier and bigger, so we'll do it for as long as my back can handle it; however, my back has been tingling since November 2008.

"Eat," says Little S. She's pointing at herself at this photo as I'm typing. When I was bringing the things in from the car, Little S found a red bean bun and started eating it. It was quite cute! DH couldn't believe his little girl ate his big bun.

"Daddy!" says Little S right now pointing at his photo. "Walk!" This is her new word. Little S loves taking walks, and she likes walking off, too. She is very cognisant of what she does. This was taken in Guelph while taking a nice walk on Old Quebec St. with our friends Jon, Danielle and Maya.

I made it to the tail end of our annual mom and baby group this year at Cassells Park in Toronto. It was a great playground that Little R took to right away.