Where a husband and wife blog to: continue the story told in a book called Dancing in Cornmeal: Life with Autism; enhance the conversation about autism; relieve a writer's need to write; inspire (when the stuff here is really good); network; and share - especially recipes that follow the SCD and Paleo diets. See "Welcome" under TOPICS for a better description, then just keep reading along...

Friday, August 2, 2013

How a Non-Talking Paleo Girl Speaks Clearly

Craig called me to the kitchen, saying, “Lauren just told me something as clear as day.  Come here.”

I thought, ‘What?  Did she set her shoes by the door to the garage, start the Keurig, hand you your keys and pop into the bathroom?’  That’s how she clearly states she would like a car ride.  (Keurig on because Dad always brews himself a quick cup for the drive to keep himself awake.)

When I entered the kitchen, Craig waved his hand like Vanna, drawing my attention to…

8-1-2013 5 Empty shelf where pans are kept:


8-1-2013 2 




:3 pans on stovetop.

8-1-2013 1


2 packages of bacon (that were in the freezer last we knew) & a pair of scissors from the drawer:




“Could she say it any clearer?”

“LOTS OF BACON…”  (he says pointing to bacon packages)…

8-1-2013 3

COOK IT QUICKLY” he says pointing to the 3 pans.

8-1-2013 4

And that, my friends, is how a non-verbal girl gets her paleo on.  (Yes, we ate bacon for dinner that night.)

The next bacon purchase is going into the big freezer that’s behind a locked door.

(Lauren’s communication device is broken, and we’re working on getting it fixed.  It has a “talking” picture of bacon that she typically would press if she desired to have a conversation about bacon.  Yes, “a conversation about” bacon.  It’s not a “press to request” system, or the girl would press that button 3 times a day.) 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Love, Vision, Patience and a Whole Lot of Work: DIY Home Renovation and Autism

The purpose of my last blog post was to convey the positive changes in Lauren and in our house as a result of our renovation.  It didn’t occur to me that it gave a skewed perspective of the last year of our lives.  I thought the adjective “DIY” was enough for any reader to understand that this was not a simple undertaking, and that we’re not working with an abundance of wealth here.  (If we were, we would have hired a contractor for just about everything, as Lauren can keep us busy 24/7 without anything extra on the agenda.)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

We’re Back! Post-renovation Update

Nine months have passed since my last blog post.  I intended no more than six months, but…that’s life with autism.  Our DIY (with the help of friends) home renovation began (as a kitchen renovation) with the removal of an upper kitchen cabinet on Memorial Day weekend 2012.  We officially declared the renovation “complete” on Memorial Day weekend 2013. The label “complete” was for the purpose of sanity.  There is quarter-round molding to be installed, a few paint touch-ups to be made, placement of electrical switches to be perfected.  (Craig’s ability to do this himself, and Lauren’s '”interest in” light switches, results in more migrating of switches in our home than in the average home.)  Our house is exactly 40 years old this year, so there are always problems to be addressed.  So like it was before the renovation, and ever shall be, there will never be a lack of home improvement projects to choose from each weekend.

The facts that deem the renovation “complete” are:
Our home is 100% livable.  We can cook any meal without lack of any appliance.  We can have guests over (even overnight) and there is space for everyone to be comfortable.  And I am happy with the home I have to present to the world.  I no longer think, “We can have so-and-so over after such-and-such is done.”
So now that you know “complete” is relative, onto the important question.

Did the renovation accomplish all that we hoped it would for Lauren’s world and our relationship with her?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

So . . . What Do We Eat?

My last post told what the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) and Paleolithic Diet (Paleo) each entail.  It also clarified that we have been cooking (and Lauren has been eating 100%) according to the SCD since 2005; but we have all been following Paleo for quite a few months, with some very nice results.  The natural next question is:  “But what do y’all really eat?!” 
I love most of the Paleo Pros out there who are happy to share info. It Starts with Food authors and founders of The Whole9, Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, have a 60 second explanation to “What do you eat?!” which they are happy to share with other bloggers.  Here is that quickie explanation:
I eat real food – fresh, natural food like meat, vegetables and fruit.  I choose foods that are nutrient-dense, with lots of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, over foods that have more calories but less nutrition.  And food quality is important – I’m careful about where my meat, seafood and eggs come from, and buy organic local produce as often as possible.
This is not a “diet” – I eat as much as I need to maintain strength, energy, activity levels and a healthy body weight.  I aim for well-balanced nutrition, so I eat both animals and a significant amount of plants.  I’m not lacking carbohydrates – I just get them from vegetables and fruits instead of bread, cereal or pasta.  And my meals are probably higher in fat than you’d imagine, but fat is a healthy source of energy when it comes from high-quality foods like avocado, coconut and grass-fed beef.
Eating like this is ideal for maintaining a healthy metabolism and reducing inflammation within the body.  It’s good for body composition, energy levels, sleep quality, mental attitude and quality of life.  It helps eliminate sugar cravings and reestablishes a healthy relationship with food.  It also works to minimize your risk for a whole host of lifestyle diseases and conditions, like diabetes, heart attack, stroke and autoimmune.

For the rest of the post from which I borrowed this quickie explanation, check out: Nutrition in 60 Seconds
But what does our little family eat?  How do we mix it up and not get bored?

Monday, August 13, 2012

What is the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and how does it work?

Okay, so now that I have caught you up on how Lauren is doing, and it’s clear that most of our good news is the result of our discovery in 2005 of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), I’m ready to answer more fully the question, “What is the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and how does it work?”  So here comes the craziest synopsis of SCD you’ll ever read. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Building Out Life

About 6 weeks ago, after sending an email to a professional, I noticed that I had written that I was “building out my calendar” and needed to verify a few appointment times.  I thought, ‘that’s a funny way to say that—building out my calendar.’  I pictured myself getting off the phone with a pencil behind my ear, but then taking a nail from between my teeth to drive it into a 2 x 4 to create a sturdy frame in which to house the people, ideas and supplies involved with my appointment.  It made me smile at the time, but then I didn’t think about it for weeks . . . until today.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

We Can’t All Be Morning People

Lauren was in a fabulous mood upon getting out of bed today.  While helping her in the shower, she was smiling while looking at the T-shirt I was wearing, which is a favorite of mine. 

“Mama’s T-shirt is pretty silly, isn’t it?”  I said.  She giggled and I said, “What’s so funny?”

Lauren quickly tapped a point on my shirt and I knew where she had pointed.  Here’s a photo of the front of my T-shirt:
Lauren had tapped the 3rd ducky and then giggled again. 

Okay, it wasn’t actually morning when Lauren got out of bed.  It was a few minutes after 12 Noon, as she hadn’t been interested in going to sleep until around 3 AM this morning.  Mom had slept in a bit, too.  It was definitely an inside joke.

Exchanges like this keep me firmly hanging onto the notion that Lauren can read.  Or was the “down ducky” enough of a joke to her?    (Or maybe the googly-eyed duck was the silly part . . .?)

Anyway, it was a lovely exchange that added cheer to my morning . . . er . . . afternoon. 

Written May 20, 2012