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...

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

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Weird Things We Did This Week—July 21, 2012

Cut a hole in a wall.   Okay, so I could try to sell the cutting a hole in our wall as a renovation design choice.  But let’s face it.  I would never have considered the hole in the wall as part of our remodel design had I not been problem-solving around autism. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Real Story of the Last 10 years: Part IV: Awesome Kids and a Stronger Marriage

Here is another, and the LAST, of some other valid perspectives on “the rest of the story” or “our family’s last 10 years with Lauren.”

We raised some awesome kids and grew a stronger marriage.

This is the last, and one of my favorite, perspectives of the last ten years.  I’ll start with the awesome kids.  Lauren is our awesome kid that my book and this blog has told much about  and will tell more about; so this post is really to mark some appreciation for our other awesome kid—the unsung typical sibling, Bryn.  Bryn happens to be a lover of virtually all things that life has to offer, a fine musician, a talented artist, a creative crafter, a respectful daughter, and a good friend.  But the pictures I’ll post here are representative of the thing that she is that has brought the most unexpected, happy tears to my eyes over the years—she’s a sincerely loving sister.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Real Story of the last 10 years: Part III: Dear Friends and Loving Gestures

Here is another of many valid perspectives on “the rest of the story” or “our family’s last 10 years with Lauren.”

We were surrounded by dear friends and loving gestures.   That’s also a great description of what our life with autism looked like over the past ten years. 

There’s no way I could remember the many blessings in the order they occurred.  I don’t have files with dated invoices and names on top for each occurrence like I do to help me recount the medical history.  (Wow, that makes me reflect on what I obsessively save in a highly organized fashion!)  But even without such memory aids, these events are what I can retrieve easily in my brain, whereas, for the life of me, I can’t remember the name or office location of the last neurologist Lauren saw.

So here’s more of the REAL rest of the story with a perspective of gratitude, with a promise that the first mentioned isn’t necessarily “first,” and the last mentioned isn’t necessarily “last.”  Every memory and person included should be considered FIRST in that it/he/she are important to who Craig, Bryn, Lauren and I are today, and was worthy of mention in this blog post. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Real Story of the last 10 years: Part II: We Homeschooled

 We homeschooled. That’s actually what happened over the past ten years. We homeschooled.

Here is another of many valid perspectives on “the rest of the story” or “our family’s last 10 years with Lauren.”

We homeschooled.   And we celebrated life.   That’s also what we’ve been doing for the past ten years. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Real Story of the last 10 years: Part I: I Prayed for a Dog

I prayed for a dog. That’s actually what happened over the past ten years. I prayed for a dog.

My last blog post told about our family’s last ten years, with Lauren’s health and healing at the center. It was a story that needed to be told, but it was a very limited perspective of the experiences of Lauren and our family over the past ten years.

Today I looked at our old dog, Trooper, and realized that he provided another quite valid perspective to the story. Because I began praying for that dog about the same time my prayers for Lauren became quite frantic. And then I thought about the many good and sweet things that have happened over the past ten years and what a shame that “Lauren’s story” couldn’t include those aspects. But it can. And it shall. Yes, it needs to be a whole new blog post, or maybe multiple posts, so our readers don’t unplug and throw their computers in fear of a long-term commitment each time a new post comes in from our site. So here’s another of many valid perspectives on “the rest of the story” of our family’s last 10 years with Lauren.

I prayed for a dog. And we hiked. The two actually go together.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Catching up: 10 Years since Dancing in Cornmeal

Warning: This is the long promised, as well as just SUPER LONG, blog post that serves as “the rest of the story” to Dancing in Cornmeal: Life with Autism. I began writing this post the week of Lauren’s 20th birthday, and intended the title to be 10 Years of Catching Up—on Lauren’s 20th Birthday! But long stories take time to tell. So instead, here we are 10 years after the release of the book (approximately—it was spring). The story stopped when Lauren was 10 years old, so . . . same thing really.

One of the purposes of creating this blog was to share our success and to network concerning diet, specifically SCD and Paleo, so heads up that there is quite a bit of medical history and diet talk in this post. I tried to keep it as streamlined as possible, but . . . Lauren’s story is what it is, and streamlined is not a descriptor I’ve ever used for it!

Part I: Intro

In the 10 years since writing Dancing in Cornmeal: Life with Autism, our family has been through a lot with Lauren. Dancing in Cornmeal helped to define “a lot,” as will this blog post.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Weird Things We Did This Week

I have a dear long distance friend who has a blog on which she posts “Best Things of the Week” just about every week, usually with wonderfully descriptive photos of each “best thing.” I enjoy keeping up with her life this way. And now she’s inspired me. I’ve decided that, as they occur, I am going to post “Weird Things We Did This Week.” (I foresee posting under this heading weekly, but maybe we’re not as overwhelmed with weirdness as I perceive. We’ll see.) Of course, all weirdness listed will be things we did to accommodate autism. We keep hoping people realize we’re forced to do “weird things” because of the autism. I think long-term friends often forget we have an “unusual circumstance” and have grown fond of us “just being weird,” rather than “having to be a little weird because of the autism.” Now, I’m not saying I’m not a fan of weird. Intellectually, I am highly appreciative of any person, thing, natural phenomenon, whatever, that steps outside of a predictable box. But . . . hanging out in a nice, quiet, unnoticeable, easy-to-maintain box would be nice for a change, too.

So, for the first installment “Weird Things We Did This Week.”

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Photos of Lauren at 20

So that our readers have a visual of whom they’re reading about (and maybe for whom they’re praying?. . . I can only hope), I looked through all the snapshots I took of Lauren over the past year. I’d hoped to post a good one that would represent her at 20 years old (or close enough). Well, I have not a single flattering picture of an anxiety-free Lauren making eye contact!

But today it was almost 70 degrees! (Gotta love mid-winter in Georgia.) So Craig, Lauren and I took a walk in our neighborhood. I brought the camera with plans to snap away the whole walk, knowing success is statistically proportionate to number of attempts. And that Lauren has been in a fabulous mood all day. (Okay, this may be an even better indicator of success in Lauren’s case!) So here we are. I didn’t get just one keeper, I got quite a few. Here are the many (happy) faces of Lauren at 20.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Peace on Earth: Lauren at 20

Craig and I dread the holidays for many more reasons than the average Scrooge. Transition is tough on OCD, prone-to-defcon-levels-of-anxiety Lauren. Figuring out how to introduce new music, activities and decorations to our lives without disturbing Lauren’s peace has required some Major General level strategic planning. Thankfully, after many years of exposure to the bling that is the Christmas season, Lauren (generally a fan of bling) is now a fan of most things Christmas. For about 6 or 8 years now, Lauren’s been happy to allow the Christmas tree and stockings to remain once we put them up. About 3 years ago, she began to appreciate that wrapped gifts are omens of good things to come—even worth the stress of idiot grown-ups telling her “Break the rule! Rip the paper!!!” (Yes, we are always sorry come January when we are trying to tape back together entire favorite books of torn out pages, while stupidly reminding her, “If you rip it, it’s broken and you can’t read it anymore.”)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Craig's Intro

Today, Craig and I set up this blog so that it isn’t just mine. It’s now both of ours. It’s even a family blog. Lauren doesn’t type yet, but maybe our older daughter, Bryn, will even contribute someday! The change was made because we hope to share what’s worked for Lauren and for our family. That includes the new way we eat, and a bunch of fabulous recipes. But Craig is chief cook (and fabulous chef in the making) in this house, so it seemed wrong for him to have to pass his info to the blog through me. Particularly as his perspective is different from mine, and sometimes his perspective and wording is priceless. Who am I to act as a sieve between him and the world? So, as better intro to “who Craig is,” here is his first post. Enjoy!

I’ve often heard that life is an adventure, but for me I think it’s more of a mission. Not just any mission, but a critical mission. I consider life’s mission much like Apollo 13 and the famous phrase “Failure is not an option.” I have two wonderful daughters, Bryn and Lauren. When they were little, our family appeared to be ready for life’s adventure and the typical things two girls move through from toddlerhood through becoming adult young women. Much like the engineers, controllers and astronauts of the Apollo 13 spacecraft, we anticipated a typical mission like many predecessors had successfully manned before us. Usual safety and technological protocols were in place, so using the best equipment, and with careful watch, the mission should go as planned. For Apollo 13, that plan included a simple landing of man on the moon for the third time. For my wife Nannette and I, the plan for our daughters included high school, probably college, marriage, grandkids and other things most typical parents experience.

Two days into the Apollo 13 mission, an oxygen tank exploded changing the best laid plans from what was expected, landing on the moon, into one of the greatest rescue missions the world has experienced. Although the famous phrase, “Failure is not an option” is more movie lore than reality, the engineers and mission controllers believed it and knew the lives of the men on that craft were in their hands.

Twenty months into the life of Lauren, she was diagnosed with autism, changing the expectations of parents with two typical daughters into one of the greatest rescue missions most people will never see. Failure is not an option is what Nannette, Bryn and I believe. We know that Lauren’s life being lived to her fullest and happiest is in our hands. My hope is that, like the movie and mission, when our credits finally role, our happy ending is worthy of an inspirational James Horner theme song.