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special needs

I See You

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While contemplating what to write about this Mother’s Day,  I have been thinking about all of the moms that I know that have special needs children and I want you to know that I see you.  Really see you.

I see you – dressed casually with a ball cap on and a weary smile on your face as you walk up to the group of parents bringing their children to another youth function.  You make kind small talk and give a hug to another mom that  needs it.  No one knows that you have had a hand full of hours of sleep over the last 4 days because your child’s health has been on a roller coaster.  You get her stabilized but then continue to lay awake worrying about when she is older and how you may not be near her when she needs help and how it is all going to look.  You’re the mom who always has a protein bar and a juice box in her purse, a thoughtful expression, and kind word for others even though, right now, you could really use a nap!

I see you – It’s field trip time and you are enduring the eye rolls and sneers of other parents as the teacher explains at the details meeting that they can bring any snack they want to eat on the bus, except for one with peanuts in it.  You leave one more meeting wondering if one of those parents will decide that this is the time they will assert their God-given right to send peanuts for their child’s snack because it’s their favorite.  Little do they know that your child is anaphylactic to 3 other foods, but you know you can’t and wouldn’t expect an entire class of kids to accommodate to that extent.  You just pray A LOT and have taught your daughter to be keenly aware of her surroundings at ALL times and to use the stew out of baby wipes on seats and after she touches almost everything.  Her life literally depends on it, but you know you can’t keep her in a bubble.  Those parents  weren’t with you when your daughter ate a spoonful of cereal that was cross-contaminated with peanuts and she started to go into anaphylactic shock.  They didn’t see her eyes glaze over.  They didn’t see her stop responding to you.  They weren’t with you the first time you had to administer her epi-pen, antihistamine, and call 911 and pray that the reaction got stopped in time.  They weren’t with you when you sat beside her at the hospital for hours praying that the numbers would go up and that the IV medicines the doctors used would work.  The relief you felt as you were finally able to take her home was temporary, as each day you cannot let your guard down as you prepare breakfast, lunch, dinner, make an allergen free snack and try to make it  comparable to the other kid’s food at a birthday party, youth function, etc…  If you let your guard down that is when a mistake happens.  You’re the mom that has allergen free communion wafers in her freezer for special Sundays and a look of compassion, instead of intolerance when others are in need of grace from a group you are a part of, because you have been there…you are there.

I see you – It’s a new day, but it looks like every day.  You’ve overslept because you are so very tired and you forgot to wash his favorite bowl that he eats his cereal in.  The same way, at the same spot, every morning.  What’s the big deal.  Well, now he is in the middle of a major melt down.  There could be something else wrong too that you just haven’t figured out, but your brain is too foggy to figure it out at the moment because you were up with him most of the night, as he just could not sleep. He rarely gets more than 4 hours a night.  While other 16 year olds are driving to school and talking about picking up their tux for prom, your 16-year-old struggles to function with the slightest deviation in their routine.  He spends hours rocking back and forth, hitting himself in the head, and biting his hand to the point that it is raw and he is now on antibiotics for an infection that you know will also affect his gut that you have been working on relentlessly to try and heal.  Anything to help him any way you can.  You have done all of this research on your own, reading books from the library, reading articles by doctors, asking in online groups of other special needs moms what works for them.  You are just trying to help him get relief from some of the anguish he is in every single day.

I see you – Sitting in yet another IEP meeting, being promised that everything is taken care of and all is in place.  You are kind, soft-spoken, and pleasant, as always.  You leave your frustration at home.  You respond with understanding that it is baseball season and  that the teacher is a coach.  The teacher is a new mom and nursing.  The teacher thought your child seemed good and didn’t need any help, and didn’t see the need to follow-up with you to see if this really is the case.   I also see you, because you are so understanding, sitting up with your child every single night at the table doing homework for hours because assignments haven’t been reduced, as promised,  and your child will work himself into oblivion to get it all done.  I see you wondering when someone, anyone, will be understanding of his needs, when someone will recognize how hard he works all. of. the. time.  You are the mom that the school knows when you walk through the door, or when they see your name on yet another email, not because you are demanding, not because you want to be a bother, not because you won’t let your child learn responsibility, but because sensory processing disorder and autism are real things and your child needs help and you are his advocate.  So you continue to advocate, because you are a good mom.

I see you – standing and clapping, as tears stream down your face, watching your son bow during curtain call at the school musical.  The people around you don’t know how hard you worked to get him to talk when he still didn’t speak at the age of 3, let alone sing.  They don’t know how far he has come, how hard you have worked to get him there.  You are the mom that has worked tirelessly to rid his body of toxins and fill it back up with vitamins, minerals, and supplements, to learn how to cook foods that don’t tax his system, so he can focus and function inside and outside of the classroom.  You are the mom that is constantly researching all. of. the. things. to help your child be all that he can be.

I see you – scrolling on social media, a pit in your stomach as you read the angry rant of a “friend” that doesn’t know that it is you they are posting that snarky meme about.  You are that mom that has the audacity to question medical procedures.  You are that mom that shouldn’t be allowed to take your child to the doctor for a broken arm, if you don’t just blindly trust and willing obey whatever you are told to do to your child in any other area.  I see you hold your tongue, exhibit mass amounts of self-control and not defend yourself and genuinely hug that same person the next time you see them, recognizing that they don’t know the struggle.  They don’t understand.  They are not in the same situation and although it hurts when they attack, you love them anyway.

I see you and know that you wouldn’t do a thing differently.  You just want to be the very best mother you can possibly be to your child.  At the end of the day, you want them to know that you did everything you could to show them that you love them with every fiber of your being and that you are there for them, would go to the ends of the earth for them, just like any other mother who loves their child.

I just want you to know that I see you – the mother of a special needs child.  I see the hours that you put in, day after day.  The sleepless nights.  The concern for their future.   I see that you are tired and sometimes you feel discouraged because sometimes the day just feels like Mount Everest!  Know that you are seen, you are loved, and you are a good mom.

Happy Mother’s Day

health and wellness, Uncategorized

Elderberry Syrup

 

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I had a make and take at the house a few weeks ago.  We had so much fun catching up with each other and talking health and wellness.  We made elderberry syrup.  I had been to a friend’s house last year and watched her make some.  That is when I started taking a teaspoon every day.  Elderberries are rich in minerals and vitamins. They are also a great source of dietary fiber.

What are some reasons to take elderberry syrup?

  • to keep your immune system strong
  • for improved bowel function
  • to build your immune system back up after an illness
  • to help shorten the duration of an illness

According to medicalnewstoday.com, a cup of elderberries contains the following vitamins and minerals: 870 milligrams of vitamin A, 406 milligrams of potassium, 52.2 milligrams of vitamin C, 9 milligrams of folate, 55 milligrams of calcium, and 2.32 milligrams of iron.

I purchased a 1 pound bag of freeze-dried elderberries and some raw honey.  I also set out several Young Living vitality oils to add in for extra support.  It is really easy.  I loosely followed a recipe from thedroppery.com. I will post what I did below and also the link to the recipe I followed.

Here is what I used:

1 cup of elderberries

4 cups of purified water (I have a Berkey)

2 tsp raw honey or maple syrup (add more or less to taste)

Young Living vitality oils  (orange, lemon, thieves, clove, ginger, cinnamon, etc…)

Why put Young Living vitality essential oils in?

Well for one, flavor.  If you want a kick, you could put in cinnamon, clove, or thieves.  If you would like for it to have a citrus flavor, orange or lemon would be good.  Another reason to add vitality essential oils is for the added health benefit.  Clove, for instance, is a super strong antioxidant, so it is a great immune system support.  Cinnamon is high in trans-cinnamaldehyde.  Research it.  Good stuff.  Lemon is a great source of vitamin C and D-limonene.  Orange is another immune system boosting oil.

 

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Instructions:

  1. Add 1 cup of elderberries to 4 cups of boiling water.
  2. Simmer on stove for 45 minutes until the liquid has been reduced by half.
  3. Remove from the stove and allow to cool until just warm enough for the honey to melt.  This will preserve the properties of the honey and essential oils.
  4. Strain berries through a fine mesh strainer.
  5. Pour into glass containers. (We used 8 ounce mason jars)
  6. Add in honey (or maple syrup, if using) and vitality essential oils
  7. Enjoy!

Store in the refrigerator to keep fresh. Adults take 1 tsp a day, children 1/2 tsp a day.

 

 

Here is the link to the recipe that was used at the first elderberry making class I went to.

https://www.thedroppery.com/blog/essential-elderberry-syrup?rq=elderberry%20syrup

 

Uncategorized

Instant Pot Turkey Meatballs

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Any chance I get to try a new healthy recipe, I do.  Sometimes it is a hit and sometimes it is a dud.  Obviously, since I am sharing this one, it was a hit!  These are delicious! Yay!

We put these meatballs over allergen free pasta with allergen free sauce.  I did use an egg in the meatball recipe, so it wasn’t Lauren friendly, but I think it could be left out or maybe Egg Replacer used, instead.  I will try that when she is home.

This recipe is wheat, dairy, and nut free.

Ingredients:

1 lb ground turkey                                                      1 tsp Himalayan pink salt

1 egg                                                                               3/4 tsp garlic powder

1/8 c brown rice flour                                                 1 jar Muir Glen Pasta sauce

1/8 c coconut flour                                                       1 bag Tinkyada brown rice spaghetti

1 tsp dried parsley                                                       1/4 to 1/3 c water

Instructions: 

Combine ground turkey, egg, spices, and flours together in a bowl.  Using your hands, mix well.  Form into 1 inch balls and set aside.

Pour jar of sauce into your Instant Pot.  Drop meatballs into the sauce. Pour water over meatballs, just enough to cover.  Secure the lid and turn valve to seal.  Use the manual mode of Instant Pot and set to pressure cook for 10 minutes. While the meatballs are cooking, cook your pasta.  When the Instant Pot cycle is complete, allow pressure to release naturally.   Serve over meatballs and sauce over pasta.

Enjoy!

Uncategorized

A year in review of All The Things 2018

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If I had to choose 1 word to describe this past year, it would be change.  I have been told, in the past, that I don’t handle change well.  As I have gotten older, the realization came that life is nothing but a series of changes.  Ha!  So, one can surmise that I don’t handle life well…didn’t handle life well.  You see, 2018 was not only about change, but deciding how to handle it.  The decision could have been made to stay the same.  Keep existing, sit super still, not move, and stay where I was…or to move and do, and live life, instead of just existing through it.   That is what I chose to do this past year.  I chose not only to endure change, but to generate it.

January started with beginning to blog, choosing to build a network marketing business, and create a Facebook group and Instagram.  This might not sound like much to you, but for a pencil and paper kind of gal, not tech savvy, it was a lot for me!  I had no idea what I was doing or how to go about doing it!  I just decided to jump in and do it scared.  If you are familiar with the color personalities, I am not a red, so this was not natural for me, but it was necessary.  As a mother of 3 children and 2 with special needs, many years have been spent taking care of others and helping to make ends meet.  Somewhere along the way I lost myself.  I was buried deep in a 9 to 5 job that I dreaded going to every morning.  My house was cluttered, my body was sluggish, and my heart was heavy.  I don’t regret taking care of my family.  I just didn’t remember to take care of myself, too.

Blogging has given me a way to connect with others.  When we choose to put ourselves out there, we quickly find that we aren’t the only ones that feel a certain way about a certain thing or that we like the same kinds of foods or we are in the same phase of life, stage in our marriage, or we have the same interests. We also find that people are much kinder and supportive than social media sometimes makes us think.  The love and support that I have received from all of you has been so very heart warming!

Network marketing has been a huge learning curve.  It is not something I ever thought that I would like to do, but I have found a product and a company that I absolutely believe in.  This year has been one of growth, personally and as a team.  I have an organization of people who are like minded and are finding our products to be beneficial in their lives and that makes me happy. As a result of my new business venture of learning to help others support their health and wellness, I began a Facebook group for product education and camradery.  It’s more fun doing it together.

By April of 2018, I decided to make a huge change that not only affected me, but everyone in my family.  I chose to resign from my 9 to 5 job and come home and focus on my family and Sweet Home Healthy Family, my Young Living business, full-time.  This has allowed me to go on a Disney field trip with our youngest, clean out closets, update my bathroom (still in process), and cook like crazy, to name just a few things.  I have had the time to invest in others.  For the first time, I was able to participate in our county’s annual Christmas Gift Shop, which helps provide Christmas gifts, prayer, and the presentation of the gospel.  Our family was able to take several trips for weddings, wedding receptions, Thanksgiving,  a trip to the beach, and a much-needed get-away for two.  No worries of being allowed the time off or having time to prepare Lauren’s meals, if needed.  I am home to take Michael to school and pick him up and make sure he takes the supplements needed for him to stay healthy and able to focus and finish projects.  My house is cleaner than it has been in years.  Christmas/December was not stressful for the first time in years.  I am not exhausted.

 

Finally, I have made the time to work on my marriage and on me.  I have prayed like crazy this past year and God has been faithful.  A prayer that I have been praying for 25 years was answered.  Steve now prays with me daily.  That is not something that he felt very comfortable doing in years past, but he has realized how important it is to me and for us.  We have both worked very hard these last six months on us.  I am supportive of his need for speed ie…bmx racing, and he is supportive of my need to be the hands on mom and keeper of our home.  I dole out the vitamins, supplements, and Ningxia Red to keep our immune systems humming, and he helps me carry the heavy things, works on the vehicles, (not that women can’t do that.  I have changed the brake shoes on a min-van before 😉 and he shows our children how a wife should be treated-with love.  We have, again, found what works for us and a new rhythm.

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I am happy.  I have accomplished many of the goals I had at the beginning of this year and worked through the tough things that came our way via unhappy work situations, marriage issues, the passing of dear family members and friends, a new adventure into network marketing and health and wellness.  I do not know what the future holds, but I know who holds my future and am excited for the coming year.  I am praying that each of you has a very happy and healthy new year, as well.

 

Looking forward to 2019!

Cindy

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Uncategorized

Christmas Sugar Cookies (wheat, dairy, egg, nut free)

 

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Merry Christmas!

We tried a new recipe this year for our sugar cookies and Lauren and I feel that they are the best ones we have ever made.  They taste great!  To be honest, we haven’t made sugar cookies in several years.  Time always got away from us and we didn’t ever seem to get to the sugar cookies.   I am so glad we did this year.  The orange zest gives them just a hint of fresh citrus flavor and I don’t believe that anyone would be able to tell that they are allergy friendly.  This recipe is definitely a keeper.

Actually, this recipe isn’t new.  It has been sitting in a magazine that I have had for several years.  I pulled it out looking for desserts for Lauren.  It is in the December/January 2014 issue of Living Without.  Holiday Cookies by Cara Reed.  I will post the link down below.  We tweaked it a bit because I didn’t have enough sorghum flour, so we used some garfava flour instead.  Sorghum flour is a little dense, so I chose garfava because it seemed comparable and that is what I had on hand.  We used the white icing recipe she suggested, as well as the Wilton butter cream icing I have used for years.  The white icing is quicker and easier to whip up.  It is thinner, but sets very well.  We enjoyed making them.

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We used Bob’s Red Mill flours and Soy Free Vegan Earth Balance sticks for the non-dairy butter.  We only had 1 cup of sorghum flour, so I just added  1/4 cup of garfava flour for the remaining 1/4 cup of sorghum flour that was called for in the recipe.  They really did turn out nicely.

 

https://www.glutenfreeandmore.com/recipe/christmas-lights-cut-out-cookies/?fbclid=IwAR33Pq3C0qwrk8fdPmnSgF-vVNldBzCvVF0zOGRWCcmmS4r1bWLsOtNg5i8

 

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

 

Cindy (baker of all the things)