We have been busy. Oliver and Courtney just had their birthday. Oliver turned 1 and Court turned 20. It sure is crazy how time passes. Having one that turned 20 in the blink of an eye sure puts things into perspective when thinking about the 1 year old. It just goes by toooo fast! Jack will be 3 coming up in August. That is totally amazing to me too. He still is having some difficulties which is my primary reason for not being able to blog as much. Actually...him combined with having an even littler one is why I don't find the time as often. I sure would like to be better about it. I have so much to tell. Ever since Jack was little, he has seemed a bit spectrumish and yet we don't have a diagnosis of Autism. It has been a hard road the past couple years trying to figure out how to help him. He started with the Early Development group through our school system and it just really was a playgroup but it did give him some speech therapy. He just seemed to be having a lot of fun :D. Anyway, he did that for a while and when he turned 2 1/2, they suggested he start going to the classroom and taking a bus. I was mortified!!! My little guy on a bus...my little guy who cannot talk!!! How will he tell me that they were speeding or that they were mean to him...ha ha. Anyway, he went on the bus a couple times, but we just decided driving him would be easier considering we felt very pushed for time in getting him out to the bus on time. He does not like being pushed. Things went so-so with the class. No real big improvements. Only going twice a week I knew would not bring about huge changes. He had definite behavior issues. Would get frustrated easily (I don't blame him...I mean he cannot express how he is feeling verbally). We tried sign language and we tried to use a picture exchange system, but he just really did not seem interested. On top of that, his stomach issues which he has had since he was a baby were getting super worse. I tried gluten free and it just really did not make a difference and I really felt like there had to be more to help him. I have researched like crazy to try to help him. About a year ago I came across the GAPS diet which at the time I was overwhelmed by even the thought of implementing. Anyone who knows anything about it knows what I am talking about. I just had to do something for him though. We threw out all processed food, all flour, sugar, any types of boxed sides, cereals, pretty much everything that was not meat, fruit or veggies. We decided as a family we were ALL going to do this. It's been hard. My dear friend just said to me today that it is kinda like saying goodbye to the american dream...you know the dream that has kids drinking slurpees on a hot day and laughing. Those crazy rushed days where happy meals are brought home to cheering kids. I miss those things!! Not to mention being chained to my kitchen cause you have to cook everything. We decided to start out on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet as I really believed that would be an easier start for Jack. It is kinda like a previous version of the GAPS diet. The GAPS is the new and improved diet. So, what do we eat now? Honestly, it has taken many different forms. Basically, we are a no grains, milk, sugar, processed food kinda family. We love our good fats like butter and coconut oil, grass fed meat, fermented cod liver oil and I bake with coconut flour and almond flour. The diets (or way of life) that would explain more about this way of eating are the GAPS, Specific Carbohydrate Diet, Paleo, Primal or Makers Diets. Jack is on more a GAPS regimen. The baby is not given any grains either...he is our primal baby :D My oldest son follows it pretty faithfully and he actually had the worst die off of anybody. Within a day of starting the diet, he had a high fever and the following day threw up, but then was a new boy the following day. I noticed he is a lot more with it mentally and his allergy shiners...you know the bags and dark circles under the eyes, are considerable improved. He has always had serious issues with constipation and heartburn and he has said how he has had NONE of those issues. The BIGGEST BIGGEST BIGGEST thing is Jack started talking...and A LOT...within a week, he was saying things he had not said. His demeanor changed (he still has his moments). I had a lot less temper tantrums. He went from pointing to what he wanted or pulling our hands to get us to what he wanted to actually talking. He is not saying sentences yet, but he definitely is able to let us know what is going on and what he needs better. He still has horrible issues with his receptive language skills, meaning he does not understand any directives...like, don't do that, bring that to me, DON'T RUN INTO THE STREET! That really makes it difficult because he is as active (even more so) than any other almost three year old, but is not safe if left alone. My husband and I are exhausted. He works so hard and comes home to help with the little ones. We balance pretty well, but we are definately running on "E"! I wonder what the future holds for our family and Jack especially, but I have not sat and pondered it for long because there is no time to sit...ha ha. I hope to turn this blog into a place where people who are dealing with the same issues can come and feel supported. I will be posting blogs that I love to visit and that give me encouragement. I hope to pass on the information that God has brought to my attention. Stay tuned...more to come!