Of course, the Holiest Baby ever to be born, was born in a quiet, private, outdoor UC and was put the the breast immediately and worn throughout his early childhood. What better way to respect and cherish a baby?
I just found this article randomly - http://mothering.com/skin-picking - and it was interesting to read. I was a skin picker for many years. I was so weird, it was such a weird habit that nobody else did. There isn't even a name for it, but there's a name for compulsive hair-pulling, if you can believe it! In my wedding pictures you can see scars on my arms from my scabs I would pick for months. I literally had the same wounds for months because I picked them every day and they couldn't heal. How did I stop? I am still a compulsive person but my mind is improving over time, but mostly I stopped the skin picking because my zits cleared up when I switched to a healthier diet. Still, I will break out a bit if there is much fat in my diet, and I find myself picking at those. But the habit isn't as bad as it used to be, and they will heal in about a week. Weirdness!
With organic apples at 59 cents/lb (Azure Standard), we have been eating plenty! For the past month or so, we do applesauce nearly every day, and at first we just stuck with cinamon. If I want to increase the calorie content I add dates. Then a couple weeks ago we started doing a lot of mangoes too, since they're 50 cents each at Grocery Outlet. I always find a way to use the peel, and usually just make a smoothie or pudding with it. But we discovered a delicious applesauce variation - several apples, mango peels, and a handful of blueberries.
Rychen likes being creative and giving us more ideas. "What if we made banana applesauce?" etc. It keeps him interested and excited for the apples. His other favorite food lately is banana-celery smoothie. Honestly this kid could eat apples and bananas exclusively! He doesn't care for avocados but I've been encouraging some nut recipes. Last night I made him a pecan pate for dinner with some sliced cucumbers, and he wanted to make "sandwiches" by spreading just a pinch of pate between slices. It ended up that he ate 3 whole cucumbers and probably only 1/4 cup of pate, which obviously killed my idea of a high-calorie dinner. Ha ha! I wonder why he's not very attracted to fats? Oh well, I will trust his appetite. Maybe he is cleansing right now.
Every other day we're eating a cooked meal, which now is some variation of squash (since they are 50 cents a peice! Yes my diet is ruled by budget, and I don't apoligize. We saved $200 on groceries the past 2 months). He loves simple steamed squash with no seasonings, but I am also curious to try a blended curry squash soup soon.
We've been doing tons of learning lately and not any structured school time. Nevertheless, Rychen is getting a good grasp on his addition, multiplication, number awareness, decision-making skills, writing skills, and calculator skills - how? By playing games all day! Rychen got really interested in Yahtzee when he found an electronic hand-held version, but I knew it could be a learning opportunity if he got to do the math himself, in addition to writing on a score card. So I bought us a $5 Yahtzee game from Target and we have played it twice in the last 24 hours. He follows the usual rules, and can add up his own scores. He usually prefers to count all the individual dots, unless it's an addition problem he already knows. But from my language, he is now familiar with the concept of multiplication and what is actually means - visually. "Three sixes! Good job! 6 times 3 equals 18. So write 18 here." He graps that 6x3 is the same thing as 6+6+6 because he can see it right in front of him. When we're all done with the game, we add up the smaller numbers in our head so he learns to add a string of numbers. "Four plus two equals six. So what is six plus one? And now what is seven plus two?" When we get to the big numbers, we get out the calculator and he practices using it to add another string of numbers.
Unschooling P.S. - There is some controvery over how far parents ought to regulate their children's habits. For instance, bedtime, TV limits, etc. But with Aspergers, I do not believe my son can regular his time. I have seen too many PDD kids get obsessed with something to the exclusion of too many other wholesome activities. So now that Rychen is into video games, I decided to set a limit. He gets 30 minutes every day, and can earn 15 more mintues if his room is clean. I believe video games can be a great learning tool, for instance Tetris develops visual-spacial abilities, Battleship teaches statistics and strategy, etc. so I don't exclude them altogether.
Aside from video games, we still make time to dance each day, read, practice handwriting, and do creative play. It's important to me that he reads and writes every day, but I don't want to say "Sit down! Do your handwriting! No playing until you do school!" so I have come up with creative ways to encourage it. For instance, leaving him handwritten notes in his bedroom - which of course he will read. "Rychen, I love you. Have a nice day. Mom" Or having him stamp cards to send to relatives - in which he writes a brief message. Also, he enjoys writing a checklist of our daily activities, which he reads several times throughout the day in order to find the right one to check off. We also started a tradition of reading a book when Elisabeth is in the bath, to give us something to do while we hang out on the bathroom floor!
Sorry I didn't post for a few weeks. It's been busy here. I've mostly been doing a lot of Ebay with my stamping stuff but that is coming to an end soon (basically wrapping up my failed business adventure - what a RELIEF! So I can spend more time with my kids).
I had a trial gym membership for a couple weeks, to see how I'd like it - thinking it was a nice outlet to go be alone several times a week and work out any aggresion I would be feeling. I tried many various classes, lap swim, hot tub, etc. but didn't love anything. Just mainly loved the idea of getting away and thinking about just me! I will need another way to do that. I am thinking of going to my in-laws house to do exercise or dance (I got Dance Dance Revolution for my birthday. Fun!)
Another thing keeping me occupied is working with Rychen's digestive problem. He still has a bloated tummy and unformed bowel movements. I am reading "Breaking the Vicious Cycle," the book on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. But generally our raw diet fits the parameters of this diet, except for eating seeds. I think he might need a break from fruit to form some BMs? Or maybe raw veggies are irritating. Both of those food groups, the SCD recommends avoiding temporarily just as you get started and the symptoms pass. So I don't have conclusions just yet, still thinking. In the meantime trying to keep him off grains 100%. After we use up our potatoes and sorghum flour, we'll be strict about the SCD-legal foods.
Rychen is reading more and more now. He can read a basic level 1 book, and he is reading voluntarily all day long, when he sees words on TV or street signs, or my email for instance! It's exciting to see him grow up and pick up on things. I have also been teaching him emotional skills, which you actually need to sit down and do, when it comes to the Aspergers child (Lately we've been having difficulties with sibling rivalry). One issue is private space. Private space is very important to Rychen, so he never allows Elisabeth to go in his room. The only reason that was a problem was because we kept most of the toys in his room. So I had to create a toy area in the living room for her, allowing him to be in full control of his bedroom.
Elisabeth now. We have words here and there. We go potty every morning. We have molars. She loves dancing! Her brother can make her giggle like nobody else. Her favorite food is still tomato, and lately she loves avocados too.
Gotta run... Rychen is having carrot juice for breakfast and needs help!
So...... I am been thinking a lot about having another baby soon!
But I am not fertile yet. And I am not ready to start weaning (day or night) my little baby.
So I was thinking about what other things I could do to help get my cycles back. To help Elisabeth sleep longer at night without nursing, I think I could try sleeping further from her so I don't encourage her to stir and then nurse. Also, perhaps the reason my body doesn't do well lactating and ovulating together is because I am low on body fat (By the way it is 17% so if anybody wants to judge me, jump right in. I LOVE your comments.) so I can make sure to eat some overt fats every day - it just won't be enough to give me candida so less than 15%. And I can focus my exercise on weights so I don't burn unnecessary body fat.
Now I can actually do some research and find real suggestions. Like an herb or something.
Although I have to admit, bananas are my comfort food. It's difficult for me to eat 100% raw without them. When I have my bananas, I don't miss cooked food. But it's not an effect they have on me, its more the joyful, pleasurable experience of eating them. I think because they are mushy, so "creamy" - something that is rare for a fruit. The only other creamy raw food would be avocados. So I believe this appealing, comforting texture is why these two foods are the most popular raw foods. Texture can be very comforting, making your meal in a way a salve for your emotions.
I just devoured 4 large, gooey, jelly persimmons. In the past when I've tried them they were always astringent - I never let them ripen enough (although I waited weeks and weeks!) Well last night I was cleaning out some cupboards and *found* a bag of persimmons that I had bought several weeks ago (perhaps 6 weeks?). I bought 6 of them because I wasn't sure how I'd like them. These are huge persimmons, like the size of a grapefruit. Anyhow, so I found this bag that I had forgotten about, with 6 huge super soft persimmons. They felt so squishy and soft, as if they were about to fall apart in my hand! So what do I do? I just let it. You let it fall apart and then you lick up all the goo!! It was so totally awesome. It's like a jar of jelly, and the jar suddenly turns to liquid and you're left with a handful of jelly. The actual flavor isn't too sweet or too strong at all, but I just love that fun texture!
...So now, 6 weeks later, I wonder if I can find anymore persimmons to buy? I mean, now that I know I love them :) I will have to go out hunting tomorrow!
In other news, autumn has been good to us. I do largely live my life inside my house but I make an effort to at least walk around the block every day. We've had a lot of sun here in Oregon, a lot more than we should be getting in December! But it's still plenty cold. So cold that I am getting annoyed that my bananas aren't ripening. I keep extra cases in the garage but they don't ripen until I bring them in, pile them up and cover them with several layers of blankets! Crazy huh. (But my husband is loving the fact that he can eat his yellow bananas day after day, without worrying about them getting "too ripe.")
I had my birthday recently and enjoyed many raw treats. I made myself a carob-coconut cake with blueberries, not knowing that my friend was surprising me with a few goodies of her own. She made turtles, "Almond Joy" balls, and a gooey orange-cocoa cake. (Which was so rich and delicious but I soon regretted it when the cocao prevented me from sleeping for several hours into the night!)