Monday, June 29, 2015

ADHD diet update - Murdock Mondays

We have been on a dye free diet for about two or three months now.  The whole family eats dye free, however the dye free diet is for my middle son who has ADHD.  It appears that to people who are ADHD they are hypersensitive to the dyes in our foods and its almost like they have an alergic reaction after eating foods with dyes. (There are tons of studies on why they are bad, I am not linking to any, but this is a good overview on them.)

When I told my husband we were going to do this diet, I was at my whits end.  We discipline, we are good parents, I am always looking for ways to become a better parent and person in general.  So even though I realise that his behavior had lead me to try the diet before I tried medications, and we had gotten HUGE feed back from family and non family that he was a different kid while on the diet, I still said when he went to summer camp that he didnt have to follow the diet.

Big mistake.  He started exhibiting unacceptable behavior at home day one and two (it was a day camp)  day three the camp counselor pulled me aside and told me that Eli had spent 15 minuets running from 3 male counselors.  I was mortified.  I asked if I could bring his lunch and explained the diet and what we do.  Luckily the counselor him self was ADHD and had been on a similar diet when he was younger.  We finally realized that he had ketchup that day.  Ketchup is loaded with red dye.  Then I thought back to another time I made an exception to where he had been totally normal, then he had a hot dog with ketchup and not more than 5 minuets later was acting like a fool.  So normal, non organic ketchup made it to the "no, never, not in your life time" list.

Trying to navagate this dye free eating is daunting and quite frankly it makes me angry that non food items are in our food.  As we go on I learn more, but since it is impossible to know if dyes are in food with out reading the lable we have tried to implement some rules when we are out in a place where the diet can not be stuck to strictly (vacations, etc)

1) Nothing red.  I think you can safely assume anything red has a ton of dyes (unless you are at an organic restaurant)
2) No cheese products.  You can also most likely assume its not real cheese.
3) The only acceptable soft drink (if they really must have one) is sprite.

We have started carrying his ketchup with us, and what reinforces it even more to me that the diet works is - he hates to get off of it.  He notices a huge difference in himself and he always asks me if what he is about to eat is okay.

When I started researching ADHD food I found these blogs/links most helpful
1) Our Family Eats - Great for eating/food
3) This is a link to my ADHD party food board.  Now that you have a child with a special diet, you have to get in the habit of bringing snacks with you.  If I know there will be a treat I try and bring him one too.  I have pinned cute natural food ideas here.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday Favorites

I am linked up here

We celebrated Father's Day Saturday and Sunday.  I found this place called Boyert Shooting Center.  Their one year anniversary coincided with Father's Day.  So we went there and entered contest, had snow cones and cotton candy, games and they had a fun simulator.....Oh and that contest, they called me Tuesday to let me know I won a gun!!!  Exciting!

Great family pictures 

This doesn't happen that often, so I was glad to have some photos of us that looked cute.

Whole foods cinnamon rolls.  I am a big Whole Foods shopper, and these are awesome.

Noah's "joy tank" he made in Sunday school.  He filled it with things that brought him joy.  The first (and only one) that I pulled out said "mom". That brought me so much  joy.

Teaching the kids to be bored.  Or "empty hours".  I recently read a blog that talked about "empty hours" and not having to have a full schedule for your kids.  We are currently doing 21 days with out ipad/phone/electronic games and I am encouraging the kids to be bored.  When they come and tell me they are bored I say "That's good, its good for you.  That is when the best ideas come.  Now go enjoy your empty hours in  your room."  Its working, they are doing much more board games and other non-electronic things.

One thing they did in their empty hours was load the truck with wood.  After they finished I pointed out the feeling of self accomplishment and pride that they had.  They were very proud of themselves.

How was your week?  What was your favorite?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Pre-K Thursday

We started our at home pre-school lessons this week and our first color is blue.  I got a lot of motivation here.

First we gathered lots of blue items and put them in our blue box

I picked out books with blue covers to read.  I would ask "what color is this?" and point.  I also am teaching him the signs for colors.  With him being apraxic it seems to be helping.  It gives him another way to say the color, which leads to less frustration.

He had a blue bath (frozen ice cubes, blue shaving cream and craft foam) 
* Fun tip * cut out the craft foam into the shapes you want, when you get it wet, it automatically will stick to the bath tub.

Blue play-doh and blue cars

 our blue sensory bottles
And our blue water beads

At the beginning of the week I gathered up all of the activities we would be doing for the week, and then each day I grabbed one.  The most important thing was I pointed out and signed blue every time I saw the color.

I would say this week was a sucess, however now a lot of other colors are "blue" as well.

What methods did you use to teach colors?

Monday, June 22, 2015

5 Ways to avoid Home Schooling Burn Out - Murdock Monday's

I am an expert on burning the candle at both ends.  I am also pretty good at looking like I have it all together.  Except when I am not all together, and the world (or a select few) see me fall apart.  That's always a lot of fun (heavy sarcasm).

Is it possible to avoid burn out?  Can you do it all?    Can you Educate your children, keep a perfect house, and any other duties that may be yours as a wife, mom and home educator?  I believe that the answer is no.  You have to prioritize

What I do:

I ask God to give me strength to do what I NEED to do. (remember there is a difference between need and want).  Does the house NEED to be clean or do you NEED to eat.  There is a difference.  We do school, meals, animal chores,  laundry, cleaning.  In that order.  Something else that helps me is assigning a chore to a day.  Example:  Monday's sweep kitchens and bathrooms, Tuesdays - Mop, Wednesdays - vacuum, Thursdays - Clean bathrooms, and so on.  That way I know that at least once in the week a particular area was cleaned

Set relaslitic expectations. 
 Can you do it all?  No.  Expecting your self to keep a perfect house, cook every meal and homeschool your children will only lead to frustration.  

 Get rid of the guilt
 This stage in our lives is very important.  It may seem tedious and like its going to last for ever, but its not going to.  I am coming up on my 15th wedding anniversary.   When I look back it doesn't seem like that long.  I have 7 years left to teach my oldest child.  Seven, less than a decade.  So if the house is a mess dont worry about it.  Soon enough this season will be over and all I will have is memories of these three beautiful children that I have been blessed with.

 Don't over book
 Its funny, people always ask about socialization.  When I started homeschooling this was a BIG concern.  When will they be social?  Oh my goodness, when will they not be?  We are apart of 3 or 4 homeschooling groups, some more active than others and we can not do ever field trip offered to us or we would never be home.  I try to do one field trip a week or every-other week.

 Don't worry what other people think. 
 Not everyone is going to be supportive.  Period.  When I first started there were a select few people who did not approve and I felt that I had to convenience them.  I dont.  They dont have to understand.  They are not homeschooling, I am.  I know this is the best decision for my family and their opinion doesn't matter to me.

What are some ways that you avoid homeschooling burn-out?

Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday favorites

Happy Friday!!!  It's time again for Friday Favorites, you can see my favorite things from this week and share yours with me. I am linked up here.

The grandparents took all of the kids to the beach.  I absolutely love seeing the pictures of the boys with their cousin.  The love they have for each other is so beautiful and I just really enjoy watching their interactions with each other.

I've started doing "pre-school" with Micah.  This week was blue week.  He made so much progress.  He learned the color blue and the sign for blue as well.

Tropical storm bill was supposed to make its way to the Houston area.  The media did a lot of hype but we had very little rain that day.  The boys and I made our own news clips that day.


We went to a magic show with friends, it was so much fun!

I actually found a cute swim suit, and I did not have to order it on line.  Academy had some really cute suits!  I went with the blue one.

That was my week!  How was yours?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Technology Tuesday

Technology.  I'm not sure that there is anything else that I have such a love hate relationship with.  In my new "Techinology Tuesday" weekly post I will set a goal or goals and then follow up the next week with how I or the family did with our weekly goal.

My goal:
I had started reading the hands free mama last year, but did not finish it.  This time I will do one week at a time, implementing each chapters goal each week.

The Boys:
I get so frustrated with video games and the desire they have to just watch tv and play games all day (if allowed).  Last week I flipped out and told them we were on a two week - no iPhone/iPad break.  The break is going nicely, while we are on this break I will be looking for a system to implement to where game time is earned like an allowance.

How do you handle technology in your family?  With yourself?  I would love to hear your tips.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Friday Favorites

My friend Tracie motivated me to do a Friday Favorites day.   Here are some of my favorite things this week, and I'm linking up to see everyone else's right here.
Summer camp - The older boys did summer camp this week and they loved it.  This picture was day one of summer camp.

One on one time with little man.  This is very rare.  We had 5 days about 7 hours each day of just Mommy and Micah time.  I really enjoyed just watching and playing with him.

My grandparents came out last week (I think) and planted watermelons.  They started sprouting and I sent him pictures.  He has been calling me for updates and I love it.

A clean house.  As a homeschooling mom of 3 I prioritize what gets done around here  Education is first, then feeding everyone, having clean clothes.  I keep the house tidy, but actually having it clean.  Rare.  This week I was able to get a lot of cleaning done when I laid little guy down for his nap.  During school days, that is sometimes when we are able to get a lot of schooling done.  I really enjoyed being able to get in to some area that needed cleaning badly, and getting them clean.  I joked that this week and next week the house would be clean and three weeks in July.

After camp snacks.  I saw on pintrest that you can make smores in the oven using the broil setting.  Man they were delicious!  We really enjoyed them.

These were my favorite things this week.  What were yours?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

30 Day Fast - Day 4

Good Morning!  I started my day with today's readings - Judges 16-21 and 1 Corinthians 13-14.  As I am reading I am running into questions and some areas of these readings I am digging in deeper as I have time.  As always I took my measurements in the mornings.  I am down about 4 pounds.  I am not expecting to loose as much weight as quickly as I did with my first fast, because there is less fat to loose.

Fast measurements
Day 4
Upper Arm
Fore Arm

We did school in the morning.  I love the kids science curriclum that we use.  The Micah and I went to his speech therapy, which is going really well.  Then once hubby got home, he let me go run around I had some errands to run and finally got my eye brows waxed (about 3 months too long on that)

I really have very little to report as far as fasting symptoms.  By very little, I mean nothing.  I dont know if its because im just not focused on it.  I dont think "im not eating" like I did last time, I just dont eat.

Day 4 down!