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Sunday, January 20, 2013

For the Love of Vegetables :)

Someone pinch me....................I seriously think I am dreaming.  My little Hayden has become such a vegetable muncher!!!  I honestly never thought that he would get to the point of begging for vegetables.    The first words out of his mouth this morning was, "I want lorax brussel sprouts Mommy."  Music to my ears.  He then went to the kitchen and brought a red pepper to me.  I was getting ready for work so I whispered to Hayden to go ask his Dad.  Hayden took the red pepper and placed it in Daddy's hand.  He then said, "Cut up red pepper for me to eat."

It is hard to believe that less than a year ago the only vegetable Hayden would eat was green beans.  He only consumed green beans when I told him had to eat the green beans that was on his plate before he could have something else to eat.  Hayden's diet pretty much consisted of fruit and carbohydrates.  He would eat plate full upon plate full of fresh fruit.  I thought I was doing good getting nutrition in him because he was consuming fruit.  WOW.......I was so freaking wrong!!!  

One of Hayden's major medical challenges has been the yeast beast.  What does yeast feed off of???  You guessed it........SUGAR!  What is a lot of fruit high in........SUGAR!  What does carbohydrates break down into during digestion..........SUGAR!  AHHHHH!!!!

I made the decision that we were going to go on the GAPS diet.  I knew we needed to do something drastic and drastic it was.  My poor babies did not eat for 4 days.  Hayden (5 years old) got down to 28 pounds.  GAPS diet is grain free, refined sugar free, and lactose free.  We currently eat no casein, no grains, no refined sugar, no fruit, and no honey.  I found that Hayden could not handle fruit or honey.  We only eat nuts, chicken, beef, all vegetables, and coconut oil.  

I know that doesn't sound like we don't eat well.  I can guarantee you that we are the healthiest we have ever been.  Hayden has gained 12 pounds in 8 months!!!!  He has gained more weight in the last 8 months than he has in 3.5 years.  This is all from eating healthy foods :)

I have never made a huge deal about what I put on Hayden's plate.  I put the food on his plate and give it to him.  I let him have complete control of what he chooses to put in his mouth. (well maybe not complete control because I buy the groceries and prepare the meals).  We have modeled to him how much fun it is to eat vegetables.  I think Ruby has been super helpful in this process.  She is always munching on some kind of vegetable.  Whenever Hayden has choose to touch a vegetable I celebrate him, even if it is throwing it on the floor or putting it on my plate.  There have been times when Hayden has put the vegetable in his mouth, chewed it up, and spit it on the floor or on my plate.  I celebrate him for that.

Slowly but surely in the last 6 months Hayden has drastically increased his vegetable intake.  Pretty exciting stuff!!!  Here is the vegetables that Hayden currently eats.............

Brussel Sprouts
Butternut Squash
Green Beans 
Carrots, yellow, orange, and green

I also put the following in his juice which he watches me prepare.....

collard greens

It's such a delight to watch Hayden enjoy all of these fabulous vegetables :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Hayden 4 years ago and Hayden now..........

It is hard to believe that it has been four years since we started seeking help for our little man at the tender age of 18 months.  At 18 months of I age I was the only person that thought something was off with Hayden (or at least the only person that would admit it).  I sought input from our physician at the time and she said to wait it out.  I decided to call First Steps and get the ball rolling on my own.  Here is what their assessment at 18 months of age says:

Does not respond to name
Does not have any eye contact
Does not follow directions
Does not have any language and does not babble
Does not respond when parents enter or exit a room
Screams when touched and quickly moves away
Prefers to play alone
Lines up cars in perfect straight rows
Can not handle any kind of schedule change
Flat facial expression
Mouths objects frequently

Hayden then began to take a big nose dive from 18 months to two years of age.  He stopped sleeping and started screaming more and more.  At one point I thought he was having seizures in the middle of the night.  He would wake up screaming a scream that you would think someone was beating the crap out of him.  It was horrific!!  His eyes did not move and the only way to settle him down somewhat was to put in Baby Einstein videos for him to watch.  I felt so useless to him at this time and scared.

All I wanted was for Hayden to want me to hold him and call me Mommy.  I use to hold him anyway.  He would scream and kick and try to get away from me but I wanted to be close to him and I thought forcing it on him was the way to go. This time in our lives truly taught me unconditional love.

A very typical look from Hayden, very flat

Always chewing on something

HATED birthday parties

Would not touch messy things

lack of eye contact

In his own world

We had to stop singing to him on his third birthday because it upset him 

Always finding him doing crazy things

So where is Hayden now.............

Today a new student started on our team.  It is easier for me to do the initial training with the kids not home or in the playroom.  Brandon needed to go to one of his apartments to do some work and decided he would take the kids with him.  Hayden has NEVER and I mean NEVER willing went anywhere with Brandon while I am home.  This morning Hayden was super excited to go with Daddy.  He went and got his coat, hat, and shoes on and came to us and said, "Go to apartments."  He went right with Daddy super happy.  He even came home happy.

He has talked non stop today.  Sharing with us what he sees, what he wants, he even asked me a few questions today.  Ones that I have never heard him say...."What's for dinner," "Where's Carleen" (this one was super exciting because Carleen was scheduled to play with him today but was unable to come....he even asked this around the time she was suppose to be here).

Hayden played with his sister for 45 minutes straight this evening building train tracks together and playing with trains.  They took turns on the swing and Hayden had no issues with waiting his turn.

Hayden shared his book with Grammie.  He told her about the different pictures in the book and answered her questions.  He sat so close that he was touching her.  Hayden told Grammie several different things to play and do tonight.  When Grammie left I went to the garage to open the garage door for her and about a minute later Hayden came running out waving and saying, "Goodbye Grammie."

Hayden is completely toilet trained day and night.  He toilets completely by himself.  He dresses himself the majority of the time.  He feeds himself.  He sleeps 10-11 hours a night.  He brushes his teeth with out issues.  He handles boundaries and change with out difficulty.  He often seeks us out and rarely wants to be by himself.

He east an amazing diet of vegetables, nuts, and meat only.  He enjoys and asks for broccoli and rice (which is cauliflower with peas and carrots in it).  He eats every vegetable that I put in front of him these days.  Super exciting seeing him joyfully eat such great foods :)

Hayden asks frequently to cuddle fish (his way of asking for cuddles).  He hugs us and kisses us.  He tells hi and goodbye.  He tantrums are less than a typical 5 year old.  He smiles and laughs.

WOW!!!  Pure amazingness  :)