Monday Night Dinner

So this week is a Vegetarian week. I often go through these periods where I remove meat and just do a week of pure veggies! I have found ways to make my family love it so I’m sharing it with you.

Tonight’s dinner is Oven Baked Vegetarian Samosas. I know it sounds complicated but all it basically is a potato pie. That’s it, add the veggies you want and make it your own.

This is the potato mixture

Finished product, I used whole wheat flour to make my dough

So here is my receipe, you feel free to alter as you like but it took me about 45 minutes to make.  Now that’s give or take if you’re making your own crust, if you have pieces already ready and if you make it from start to finish without getting distracted.  This is a great hand held meal.

I make my own pie crust but feel free to purchase yours if you wish. I’ve been using whole wheat flour so that explains why my crusts are really brown.

Ingredients:

  • 2 potatos, peeled and diced
  • salt to taste
  • 1 bag of mixed vegetables
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pepper
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 egg beaten with a splash of water

You take the potatoes and boil like you are making mashed potatoes. Once they are tender drain water from them and place them back in the same pot you boiled them in.  Then take your seasonings and bagged veggies and add in kinda smashing them as you go.  Once that’s done add a bit of chicken broth to moisten it and you’re done.

When that mixture is complete begin taking your pie crust and cut to your desired shape, if you have a cookie cutter even better. I didn’t so I had to cut mine out.  Fill with a tablespoon of the mixture, seal  the edges, then brush with the egg wash mixture.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, let cool for a minute or two then enjoy.  You can make it with a salad or just eat alone.

Great quick meal. You can add or subtract from it as you see fit, play around with the seasonings.

I hope you and your family enjoy this filling and yummy vegetarian recipe.  Tomorrow West African Vegetable Stew.

Love and Blessings

Charmaine

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Extra! Extra!

This time of year is tax time, it is often the favorite time of year for those of us with children on the spectrum to take that “extra” money and use it on treatments, supplements or hell just pay the bills that didn’t get paid because of treatments or supplements.

This year I haven’t the slightest clue as to what we will be doing with our tax return, nor do we know how much we will be receiving as I’m not doing them this year.  Relinquishing that bit of control for me is throwing me into a bit of a tail spin as I don’t know, I don’t know exactly when our accountant will be done, I don’t know what we will be getting , will it be just enough to pay back bills or will it be enough to pay those bills plus some?

Conceivably I would LOVE to be able to purchase a year’s worth of supplements, pay for my Divine Child drink for a year and look into getting EEG neurofeedback for both Marcus and Jai Lynn all 40 sessions. There are a few supplements that I would love to add back and add on, Neuro Protek, Juice Plus, Purple Plus, and a few others.  But, I don’t know if I will be able to.

If any of you are like us money management is not one of your strong suits.  We are truly trying this time to live below our means but it’s nearly impossible because everything we have we need. I have cut costs  to the bone.  I have made A LOT of bad business decisions over the past year and that is a piece of our angst, the other piece is the sheer cost of rent and car notes alone are enough to send the money we receive into overdrive.  Then you factor in clean water, lights and heat, food, insurance, credit card bills, internet, cell phone, gas for vehicles,  etc etc.  Most months for us are a game of “who gets paid”.  Sure we could cut off lights,  up insurance deductibles, cut done the cell phone package, change how we eat but guess what I’ve done all of that and we are still in the red big time.  If we could just get rid of the car notes and rent then life would be so much easier but unless we get a huge windfall I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Although the supplements are a less expensive approach to Autism they are still costly especially when you are on an tight budget. So just to give you an idea of supplement cost I’m going to lay it out for you. I’m also going to give you costs of some of the other treatments that we have done yet are super expensive but they work fast. And here’s the kicker, you can do all of the super expensive treatments but, if you are not working on the underlying issues of immune system, digestive system, etc, then those expensive treatments will take longer, thus you’ll be spending more money.

So here goes, these are the items on the Dakhari’s Protocol, the ones in red are ones I’ve added.

  1. Niacinamide – $8
  2. NADH – 28.31
  3. Acetyl L Carnitine – $27
  4. Methyl B 12 – $6
  5. Coleus Forkholin – $10
  6. Phosphatidlyserine – $38
  7. Chelated Molybdenum – $7
  8. Castor Oil Wrap – 32oz $14 (not including purchasing a flannel wool wrap)
  9. Zeolite – $48
  10. Clay bath – $42
  11. Activated Charcoal – $7
  12. Divine child drink – $40
  13. Hemp seed oil – $9
  14. Enteric Coated pepermint oil – $8
  15. Serrapeptase – $28
  16. Coconut water kefir – $8 (grain purchase, not including price of purchasing coconuts)
  17. Milk kefir – $8 (Starter grain purchase, not including price of purchasing milk)
  18. Kombucha – $13 (Starter scoby, not including price of tea)
  19. Glutamine – $31
  20. Raw sauerkraut – $14
  21. MRM Attention Gels – $25
  22. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy – approx $3000 depending
  23. Aroma Therapy – approx $100 for diffuser plus the cost of the essential oils needed at approx $6-$10 per bottle
  24. Neurofeedback – $65 per session you need 40
  25. Epsom Salt bath – $5 for a bag of Epsom salt
  26. Vitamin D3 – $14
  27. Min Chex – $25
  28. Juice Plus – $28
  29. Neuro Protek – $40

And the total is…… approx. $594 that is without the Neurofeedback, Aroma Therapy and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

Now, out of that list 22 of the items will either be purchased on a monthly basis or they will run out real close to monthly and that’s a lot of money if you are taking the supplements like stated on the protocol (which we are not). Also, we have multiple children taking the same supplements so a supplement that would last someone else 2 months will only last us maybe one.  So for me the concept of taking these items along with my children is out of the question for right now.   The Probiotics are things that you can make on your own and those have weekly costs associated with them(purchasing coconuts, extra milk and tea), because at this time I do not have the money to make big vats of any of them, plus I’m sure that the others have some sort of refrigerated shelf life.

This is not to mention for us that we eat a lot of organic foods, I don’t use traditional soaps, lotions and soon deodorants   I cook mainly from scratch, although cheaper more time consuming (for now).  I am trying to find less expensive ways of doing things and trying to cut costs at every turn.

Autism is not cheap, no way you cut it. If I cut out those expenses would we have more disposable to pay bills and knock down debt…yes but the quality of life it has afforded my children is priceless.   Now I am looking for a multi supplement that will help me defray the cost of purchasing  lots of mini supplements. Also, if for no other reason, doing this everyday is exhausting to say the least.

The largest part to any treatment is the easier it is the more likely I am to stick to it and this is time consuming, especially in the morning while getting ready to go anywhere be it school or church.  It is a great protocol and it works I just need to find a way to simplify it for us.

So, I’m back to running my Stampin’ Up! business and making it work.  Because we need the money not only for supplements but for other life stuff.

Now the answer to my previous desire to purchase a years worth of supplements, based on the calculations that I just performed, that is not going to happen and seeing what I spend and what I should be spending to get the full benefits of the protocol makes me hyperventilate just a bit.

In the next couple of weeks my protocol may be changing because financially I can’t keep this one up. It could be that we take some supplements every other day or just on weekends.   I’m not sure but I will be looking into some alternatives.

Until next time

Love and Blessings

Charmaine

*All my supplements I get off of Amazon, because I am a Prime member I get free 2 day shipping on many items. I only buy local when I have to.

Week One Updates

So we have been going strong for a week with Dakhari’s Protocol.  The only elements missing are the ever important probiotics but we have been doing well.  I have been doing probiotics via smoothies using greek yogurt but we don’t have keifer, raw sauerkraut,  kombucha or coconut keifer at this time will be getting some things together so we can make our own but we don’t have any left.

So for the past week we have been doing the following:

  • MRM Attention Gels – up to twice a day during school week up to three times during weekends
  • Min Chex – up to twice a day during school week up to three times a day during weekends 30 minutes before each meal
  • NADH – on Monday, Wednesday and Friday 30 minutes prior to eating
  • Divine Child Drink -1 Tablespoon every day (baby gets 1/4 tsp.)
  • Activated Charcoal – 1 capsule 1-2 times per day
  • Methyl B-12 – 1 tablet per day
  • Vitamin D3 – 3,000 i.u. per day
  • Chelated Molybdenum – 1 tablet per day
  • Niacinamide – 1 tablet per day
  • Serrapeptase – 2 capsules per day during the weekends only (Friday – Sunday)
  • Acetyl L Carnitine – 1 capsule per day
  • Castor Oil Wrap – we did one today and will do another tomorrow since they are out of school
  • Zeolite- 1 tablespoon each night
  • Epsom Salt bath – Marcus had one on Wednesday with 2 cups of Epsom Salt and both kids had one today with 1 cup of Epsom Salt after their Castor Oil Wrap
  • Clay Bath – I gave Clay Baths last Saturday they will receive one tomorrow
  • Melatonion – 1 1mg tablet 30 minutes prior to bedtime
  • For Marcus only – Vimpat 12 mL 2x per day

So some of the gains we have seen this week:

Jai Lynn:

  • Decreased emotional outbursts
  • Increased understanding of what is being told to her
  • It seems as if her memory has gotten better

This week I will begin to track her academic and social progress.  Going to try and get her involved in some youth activities at church and try to find out more on the girls in her class. Will be adjusting the working binder tomorrow (now that I have ink in my printer) with checklists so I can graph out how she’s progressing.

Marcus, Jr.:

  • He is responding appropriately to questions asked of him
  • He seems to have a greater understanding if what is going on

Although, getting him to sit through a meal is still a challenge he will still sit.  On Saturday dad asked him where my computer mouse was, Marcus, Jr said, “Right there” and reached behind some paper and handed it to me.  I then told him thank you and he said you’re welcome.  In church today they had an assignment where they had to write who or what they where thankful for and here is Marcus, Jr’s reply, the teacher said he did it himself! It has been two weeks and 4 days since his last seizure, I think this is the longest time, he has a neurology appointment this week so we have to get some test results and see what our next course of action is.  He has been a bit more edgy at times it seems only when he is trying to communicate something otherwise he has been very happy as usual.

 

This week we will be tracking his attention, focus, hyper activity, academic progress, and social skills.

Mason:

This has been a tantrum week this week as everything no causes him to fall on the floor and cry.  We have been reading with him this week and he follows along with his finger and tries to repeat the words you say as you read.  He has been trying to have conversation (at least in his mind) and we are still working on not eating pens, markers or drawing on walls.  We started potty training (kind of) on Friday, he was happy to be in underware but continued to squat.  Because I haven’t potty trained anyone in a while I will need to read up on it 🙂

Coming up in the next month or so we will be trying some new supplements that I have discovered at a Wellness Retreat held by the church we attend. There will be a blog on all of the great resources from that retreat tomorrow.

Love and Blessings

Charmaine

 

A Day Out!

Today was a day off for everyone and so I had to find something for the kids to do to keep them from driving hubby and I and each other nuts.  So last night I decided that today we would go bowling and then go out to lunch making it a full day of fun.  So we had breakfast, got dressed and headed out for the bowling alley that I had coupons for.

We got to the bowling alley and they had no open spots left, I had taken the kids in with me to hold the lanes and they both did a pretty good job when we had to leave.  Minimal whining and crying, and they quickly adjusted when we explained to them that we where going to another bowling alley that had the space.  We got to Harbor Lanes the kids where very excited. As soon as Marcus Jr got in he begun to take off his coat and shoes, I guess in his mind he was ensuring that we weren’t going to leave this bowling alley without him getting a chance to bowl.

Marcus Jr did so well bowling and listening and following directions.  He did a great job waiting his turn, he genuinely had a great time.  Jai Lynn not so well, she had a melt down the end of the first game because she didn’t win that first game (Mason won). So she begun crying and getting very disrespectful. Every time she gets upset or gets chastised she starts crying and saying she wants to die. Now I know she really doesn’t want to die but that’s the most dramatic thing that gets the biggest rise outta dad and I so she says it.  She spent the entire second game crying and spazzing out versus enjoying herself.  She was upset for the rest of the time at the bowling alley and when we got home she did a lot of stomping and crying so she was sent to her room while everyone else got comfortable and settled and I let her out when she calmed down so that she could eat. After that she was fine.  Mason  was great until the second frame of the second game he was exhausted and every movement made him whine he fell asleep on the way home.

Once everyone got settled and had lunch I ran Marcus, Jr a clay bath.  I noticed at bowling that his eyes were a little red and we have been putting a lot into him vitamin supplement wise so I know he need to be detoxed.  He spent at least 45 minutes in the clay bath and loved every minute of it.  It was good to see him happy and interactive.  Jai Lynn stayed in the clay bath for a little over an hour. Mason missed out on clay baths today because he was taking a nap.  But he will get one tomorrow.

Today everyone also took their dose of Zeolite and Activated Charcoal. I also purchased some goats milk soap and made my own lotion (cold pressed castor oil and coconut oil), I also purchased Eco Nuts to wash with and Wool Dryer Balls for the dryer, eliminating more toxins. Going to be looking into homemade cleaners, shampoos and some other things.  We are trying to heal not only our kids but ourselves from years of misuse.

Marcus, Jr also had morning meditation and had his energy cleansed with sage. Didn’t do the other two kids but will make it a point to do it tomorrow morning to give them a great start to their day. Tomorrow is also a yoga night so that will be another great way to help them deal with emotions and feelings learning to breathe and be thankful through it all.  Tomorrow we will also be starting in our homework binders so our week is moving along well.  So far Jai Lynn has obtained two stars on her chore chart and Mason one, still trying to make Marcus, Jr aware of his chart and to become interested in earning money and keeping his spaces clean.  Today we took all vitamin supplements on our vitamin chart and did the clay bath.  We have to get in some more coconut keifer as we are out.

So far so good on our journey doing this is allowing me to really look at deficits to really see where we need to work.  Please feel free to ask any questions if I don’t know the answer I will find someone who does.

Love and Blessings

Charmaine

Enjoy the pictures

Making my Kids Better Challenge

So I have resolved for the next 30 days I would give it all I can in the supplement area. Now, for me that means pill supplements as well as educational and life skill supplementation.  So we are closely following Dahakaris Protocol as it has garned much success for not only the family that created the protocol but for us as well.  Often times we as parents see gains and stop doing what we’re doing or we see regression and stop doing what we’re doing.  When in actually it means that we should persevere and  push forward.

What I have started is charts for everything we want to improve. I have a chore chart that I have finally purchased.  I was going to make one up but that wasn’t going well.  I created a vitamin supplement chart, and I have also created homework binders sectioned off and based off of the two older kids IEP’s and the baby’s based off of what things he should be doing at this level and the next.

This is the picture of Marcus Jr’s and Jai Lynn’s chore chart.  Two stars gets them .50, 4 stars, $1 and 6 stars $5, this will teach them some sort of responsibility and about counting money. I haven’t completed Mason’s chart yet as I think his will be money based also. Then I’m going to make it that if they get 10-15 stars I’m going to have a toy bin with a special toy and 20 or more stars will get a day out with daddy or mommy doing the activity of their choice.

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This is the picture of the vitamin supplement chart. As many of you with children on any edge of the spectrum (ADHD, Autism, OCD, ADD the list goes on) knows that vitamin supplements are often our life line to sanity as well as seeing signs of gains and life in our children.  Well we have so many vitamin supplements that I would always forget something and then I would feel bad about it.  This way I can see what the kids need, my husband can see what they need and one day the kids will be able to either tell me or do it on their own. This will go on my fridge for now, will probably re-tool this and make it smaller but I truly needed something now. I am still creating check marks for this chart so that we can see what has been done.  This chart will be moved to the wall as little hands will most likely have a lot of fun moving my check marks.

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This is a picture of the homework binder for Jai Lynn I am still working on Marcus, Jr’s and Mason’s.  This is just a preliminary as I’m sure I’ll be adjusting it in the upcoming months.  This is set up by each IEP goal that we’re working on and the corresponding sub category.

 

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Lastly, tomorrow I will be working on a menu book with recipes so that it will make it easy for anyone who can turn on a stove to cook in my absence.

If you are wondering why everything is not on the same schedule or sheet, for my kids and me too much causes distraction then nothing gets done.  So, I have things organized throughout.

I am finding that schedules work well in our household when everyone knows what’s expected there is less frustration and things run smoother.  Feel free to borrow my ideas if you think that they will work for your family.

Love and Blessings

Charmaine

ADHD Blues

Among all of the other fun things that my older son has to deal with ADHD is sometimes the most annoying of them all. Let me re-phrase IT IS THE MOST ANNOYING. I often laugh to keep from losing my mind.  Well we were doing well in the land of ADHD for quite some time (it was probably a week or so but in our world a week of great behavior feels like a lifetime as does a week of not so great behavior) but just this week his teacher had been telling me that she has been having quite a difficult time getting him to attend to his school work and focus on things in the classroom.  I have been having a hard time getting in to focus in the parking lot (something we used to be able to do well), at home during homework time and during other activities.  We had lessened the television time as well as given him some structured time even on the weekends so I was wondering what else I could do because this was getting on my nerves.

Today was Chiropractor day and  I was going to ask the chiropractor  what we could do for the ADHD as one of the chiropractors Dr. Smith does nutrition counseling so since we saw him today I figured now is as good of a time as any to ask him if he could help us.

Prior to going to the chiropractors office I knew something had to be done so I went and picked up MRM Attention Gels, we had tried Source Naturals Attentive Child but he ate them all like candy. So my tip to you if you have a child that likes to eat and will eat anything when hungry (for example I told Marcus, Jr he couldn’t have any more apples so he ate all of his supplement in one sitting because he couldn’t have apples) then Attentive Child may not be for you, especially if your child can’t distinguish between supplement and food or knows all of your hiding spots.  We decided to try something new that wouldn’t require me to hide the supplement and he wouldn’t see it as candy or a treat. The MRM Attention Gels are to be taken 1 softgel up to 3 times per day with a meal. I am going to have both Marcus, Jr (ADHD) and Jai Lynn (ADD) take that one. The chiropractor recommended a supplement to help calm his nervous system called Min-Chex and he will take that one alone.

I will chronicle his journeys to see how less “extra” he is and if Jai Lynn gains more attention to detail and focus.

But, so far so good, within his first few hours of taking the Min-Chex my husband asked me if I had given him anything because he seemed more calm.  So, we will try these things out as well as the meditation and yoga that we have him doing.  Thinking good thoughts and knowing we will see some positive changes.

This is going to be a great year for my kids.

Love and Blessings

Charmaine

Wayne RESA Meeting January 10, 2012

So tonight I went to the Wayne RESA meeting in Wayne, Michigan and tonight’s speaker was Dr. Eleanor White and she spent over 45 minutes doing Q&A and it was great as she is a very engaging speaker.

Dr. White explained that Special Education is an entitlement to services and programs for children with disabilities  It is not a gift but an entitlement, and I think that we as parents and school administers and teacher need to remember that.  Don’t let your district “punk” (my words not hers)you into feeling like they are doing you a favor, most likely they are not, they are following the law and doing what they are legally obligated to do.  Her next point was to inform us that OSE (Office of Special Education) is a regulatory agency so they only deal with things that are mandated, things that are law.  They can’t help with busing problems, teacher training or para pro training, unless there is a state or federal mandate for it. That I thought was a great point to know because then it lets you know not to spend your time calling OSE for problems with your child’s bus route or the qualifications of you para-pro.  She also touched on Feedback loops, she said that is is EXTREMELY helpful to them in the OSE Office when parents call, write or email with questions, concerns, complaints  it allows them to know what is going on, what they might be doing wrong and where they could possibly help.  So to please continue filtering information to her office.  She touched a bit on the State of Michigan’s disproportional problem, she stated that each time a special education student is sent home for a behavioral issue that is should be documented so that the state can react accordingly. A question was asked about a child that is consistently being sent home because of behavioral issues, she informed the parents to keep a journal of how many times that they are sent home and to have the school do a behavioral assessment   Her last note was on funding and she stated, “There is NO extra money for special education in the state of Michigan”.

Now I asked her two questions, the first being:

  • Does the state conduct financial audits of the school districts on what is done with the money given to them, if so where would I find the reports and what is done if a district is not spending the money the way that they should. She stated that the state does conduct audits of school districts on how their money is spent. That I could obtain the report from our district building under FOIA (freedom of information act) so I will try that and she stated that if they school district is non-compliant with how their money is spent then funds are taken away from them but they do not keep a report of districts that they have had to take money away from
  • My second question was regarding the training of teachers and para-pros and she stated that is a school by school thing not a regulatory item.

She also pointed out that there is no mandate stating that there is a certain percentage of special education children that need to be mainstreamed. She stated that it originally started as a memo but it was never turned into a mandate, that districts took it upon themselves to create rules about a child’s placement but there is no law stating that. She also was very vocal about not always having a adult shadowing a child, if a child is able then they must learn to navigate their natural environment and that is difficult to do with an adult traveling behind you all the time. That whenever possible peer supports should be used.

This was one of the most informative meetings that I have been to in a while. I loved how open and honest she was and how approachable and non-judgmental, this meeting was definitely worth the drive. I made some wonderful connections to other parents. Now remember if you are reading this and not in the state of Michigan this is truly a state of Michigan post so sorry.  I will have some resources on my resource pages that will be extremely helpful to all.

The rest of the meeting was welcoming new members, the treasurer report and all that good stuff. I hope I have inspired you to learn more, do more and be more.  Please become involved in your local Parent Advisory Committee become the change, so many laws have changed as of late in our state in regards to special education, actually the laws changed years ago, they have just recently put them in black and white so that they could be followed and according to Dr. White more changes are to come as they are working on a new rule package now. So, parents, loved ones and care givers stay vigilant  continue to communicate with your team, find your allies with other parents, teachers and administrators. Learn the law or at least some of it because it will make you a better advocate for your child and perhaps allow you to help someone else on their journey.  Remember we are all in this together, band together with other parents as we can do more as a group than we could ever do alone.

Love and Blessings,

Charmaine