Waging war in the urban jungle

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Elimination diet updates

With the hustle and bustle of school starting I didn't post about the challenge phase of Paulo's elimination diet.

We've started challenging the foods that Paulo was restricted from last Friday.  He got to pick the order in which they were reintroduced. He chose eggs first.  So Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday he had eggs twice a day.  Once at breakfast and again at lunch in the form of a hard boiled egg.  At first he was quite excited but by Tuesday after breakfast he requested no egg in his lunch.  Which in itself is telling.

Some things I noticed, the shiners got dark again, he had some difficulty falling asleep, but with the change of school and seasons I am not putting too much weight on that.  The thing that really stunk (pun intended) were some of the gastrointestinal side effects.  That boy was stinky by Tuesday.  I took him back off eggs Wednesday and then let him have one this morning to see if anything changes.  The other thing that I noticed was Tuesday night.  We were reading story and he kept squirming around and scratching, I took back the covers and realized that an eczema patch had flared up.  He seemed to have had some level of reaction to eggs, but the thing is he would never eat two a day normally.  So, like Kelly mentioned, we may be able to have eggs as long as we keep it under his sensitivity threshold. 

Saturday we start with wheat.  I'll keep ya posted!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The first day, in pictures

Big stretch!  It's hard work to eat a plateful of pancakes!
Last minute checks to be sure he has everything he needs.

Nervous?  Nah Mom, I got this, school is no problem!

Getting his first assignment from his teacher, Mike.

Our first day of school self portrait.

Already hard at work, hardly even knows I'm gone!

Why is there ink on my face?  I don't know...

The big, soulful, eyes of my 1st grade boy!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Self discipline

In order for our weekly schedule to work I have to be disciplined.  It sucks.  I want to just lounge and chill out.  I want to stay up until 11 watching all those new shows that look interesting.  I want to have a glass, or two, of wine.  I can't do any of that.  Because I know if I do then the morning will derail.

I sincerely hope I can continue to look at that big picture and not indulge my inner child.  I need to remember how peaceful I feel when I walk into my kitchen at 6 am and see the counters clear of dishes that would normally sit and air dry at night.  I need to remember how rested I feel at 5:45 am when my alarm goes off when I've been a good girl and hit the sack, lights out and off to sleepy land by 10:30 (frankly the 10:00 that I did last night worked even better!)  I need to remember how clear headed I feel when I abstain from alcohol.  I keep reminding myself that Friday is coming, I can have a glass on Friday if I want, but during the week?  Nope.  It really affects the quality of my sleep and my mood and I cannot sacrifice either of those. 

I just need to take it one day at a time and remember what is most important, a smooth and peaceful morning for my boys before school.  I can remember plenty of mornings when I ran around like a crazed harpie.  It rarely was their fault I was angry, I was angry because I was tired.  Because I hadn't slept well or long enough, because things hadn't gotten done the night before.  I was angry at myself.  I do not want to be angry at myself anymore.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Back in the saddle again....

The start of Paulo's school year was delayed by two weeks due to a snafu in our new building-namely the renovation was not done!  The administration has been scrambling for the past month, once it became clear to the new building owner that he would not be prepared for us, to find a new facility.  We finally found one last week that would house all of our K-8 classes and was "E occupancy" which basically translates to the school won't collapse and crush our babies in the event of an earthquake.  The extended summer vacation has been both a blessing and a curse, it was hard for me to get back into the Fall swing of things when only one of my kids was going to school.  I think it was hard on Paulo as well, he enjoys school and missed his friends.

Finally, today was my baby's first day of 1st grade!  Hallelujah!!  I laughed as we walked in at the grins on all the faces of the parents.  This two week delay has been really tough on some families, fortunately I was able to take some time off and I have my mother in law as my back up, so it wasn't a strain on me.  But for those traditional two income families, it's been tough.  We were a giddy group of Moms and Dads today!  The kids seemed happy (and nervous) but us parents?  We were ecstatic! 

I deposited Paulo to his classroom, a 1st/2nd grade blend taught by his favorite teacher, Mr. Mike, this morning.  He quickly found his cubby to stuff his backpack into and got started on his first assignment, to write and/or draw about something you did during the summer.  After a couple last pictures and a begrudgingly small kiss good bye I left the room...and stole a couple more pictures after that.  I stood there for a moment though marveling at how he jumps right into new experiences, I hope he never loses that enviable personality trait. 

Now I'm just sitting here.....waiting....wishing that time would speed up so I can pick him up at 2:45 and hear all about his first day of first grade!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I envy Paulo's ability to enter a group of people and instantly make friends.  I saw it last week during his first soccer practice.  A lot of the kids, and Moms, knew each other.  But did that intimidate my son?  Not in the least.  He went right in and acted as if he'd known them for years.  As we were leaving the park he starts yelling "BYE IAN!  My name is PAULO!"  I had to shush him a little since the park is right next to apartments and I felt bad about my kid yelling a top of his lungs to his team mate.  But I loved how happy he was to make a new friend and how he wanted to be sure that friend knew his name.

Again yesterday I saw it.  Paulo and I were shuttle drivers for Dimitri and three of his soccer team mates to a game across town.  The game was at an elementary school-score for a playground!  There was a little girl there who had a brother on the opposite team.  Those two played the entire 90 minute game together.  Just laughing, talking, chasing, playing as if they had known each other their whole lives. 

He has the gift of easy friendships.  I think that's true for a lot of children though.  As we age we start to get self conscious about striking up conversations, at least I do.  I spent last week's soccer practice in silence.  There were two clumps of Moms chatting but I didn't know them and didn't feel as confident in my abilities to make new friends as my son.  So I stayed quiet and watched practice.  I'm sure as the season goes on I will start to chat but I don't see any deep meaningful friendships coming out of the group.

This is why I'm grateful for the friendships I do have though.  We had the pleasure of lunching with two dear, dear friends that we have not seen in a long time last Sunday.  It was as if no time had passed.  There was not a moment of awkwardness, the conversation flowed, the hugs were tight, the laughter in abundant supply.  I think as we age we get fewer, but higher quality, friendships.  And they are really so important.  They enrich our lives in ways work and family simply cannot.  We need to nurture them though and, I suppose, we need to remain open to new people coming into our lives even people we meet watching soccer practice of a group of rowdy 1st grade boys.

Friday, September 10, 2010

21 day challenge

There is a blog I frequent for raw food ideas.  The author, Susan, is starting a 21 day challenge.  The idea being that you get to step into October recharged and ready for the coming Winter months. 

I'm joining her challenge.  Despite the name of the site, Rawmazing she does not stipulate that you need to go 100% raw, I personally am going for 100% raw breakfast, lunch and snacks with light dinners.  The idea is that you spend a few minutes thinking about what changes you'd like to make, what habits you need to engrain, where will you get the most return for your time investment and commit to practicing those habits daily during the challenge.

If you want to join the fun click and read about it, come on, what do you have to lose?  Nothing.  What do you have to gain?  A whole new level of peace.

Monday, September 6, 2010

From the mouths of babes

Paulo has a friend over right now.  I told them they could play 30 minutes of Wii, after that they needed to find something else to do.  Near the end of the 30 minutes they were talking about who M had "unlocked" on his Wii and Paulo said he wanted to go see all the people that M had unlocked.  Could they play at his house now?

Paulo's friend answered, in the honesty only children have, that they couldn't play at his house because his Mom and Dad were divorcing and they were screaming at each other a lot....broke my heart.  This led to a brief discussion between the two about what that meant, what kinds of things were they screaming, that sort of thing, while I stood, motionless in the kitchen.

I grew up in a house of conflict, I remember some real doozies of arguments.  One in particular scarred me, I was laying on the couch trying to watch Saturday morning cartoons while my parents stood maybe 10 feet away fighting, one threatening to leave, the other goading her with offers to help her pack.  I feel bad for those kids, I know how hard that is to grow up not sure if your parents are going to stay together-or if they should. 

For now though I suppose all I can do if offer my home to my son's good friend so he can come here, play and just be a kid. 

Friday, September 3, 2010

As if grocery shopping weren't bad enough!

I did my bi-monthly pilgrimage today to the grocery store.  I try to limit myself to two big trips a month, sometimes I need to run in on the off weeks for more veggies and fruits.

I was in the home stretch, Winco, my local discount grocery store.  I loaded up my reusable bags first, but didn't have enough of them since this was my last stop of three stores.  To finish bagging my groceries, yes at Winco you have to do that yourself, I grabbed a paper bag.  I should have thought through what I put in which bag.  I grabbed my bag and turned to put in my cart and heard RIP!  The bag tore, my olives smashed to the ground and shattered, my cantaloupe followed-thankfully no shattering there and I'm left holding a torn bag in my hand, huge mess at my feet, mortified.  Absolutely mortified.

A very nice man starts yelling behind me asking if I need help.  Uh no, just a nice big hole to jump in would be lovely.  An equally nice man, that worked there, swooped down on me with a broom, reassuring me that he'd seen worse, and sending another guy off to get replacements for my olives that shattered and my salsa bottle that was damaged in the process.  I was surprised though that they didn't charge me for the replacements, I expected to pay again since it was no one's fault but my own that I was covered in olive juice. 

Seriously though, as if grocery shopping was not bad enough!  The only saving grace, I'm done with Winco for at least two weeks.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The death of civility

I've made the mistake of clicking on, and reading, some of the responses to certain political articles on the internet.  Oh...my....goodness!  Have we really sunk to such a depth?  Where is the sense of basic decency and respect?  Is it our new normal?  Is it real?  Or is it just the anonymity of the internet that allows people to sink to their deep, dark depths, and spew hate?  Do the proverbial gloves come off when there is not consequence for what we say because no one really knows who we are on the internet, and what does that do to us in the long run?

I did not vote for Mr. Bush, but I never, in my wildest dreams, would have posted the hate filled things I've read about our current, sitting, President.  I can disagree with your political views, your moral, your religious, etc., without wishing your death or in any way other pain or suffering.  I see so much hate being poured onto a man, a simple man, who dared to run and win the office of President in a time of severe crisis.  Honestly I am not at all sure our economy would be any better off if McCain had won.  We, the American People, are responsible in large part for our current economic crisis.  Yes the banks have their own responsibility but they did not force us to apply for home equity lines to finance vacations, upgrades or shopping habits.  They did not force us to apply for loans on homes we really couldn't afford.  They did not force us to spend MORE than we made.   We did that.  There is personal responsibility in our current, painful, situation.  There is also personal responsibility in our solution to our current, painful, situation.  It will take time however, something people are not willing to give.  And it will take setting aside the anger and fear.

One of the articles that floored me though was one about the capture of a high up dude from a Mexican drug cartel who, ironically, was a US born citizen.  I was stunned by how many anonymous people, men and women I'm sure, campaigned for the death penalty for dealers and users.  Kill em! Hang em! Cut off their balls!  Make an example out of them!  And then there were the blame Obama posts.  Really?  Blaming the President for Mexico's drug cartel?  There was another article about Meghan McCain's book that was apparently critical of the darling of the conservative Sarah Palin.  Again, the anonymous posters, tore that girl to shreds, she's an attention seeking idiot, she's useless, etc.  Plus, they tore her father, an American HERO, to shreds.  Called him an old geezer that should be in a retirement home.  The man was a POW, and survived.  He deserves respect, I'm a card carrying Democrat and I know that.  I don't agree with all his views, but he deserves my respect.  He's a human being. 

A human being.  What does that mean to you?  How do we show our humanity?  I believe we show it through kindness.  Through patience.  Through civility.  What if civility is dead?  What does that mean for humanity?  The Golden Rule, treat others as you would have them treat you.  Where does that factor in on these anonymous, hateful, internet posts?  Where is civility?  Where is respect?  Where is decency? 

I'm not a religious woman, in the traditional sense, but I am what I consider to be Spiritual.  I believe there is a higher power that watches over us, that sees how we deal with conflict, how we deal with people who differ from us, are we able to treat them as equal human beings or do we belittle, blame, or worse yet, kill them?  That Spirit, however you call it, is watching.  That Spirit wants us to treat each other with kindness.  With respect.  With civility.  That Spirit would not approve of anonymous internet posters wishing death upon the President, Republicans, Democrats or even drug dealers.  That Spirit wants us to learn.  That Spirit wants us to become better.  More patient.  More loving.  Kinder.  Gentler.  More accepting.  I believe that Spirit wants our soul to evolve as we go through life and subsequent reincarnations.  To open our hearts and minds.  To reach out to one another.  To help, to love, to be present in each others lives.  I believe we are here on Earth to learn how to love each other.  I do not see a lot of love right now, and that, frankly, scares me.