Beauty in Hope

The fast approaching holidays often become somewhat of a stress since we have multiple children which suffer from various food sensitivities. It does require a certain level of planning in order to normalize life. 

I often find myself in this massive web (so fitting since today is Halloween). A web of fibers spun out of fear. The tug and pull of each strand is a tug on my heart. I struggle with feelings of isolation, frustration, and anger. Why can’t things just be normal for my family? 
Why can’t we just go to a family gathering and eat all of the traditional foods? Why must I pack my house to be in the company of others?  Why can’t we just go to a restaurant as a family? I’m left with two choices; let the web engulf me or find resolve.

I begin to unravel; we spend an endless amount of time trying to be normal and trying to fit in. Normal is just that; where as uniqueness brings forth beauty. Instead of trying to fit our square family in the round world. I begin to think outside the box. I struggle with the feelings of loneliness; but, more so it is clearly selfishness. I am the one disappointed that once traditions are nothing but a past and I am the one spending endless hours in the kitchen in order to see that all of the traditional holiday experiences are safe for my children.  I do this to eliminate the risk of cross contamination and potential use of wrong ingredients from well meaning hosts. My selfishness is directly driven from fear; a fear of a relapse but with good reason. 

Still unraveling…

Although, my actions are fear driven and well intentioned. There are still options. I have the option to stay home and make new traditions with my family. I can still recreate the “traditional” meal in order to partake in an extended family/friend atmosphere. I live in a land that has more than enough. It is my job to see that what I am given becomes the beauty it was intended to be. I have been given a blank canvas to recreate, make a new, and spread good news. I am an artist. No, my friends I can not draw. I can however, cook, create, invent, inspire, and encourage others in similar situations to do the same.

If you find yourself in a similar slump of loneliness; think beyond the ordinary and create something new. That might mean creating new traditions, recreating meals, or being in the company of those in similar situations. Think outside the box and be the good new; life does not end with a diagnoses but rather creates an opportunity to be the gift to others, the gift of hope.


I’m Leaving..

Over the next several days I will be away at a blogging conference. As I prepare mentally and physically for this trip. I’m faced with the challenge of seeing that my family’s diet needs back home are still met. I have been preparing meals, snacks, and fun activities in order to make my time away as smooth as possible for all of those who are with my kids. This trip has truly been a team effort from the start and would not even be happening without all of the support I’ve received.

Today I thought I would share some of my tips to keeping things safe for my food sensitive children. 
I printed a gluten ingredient safe list and will give a copy to everyone who is watching my children.
 I have also prepackaged some snacks in portion snack size bags (nuts, granola, and raisins). 
The lunch bin is filled with some of their favorites (Boars head lunch meat, peanut butter and jelly (sun butter for my little man), gluten free bread, crackers, and pretzels. 
I have been blessed beyond words and didn’t need to plan a single dinner (I know amazing, right?!) Our grand-neighbors and grandparents have dinner time covered in order to further assist daddy with our usual crazy evenings. If this was not the case I do keep some staples in the freezer (gluten free meatballs, meatloaf, and gf pizza) just to name a few. 
These are some of the things I have been doing to make life run smoothly back home; it is never easy to be the one left behind holding down the fort and with so many food issues at times it can be down right stressful. My husband travels periodically and I do know from my own “fort holding” experiences. It helps to have a good frame of mind, a well thought out plan, and with a little prep work things work much better while part of your “team” is away. 
Now, that said; since this time I’m the one leaving I can also now see how it’s really not any easier being on the other side of the fence. The guilt of leaving your loved ones behind and the anxiety (oh’ boy). I know this trip will be a growing experience for all of us. I’m so unbelievably grateful for the experience and all of those who are helping to make it happen; especially my wonderful husband! 

Dr.Google; Aspergers-Cancer

3AM… Sleepy eyed I type; Aspergers. I read and come up empty. I type; Sensory Disorder {nothing}. Spirited child..

Aha, I had heard it before that was surely it. 

Spirited Child- A child described as being more difficult  for parents to parent; and, one who resists most forms of comfort. It is in a sense the new politically correct term used to describe children we don’t otherwise have an explanation for. It is a nice way of saying strong willed {which she is to this day} but that is a strength not a weakness. It should be something to be admired not something to be judged. 

I down load the book and …give more attention {how can I possibly give her more?} identify what triggers her {EVERYTHING.} Gah, with each passing day I grow more frustrated and angry. I stop reading. Why am I back at these labels? 

Time is ticking with each day that passes we are one step closer to juggling a new born and night tantrums in our home. You see these tantrums at night were not an issue with baby number three. This was something new.  Could this really be an “act” to get more time with us knowing another tiny person would be entering the world soon? 

Nope.. No way. Who wakes at a consistent time night after night simply to disrupt a household for attention?

Does she need therapy some ask? Nope.. No way. She’s three, at home with mom and dad; not to mention all of her different behaviors since birth. Oh’yeah, and she hates strangers so I’m pretty sure talking to a therapist would sound more like dead silence filling an empty space.

The alarm bells are ringing again..

A well visit in August proved still a healthy little girl, but four/five months had since passed and the numbers on the scale are alarmingly different. She has lost 3 lbs since. How is that even possible? She’s eating. We eat healthy mostly organic, order from area farms, and I pretty sure even my pregnancy mom brain would notice a full plate at the end of a meal. One pound different than her 22 month younger brother. Alarming and a bit concerning. Children should not lose weight without explanation; I know this. Is it cancer? 

Is this monster eating my child’s inside the very disease that takes so many? The thought enters as quickly as it leaves..

She is not well and I will do what it takes to save her from this. I will hesitate and be fearful of what I might find but I will trust in the one who created her. I will trust in Him, the father of all creation.