Sunday, November 29, 2009

great news about the candles

I just realized that I didn't share the great news. We talked with the director about the candles that all the TAs seemed to love and he spoke with them that day. The candles are now all officially gone. YAY! He said that since it wouldn't hurt anyone or cost anything to get rid of them but it would help several people, of course he would accommodate us.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Doggie Fruit Loops

Alyssa does pet sitting and we always notice when the doggies are fed "doggie fruit loops". My hubby coined the phrase when he opened a particular bag of puppy food from one of those neurotic dogs who had accidents all over the house.

This is a far call from a scientific study but when we have dogs with uncolored dog food we seem to not have the same aggression or potty problems as dogs with obviously colored food. The best food that we've found to not contain any color, flavoring, or obvious preservatives is Kirkland brand from costco. It also doesn't list animal biproducts. We've never had a neurotic dog or an accident dog who was fed Kirkland.

So, if you're going crazy over your dog, just try a little experiment. Let me know what you find.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Bento Box song

This is just a cute song from Biggie at Lunch in a Box. We love to bento our lunches and her site has had many feingold safe foods for us to glean from. I love to learn foreign languages in song.

An article in Oprah's magazine

Thanks Markey for the link to this article in Oprah's magazine.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

And, some links for the chocolate letters

aha...and here are some fun links. Of course, use approved chocolate chips listing no vanillan and PLEASE do not add coloring.

Cake decorating, what a great idea

This idea comes from Gina...
What a great idea! She pipes melted chocolate onto a silpat sheet in the form of letters, lets them cool, then stands them up on the cake. How cute!
I want a picture from someone who tries this. My son's birthday was just yesterday and I would have loved to do it. We just did a 9 out of chocolate chips and used colorful candles. Watch out for the candle drips though.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Question-air freshener-remember the word allergy

Here is a reader question...

How are you able to deal with air fresheners and smells at school? We think our son reacts to those things and only put together the connection after a full semester of daily air freshener and decreasing self-control and behavior last spring.

This year, we're trying to be pro-active, but I just don't know how to deal with the smells. Is it a simple, "My son is allergic to air fresheners." Or do you go into a long explanation about why.


Dear Sara,
I use the word "allergy" a lot! It is not to be deceptive at all. It's just that people don't usually understand the word sensitivity. A sensitivity usually implies that the kids is sensitive and the parents are loony. People understand the word allergy to mean that he can not have it-which is the truth. In Andrew's case it is easier because he also has asthmatic reactions with fragrances. There is a physical symptom that people can see.
Normally I would just say plain and simply, My son can not be in a room with air freshener or any artificial fragrance including perfumes or candles. Then if you need to elaborate later you may. If the teacher is not complying, ask for a 504 plan. As I understand it, most schools would love to accommodate you if possible before needing to get a 504 because 504s means more paperwork for them but no extra funding. Ask them if they will be able to accommodate your needs or if you will need a 504 in order to make it happen.
We still have smells, other people's hand sanitizer (my kids bring their own) is probably the biggest smell left. Mrs. B is great to prop open the door as much as possible though so it's not as bad as it was. The clorox while wiping down the lunch tables, but they try to leave a bit early so they don't have an empty table next to them. The math teacher hasn't taken out her candle yet and I think she melts it when he's not there because there's still a smell in the room. It's just been for the last few weeks and coincidentally Andrew has been leaving the room halfway during math to use the restroom and he told me that his tummy hurts in math. He loves math and does very well so I can believe him on that one. I'm thinking it's the smell. I have had to run to the restroom many times while on the detergent aisle at the store. I wonder if anyone else gets the queezies when near chemicals.
Now you could say that right? If you continue to use air fresheners around my son he'll poop on your floor. Ha ha ha.

The Medicated Child

This is an online video called The Medicated Child. I watched it and found it very interesting.

Here is the homepage and the text related to the video.

In The Medicated Child, FRONTLINE producer Marcela Gaviria confronts psychiatrists, researchers and government regulators about the risks, benefits and many questions surrounding prescription drugs for troubled children. The biggest current controversy surrounds the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Formerly called manic depression, bipolar disorder was long believed to exist only in adults. But in the mid-1990s, bipolar in children began to be diagnosed at much higher rates, sometimes in kids as young as 4 years old. "The rates of bipolar diagnoses in children have increased markedly in many communities over the last five to seven years," says Dr. Steven Hyman, a former director of the National Institute of Mental Health. "I think the real question is, are those diagnoses right? And in truth, I don't think we yet know the answer."

Like many of the 1 million children now diagnosed with bipolar, 5-year-old Jacob Solomon was initially believed to suffer from an attention deficit disorder. His parents reluctantly started him on Ritalin, but over the next five years, Jacob would be put on one drug after another. "It all started to feel out of control," Jacob's father, Ron, told FRONTLINE. "Nobody ever said we can work with this through therapy and things like that. Everywhere we looked it was, 'Take meds, take meds, take meds.'"

Over the years, Jacob's multiple medications have helped improve his mood, but they've also left him with a severe tic in his neck which doctors are having trouble fully explaining. "We're dealing with developing minds and brains, and medications have a whole different impact in the young developing child than they do in an adult," says Dr. Marianne Wamboldt, the chief of psychiatry at Denver Children's Hospital. "We don't understand that impact very well. That's where we're still in the Dark Ages."

DJ Koontz was diagnosed with bipolar at 4 years old, after his temper tantrums became more frequent and explosive. He was recently prescribed powerful antipsychotic drugs. "It is a little worrisome to me because he is so young," says DJ's mother, Christine. "If he didn't take it, though, I don't know if we could function as a family. It's almost a do-or-die situation over here." DJ's medicines seem to be helping him in the short run, but the longer-term outlook is still uncertain. "What's not really clear is whether many of the kids who are called bipolar have anything that's related to this very well-studied disorder in adults," says Dr. Thomas Insel, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health. "It's not clear that people with that adult illness started with what we're now calling bipolar in children. Nor is it clear that the kids who have this disorder are going to grow up to have what we used to call manic-depressive illness in adulthood."

While some urge caution when it comes to bipolar in children, FRONTLINE talks with others who argue that we should intervene with drug treatments at even younger ages for children genetically predisposed to the disorder. "The theory is that if you get in early, before the first full mood episode, then perhaps we can delay the onset to full mania," says Dr. Kiki Chang of Stanford University. "And if that's the case, perhaps finding the right medication early on can protect a brain so that these children never do progress to full bipolar disorder."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I feel kind of bad...

I was just looking over my blog and realizing that I'm out of recipes...LOL. I tell ya, we cook easy and cheap. There are only so many recipes I can post that are always acceptable. Please send me your always acceptable recipes and I'll post them ok? If I can get my camera working again I'll start a lunch log. I think their favorite lunch so far is chicken soup. We pack it up in a thermos so it's still warm. Adam said it feels like home. We also bought some gummy vitamins and rather than giving them in the morning, they are packed in a tiny container for lunch. They love that treat.
Thanks all, I promise I'm not getting too lazy, just a little out of ideas. Send em in!