One Day

J had an unbelievably rough start to the week. I will confess that it wasn’t all his fault (and I feel horrible about it.) Sunday morning I wasn’t feeling well so I got up long enough to tell the boys what they could do for the morning and what they needed to do if they wanted electronics later. Then I went back to bed. Monday, I got a call pretty early in the day that J was not cooperating and didn’t want to work. I kind of expected that since we spent a tiring weekend at the State Special Olympics swim meet. They said he wasn’t out of control but that he was really agitated and refusing to do anything but read or talk about animals. Then Mrs. S picked him up like usual. When they got back to her house she wanted him to do his work, he wanted to nap. Somewhere along the way he got out of control. Really out of control. If you’ve never seen it, it is hard to imagine. It is actually hard for me to remember because it hasn’t happened at home or with me in several years. But he was a raging tasmanian devil. Things were flying, he was screaming, etc. S tried calling me and putting me on speaker phone and all he did was hiss at us. I ended up having to leave work early and when I arrived there was another adult from across the street also coming over to help. It was bad enough that she’d had to call for back up.

When we got home I noticed his morning meds still sitting at his breakfast spot. That is when I realized that he also didn’t have any the day before. Morning is now when he takes his anxiety/OCD meds. I had him take it right away and then sat him down to start catching up on all the work he had missed. He was a blubbering mess for a couple hours. He slowly got his work done and he also slowly returned to himself. We got a lot of work caught up, he did his night time routine and then wanted to go to bed a little early. When I tucked him in, I prayed over him extra peace and then sang a lot of songs to him. He wanted to know why I was singing more than one song and I reminded him that when he was little (and often had day long fits) I would sing him off to sleep. He wasn’t happy about it so we agreed that I’d just sing one more.

3:40am I was woken up by the dog. I got up to check on things and found J in his room on a handheld device. He’d already lost electronics through the end of the month for the Monday stuff. Add another day.

Tuesday morning before school he seemed fine. He took his meds, I triple checked. He promised it was going to be a great day and that he’d do his work. It wasn’t. He took a really long nap at school and only did about 10% of his class work. S said he was pretty wound up when she got him. I told her she could put him at my house for the last bit of time I’d be at work and for everyone’s safety, she did. He called her every few minutes to tell her what adventure he was imagining and she knew he was fine. (Side note: We’ve been slowly letting the boys stay home alone for short periods of time. They seem to do very well with the rules that come with the responsibility.)

When I got home we got right to work on catching up with the work. S and I were texting and brainstorming since he seemed to be doing better out of school this week. We needed something big to turn his week around. Since it seemed he really wanted to be away from school, I put that out as a reward. In the mornings he goes to a traditional teacher led class but in the afternoon, he does online courses with parapro support.

The deal was this: Go to your regular classes, stay awake, participate with a good attitude and if you can do all that, I will come get you before lunch starts.

12:45am I woke up from a dream and saw a light on in the hall. He was up getting a snack and books. Tucked him in again, reminded him of the deal.

This morning we went over all the desired behaviors. I also reiterated that me picking him up was not for fun but so that he could do his online work in the comfort of home.

I am happy to say it worked. He got to come home early and then we put in about 3 hours of work online and doing homework. He still has more homework to do because we didn’t get to it earlier this week, but today was successful. He navigated his two classes even when there was a slight change in the schedule. He stayed awake and he behaved appropriately. I’m hoping this broke the cycle. I’m hoping he remembers what a good day feels like and how nice it is when your teachers and support staff and mom are proud of you. Sometimes One day is all it takes.

Trying to revive this place!

Dear Blog(osphere),

I have missed you. I know I have cheated on you with facebook but I am ready to come back. It has almost been a year and there is plenty of catching up to do so here it is in list form cause you know I can get kinda wordy:

1) Big family Christmas with lots of people and presents, a wedding, a health crisis (not mine)

2)House we rented was foreclosed on. No solid leads on a rental. Decision to buy

3)Hubby was told he was going to be discharged from the airforce. (as of posting he is still in Korea with no return date, but it may be soon)

         3b) In an attempt to get stuff done before the insurance/military benefits run out we have been to the pediatric dentist 5 times in month, the ladies doctor, the primary care, the vet, and the optometrist.

4)J left home in the middle of the night. I was woken up when the police brought him home. (pick your jaw up off the floor, everyone is okay and new safeguards are in place.)

5)Found awesome new house that pretty much met our dream list. Took 3 months to close on it cause the asset manager was a pain in the tookus!

6)Made the slow move to the new house. It is only a mile from old house so we moved at a leisurely pace.

7)Aunt Melody came for a month to help save my sanity. We missed her flight home due to oversleeping, she stayed an extra week.

8)We took in a foster dog. She was beautiful and sweet and now she is adopted to a wonderful family.

9)I rejoined the Usborne Books business as a consultant. Shameless plug here: . Do your Christmas shopping, host a party, find out more about our free books for schools and money for fundraisers.

10)I refocused on personal time like playing Bunco, having coffee with friends and blogging.

There is your year in review.


The Prodigal Blogger.

P.S. Pink pancakes and Backyardigans keep my blog stats from plummeting into despair. I find that hilarious.

Marla and Maize have moved

I noticed in my blog stats that people were looking for Marla Baltes. I too was looking for her because my feed reader showed new posts but when I tried to open them it said the blog was gone.

Then I remembered I had her email. So I dropped her a note to check and see how things were and she let me know that she has moved her blog but didn’t know how to get the word out to everyone. If you weren’t aware of the move, here is her new home :

If you have her old link in your blog roll please change it to the new one. Go and say hi even if you’ve never read her blog before. I assure you that you will fall in love with Marla and Maize and now Emma, Sally, Mimi and Chris too.

since facebook hates me

I have been trying for an hour to upload picture from December to facebook. Since it fails the upload after taking forever to process pictures and after multiple tries, I will share a few favorites here.

Little J's first picture with Santa at the deployed family party.

J's first willing encounter with Santa

after the kids helped decorate the tree with grandma

the only family picture we have from this Christmas

Happy Birthday J!

J turned 6 on March 1st.  I wanted a February baby so I could have an amethyst mother’s ring and he decided to hang out for an extra 2 hours and deny me.  Well actually a week and 2 hours!  My cousin’s girl S swapped b-days with J and came a week early for her mama.

Since hubby had to leave for his weather school, we had our combined February and March b-day party last Friday.  We have 5 b-days in those months in our family located in AZ.  Little J will be 4 in 10 days.


We also had a cake for him (baked by a friend) at our small group devotional tonight but I haven’t downloaded the pics from my phone yet.

Next weekend we are headed to Las Vegas to vacation and visit old friends.  We were stationed there before coming here.  I am really excited to take the kids around town.  I am also nervous to be spending so much time alone with them in an unfamiliar territory (to them)!

This past year J has changed so much for the better that I know this trip would not have been possible on his 5th b-day.  When we get back we will still have 1 1/2 weeks of our spring break so we will probably have a joint b-day party with our friends at the house.  I’m hoping for a pool party since it would be easy entertainment and we wouldn’t have to worry about games/activities that the b-day kids wouldn’t want to play anyway.

Speaking of changes….


J is now taking Karate once a week.  I am amazed at how well he is doing.  The class is larger than we (or the instructor) expected so I stay to help keep him focused but he LOVES it.  He didn’t at first but now he wants to go.  The last two weeks he has worked on stranger danger moves with a partner.  They get to choose a partner and he has chosen the same little boy both weeks.  K is a year younger than J but he already has a belt one degree higher (yellow) so he has been through the class before.  He is very patient with J and the work well together.  I am super impressed. 

J struggled a bit in the beginning because he was stimming and the kids didn’t know what to think of him so they either giggled or ignored.  A few times J tried to introduce himself to other boys but he made the social faux pas of getting nearly nose to nose before asking “What’s your name?”  The kids didn’t know how to respond and I wasn’t close enough to prompt them.  Each time it happened they just walked away.  It hasn’t discouraged him though.  At the last parent teacher conference for school I brought up these examples with his speech therapist and she agreed to work with him on what is an appropriate distance for a conversation.

I was just as nervous as him the 1st couple of classes because I was worried about having to intervene too much but now that he has the rhythm of class down we are both more relaxed.  Right now it is the perfect “sport” for him because he is learning to listen to another authority figure, relate to other students in a one on one encounter, and there isn’t a lot of pressure to “work as a team.”

Little J can’t wait till next semester when he will meet the age requirements to take the class as well.

I’ll try and post more pictures this week and then give an update from Vegas.  Sorry for being so absent but we had a hard month preparing for hubby to leave, him leaving, and me crashing from exhaustion every night.

“Friends” flock

Today was my volunteer day at J’s school.  I learn so much at these once a week visits.  I schedule my time so that I can help in the class during centers and then hang on the playground with the para pro while J plays.  Today he was on the swings and several kids where taking turns giving him helpful pushes.  One boy was so cute.  He was pushing J and guarding the swing next to him.  If any kids came in their direction he would hop on the empty swing and when they walked away, he’d jump off and give J some more pushes.  His Para pro mentioned that in the entire school year, this is the 1st day he has shown interest in the swings.  He tolerated the pushes for a while and then got up and just walked away to play by himself.

I asked Mrs. O (para pro) about how the other kids were now feeling towards J.   In the beginning of the year many of them were scared or bewildered by him.  He wasn’t staying in class everyday.  Sometimes they would remove him due to disruptions and sometimes he would go to a separate room to do extra work.  This week the stars have aligned and he has been a perfect student in class.  He has been on green all week and not even ventured into yellow.  Mrs. O has been keeping him in class to do his extra work.  So when he is done with what the kids at his table are doing, Mrs. O gets out the enrichment worksheets.  She said that at the beginning of the week one of the smartest girls in the class asked if he was reading.  Mrs. O said that J could read lots of words.   The girl said, “Wow, I can’t even read.”  Since then Mrs. O said that the other kids in the class have realized that he is very smart and they can have conversations with them.  She thinks they are trying to get smart by association.  He tolerates them for a little while (just like the swings) and then either shuts them out or asks to do something else.

Library is now a daily event and the librarian has made exceptions to the number of books he can check out at a time.  He is allowed to pick any book he wants when he goes with Mrs. O.  They are given a limited selection when they go as a class.  Mrs. O is trying to help him pick some books out of his narrowed interest and then using them during reading time in class.  While the other kids are reading their sight words, J is picking out 3rd-5th grade books and sounding them out.

But then he falls through a “swiss cheese hole.”  You know where not all of his learning is on an even level.  He is still struggling with managing his emotions.  He still struggles with math.  counting by 2s, check.  counting by 10s, check.  Counting by 5s, not so much.  Reading check.  Reading comprehension, what’s that?

stay tuned, new post in a minute.  splitting topics like a good blogger.

GF/CF Lunchbox recipes

I recently reviewed and gave away a GF/CF cookbook on my Being Savvy Tucson blog.  I decided to not only email the entrants with the other recipes, but post them here as well.  We are not gluten free right now because they need gluten in their bodies to test for celiacs, so I can not personally vouch for the recipes.  BUT they sound DELISH!  If you try them, come back and leave a comment with your review.

So from The Kid Friendly ADHD and Autism Cookbook I bring you 5 lunchbox worthy menus/recipes.  (sorry for the weird characters in some places, this is straight from the document I received.)

Lunch #1: BBQ Chicken for Champions
One chicken breast, cut in half and pan fried in olive oil for 6 minutes a side.

Add salt and pepper. Cut into strips. Serve cold dipped in dipping sauce.
BBQ dipping sauce  � C (put in BPA-Free container)
Veggies: steam broccoli for 7 minutes, run cold water over it (or defrost frozen broccoli)

Place in BPA-Free container
Veggie dipping sauce in BPA-free container

Use: BBQ sauce or honey

Drink: water, GFCF V8 juice, GFCF juice box, fortified organic rice milk box

Snack if needed: GFCF chips & fruity salsa (1/4 C) in BPA-free container

Toy Surprise: Girls: yarn bracelet Boys: Miniature toy character figure


BBQ Sipping Sauce � C (put in BPA-Free container)

1 C organic ketchup

1 Tbs lemon

1 tsp Worchestershire sauce (GFCF)

1 Tbs honey

Dash of black pepper

Blend all of the above until smooth

Fruity Salsa

1 C Salsa

1/4 C grape, blueberry or raspberry fruit spread

Mash the fruit spread into the salsa


#2 DLT ( Deli  meat, Lettuce & Tomato Sandwich)

Turkey or Chicken GFCF Preservative-free organic lunch meats (by Boar’s Head, Applegate or Shelton)

Toast 2 pieces of GFCF bread.

Spread w/ 1 Tbs GFCF mayonnaise

Place 2 slices of GFCF lunch meat

Top with lettuce and tomato

Cut into 4 squares

Wrap in wax paper


GFCF Potato Salad 1/3 cup from recipe. Serve in BPA-Free container

Fruit (apple or grapes)  in BPA-Free container

Drink: water, GFCF V8 juice, GFCF juice box, fortified organic rice milk box

Toy Surprise:Hair scrunchie for girl. Baseball card for a boy.

Snack if needed: Peanut butter on rice crackers



GFCF Potato Salad


3 pounds potatoes, cooked until just tender, cubed, cooled

Optional: 5 or 6 hard cooked eggs, cooled, coarsely chopped

1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped red onion

1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped celery, optional


3/4 cup mayonnaise

1 to 2 tablespoons prepared GFCF mustard

salt and pepper to taste


Prepare the dressing combining the mayonnaise, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste.


Combine potatoes, egg, onions, and celery and stir in the dressing.

Serves 6 to 8.



Lunch # 3 Kids Favorite Chicken Salad & Deviled Eggs

Chicken Salad 1/3 to � C served in BPA-Free container

Deviled eggs (1-2)  served in BPA-Free container

Carrot sticks (wrapped in waxed paper) dipped in applesauce (in BPA-Free Container)

Snack if needed: GFCF chips & hummus in BPA-free container


Drink: water, GFCF V8 juice, GFCF juice box, fortified organic rice milk box


Chicken Salad


3 cups cooked diced chicken

2 ribs celery, thinly sliced

1 cup seedless green grapes, halved

3/4 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons finely minced green onions

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

salt and pepper, to taste


Combine first chicken, celery, and grapes in a large bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients; combine with chicken mixture, using as much or as little as necessary to moisten as desired. You may add a little more mayonnaise if you like a creamier salad. Chill and stir again before serving.

Serves 4 to 6.


Deviled Egg Recipe

6 hard-cooked eggs  cooled, shelled, cut in half, yolk removed

1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish, or to taste



Mash yolks and combine with mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and relish. Refill centers of the egg whites with the mixture. Garnish with ground paprika.

Serves 6 (2 halves per person)



Lunch # 4 Meatball Spaghetti Sauce


Meatballs in Spaghetti Sauce (1 C) without the spaghetti – served warm in thermos

Wonderful Waldorf Salad: 1/3 to � cup

Broccoli trees, cold asparagus or carrot strips dipped in Russian Dressing or honey

(1/4 C in BPA-Free Container)

Snack: Organic GFCF O s

Fruit smoothie � to � C in cold thermos or GFCF V8 juice, GFCF juice box,

fortified organic rice milk box

Snack if needed: GFCF chips & bean dip in BPA-free container

Toy: Stickers appropriate to the child


Spaghetti and Meatballs

1 small yellow onion

1 slice GFCF rice bread

2 Tbs water

1 teas salt

� teas oregano

1 pound ground beef

2 jars GFCF pasta sauce


Put onion in food processor and mince. Add bread, water, salt, and oregano and mix again. Pour mixture into a mixing bowl. Knead by hand together with ground beef until thoroughly mixed. Shape into desired meatball size. Put meatballs into a slow cooked with spaghetti sauce and cook for 4 hours. Refrigerate.

Serves: 4 to 6


Wonderful Waldorf Salad Recipe

1 C pineapple chunks (fresh or unsweetened canned)

3 C apples, peeled and cute in � inch cubes

1/3 C raisins

1 C carrots, thinly sliced

1/3  � c walnut pieces (optional)

1 C GFCF mayonnaise

Fruit Smoothie

1 � C rice milk

� glass crushed ice

1 Tbs rice powder

1 Tbs coconut milk (optional)

Add one of the following and blend at high speed until smooth and thick.

1 sliced banana

1 cored and chopped pear

1 handful of berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or combination

Russian Dressing

1 C GFCF mayonnaise

1 C GFCF ketchup

Servings: 8


Lunch #5 Chicken & Magical Muffins

Baked or grilled chicken (leftovers from dinner) � cold chicken breast

Apple salad served in cold thermos

Veggie-Muffins 1  2

Fruit smoothie � to � C in cold thermos or GFCF V8 juice, GFCF juice box,

fortified organic rice milk box

Snack if needed: Carrots & bean dip in BPA-free container


Apple Salad

2 large Red delicious apples, unpeeled, cored and but into 1 inch chunks

2/3 C crushed pineapple, drained or fresh pineapple minced – reserve juice

1/3 C celery, diced

2 Tbs raisins



3 Tbs soy yogurt

2 teaspoons GFCF mayonnaise

1 Tbs pineapple juice

1/8 Teaspoon cinnamon

In a medium bowl, combine the salad ingredients. In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients, Pour the dressing over the fruit mixture and stir.


Veggie- Muffins

1 store-bought GFCF cake mix prepared according to package directions- but not baked

Add 1 C pureed vegetables  using one or more of the following:

carrots, squash, peas, green beans

Add 1/2 C applesauce to batter

Option  stir in 1 C GFCF chocolate chips


Mix purees in with the batter, stir in chocolate chips (optional). Transfer the mixture to a muffin pan, filling each cup about two-thirds of the way. Bake at 3750 F for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Do not overcook, as this will result in dry muffins. Once cooled, these muffins can be frozen to be eaten later.


Yields 12 muffins



Lunch # 6 Sensory Sensible (for those who avoid lumps and bumps )

Pot Pie Muffins (2)


Fruit smoothie

Snack: Bean dip


Pot Pie Muffins

1 store-bought GFCF cake mix prepared according to package directions- but not baked

Add 1 C pureed vegetables  using one or more of the following:

carrots, squash, peas, green beans

Add 1/2 C applesauce to batter

Add 1/2 C pureed chicken

Option  stir in 1 C GFCF chocolate chips


Mix purees in with the batter, stir in chocolate chips (optional). Transfer the mixture to a muffin pan, filling each cup about two-thirds of the way. Bake at 3750 F for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Do not overcook, as this will result in dry muffins. Once cooled, these muffins can be frozen to be eaten later.


Yields 12 muffins



The above is an excerpt from the book The Kid-Friendly ADHD & Autism Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to the Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet
by Pamela J. Compart, M.D. and Dana Laake, R.D.H., M.S., L.D.N.
Published by Fair Winds Press; November 2006;$24.95US/$32.50CAN; 978-1-59233-223-6
Copyright � 2008 Pamela J. Compart, M.D. and Dana Laake, R.D.H., M.S., L.D.N

Author Bio
Pamela J. Compart
, M.D., is a developmental pediatrician in Columbia, Maryland. She combines traditional and complementary medicine approaches to the treatment of ADHD, autism, and other behavioral and developmental disorders. She is also the director of HeartLight Healing Arts, a multidisciplinary integrated holistic health care practice, providing services for children, adults, and families.

Dana Godbout Laake, R.D.H., M.S., L.D.N., is a licensed nutritionist in Kensington, Maryland. Within her practice, Dana Laake Nutrition, she provides preventive and therapeutic medical nutrition services. Her practice includes nutritional evaluation and treatment of the full spectrum of health issues affecting adults and children with special needs.

Been a rollercoaster!

We’ve had some ups and downs around here.  J’s new meds were working great and then the side effects kicked in and he was falling asleep in the middle of the day.  Then I changed the time to give it to him and it wasn’t kicking in in time for the school bus.  So we had some bad incidents (including biting and losing a tooth (already loose).  So we changed times again.  Can’t tell you if its working since he is now sick with a head cold that turned feverish tonight.  UGH!

So did you notice the new blingy badge over there  <——–  Savvy Source is doing 12 days of giveaways starting on December 9th.  Click the badge and get all the details.  I will be blogging on my page over there ( about our personal favorites in the books and toys department.  There will also be some fun holiday blogs by all the city editors on the holiday page.  Have a happy holiday season and I hope you win something.  There are lots of other giveaways out there as well this month.