Tuesday, October 30, 2007

GF/CF chocolate cake! *finally*

Woo Hoo!

Finally found & moderated a chocolate cake recipe my little bub can have! Do you have ANY idea how exciting this is for me?!?!?!
Do you have ANY idea how hard it was to find a recipe that worked just without dairy products, and then to add non-wheat flour to the mix?!?!?!?

I firstly have to give a HUGE credit and thank you to Dorlaine for pointing me in direction for this cake. If she had not shown me the recipe for regular "wacky cake" I would NEVER have tried it, because the ingredient list is, well, wacky. SHE also invented the frosting! I would have never believed you can make a good tasting frosting without actual REAL butter, but she proved me wrong & boy am I happy about that! (FYI, this cake is vegan too.....just in case anyone cares....) (I find that vegan foods are sometimes my friends, even tho I think total veganism is plain silly and a poor nutritional choice, but that's just me....[God gave us incisors....you use those on meat....every animal God made that has incisors eats meat.....just a thought.....])

So here it is.....
GF/CF Wacky Chocolate Cake
2 cups GF/CF all-purpose flour (I like Bob's Red Mill brand)
1.5 Cups sugar
1.5 tsp GF/CF baking SODA (I like walmart or clabber girl brands)

6 Tbsp GF/CF unsweetened coca powder (Hershey's is pretty reliable)

Mix these ingredients in an ungreased 8x8in pan VERY WELL. better yet, sift it all together so you don't get flour clumps b/c if you have flour clumps parts of the batter won't rise correctly when baking.

Stir in
.5 cup oil (I use olive or canola)
1 Tbsp vinegar (white GF- walmart is VERY good with allergen labeling...FYI)
1 tsp GF/CF vanilla (McCormicks is usually reliable)
1 Cup water.

Mix until smooth, it will fizz and bubble on you a bit, so mix slow. I recommend using a glass pan so you can look at the bottom to make sure everything mixes right. I find that non-wheat flours mix differently than "regular" flour, and absorb water and oil at different rates. The brand of GF/CF flour I am using has a few different flours in it, so it isn't just one kind (like rice, or potato, etc...) So make sure EVERYTHING is blended before you put it in the oven.

Bake at 350 F for 35-40 min (again, the water absorption is different, and takes longer to cook fully). Let cake cool in pan then frost in pan. :)

Here's the Dorlaine-invented yummy non-dairy CF frosting! :)
(just eye-ball the amounts for what you need, but this is a good starting point)
.25 cup crisco
.25 cup PB (I like skippy)
2 Tbsp coca powder

1 cup powdered sugar

1-3 tsp soy milk (I like Silk Brand)

.5 tsp vanilla

If it looks lumpy, add more sugar.
If it looks clumpy, add a little more soy milk .
You can adjust the PB/vanilla/coca powder to taste.

Now as a
special treat, here's some photos of bub last month.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Reflection on my 2nd Chemistry Test...

So here I am feeling all depressed. Not because I did bad...I did good (don't know the grade yet tho, but I knew what I was doing on the test, so that's a good sign, right?!?!)
I feel bad, b/c as soon as I finished and got into lab, one of the other "returning to school momma's" said to me, "I hope you didn't get 100% this time and ruin our curve".

Now what kind of horrible thing is that to say? I worked REALLY hard to do good on this test. I skipped an autism event that I was really looking forward to for over a month to study because I felt I didn't know the material well enough. I DO NOT miss autism events for things that aren't just as important to me.

Now I understand that I am not a single mom that has to work full or half-time, take care of the kids and do 12+ hrs of school. I get that, but still, I worked my tail off and it really bums me out that people resent me for that. It's not like in high school where I got A's and B's and didn't even work at it....my brain isn't that great anymore....I have to drill myself and hold myself to a disciplined plan to make sure I understand the concepts. I swear, for each concept it takes me 1/2 hour- 1 hour to fully understand it and be able to do a problem correctly without having to check the sample problems while doing the problem I'm working on. (did that make sense, or did I get rambly?) So to complete each chapter's homework, I'm spending an average of 2-4 hours a day on it. (some days that's all I do while Mr. Man's at school....other days I try to do householdy type stuff....grocerying, cleaning, laundrying, etc....) (like my gerrunding?) *THHPT*

On the other hand, my lab partners love me because I do the equations......and we do the lab right and get out pretty fast.....


Send me pity so I can sit in the corner and say..."poor me....I have to work hard to get good grades.....oh life is so hard...."


I like the "moment of sarcasm". It made me laugh a bit....I think I will make it a semi-regular feature......
What do you think?

I think Joe's almost got the picture part of the PC fixed so I can post pictures of Bub's 1st day of school and my new short hair soon.
(that's right, I CHOPPED it off!!!!! Nearly bald girl posting! (not really nearly bald...that was a joke....."go on and laugh boy!".....) (you get points if you know who I was quoting......)

(i feel better now)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

reflections on autism I

So yesterday I spent some time going to some of my online autism groups and found a few sites of adults with autism who do blogs. Some of them made me feel so hopeful for Bub's progress, some of them made me sad in reading about their struggles in trying to fit in a world that is confusing and different for them. One guy talked about how using pot helped him fit in with neurotypical people, that made me REALLY sad.

This kind of tied in with an experience I had about a week ago. I was at walmart getting some stuff and I saw a group of young-ish disabled men with a, for lack of better word, helper, helping them decide what kind of groceries they wanted to buy for themselves that week. I just looked at them and started crying...in the middle of the dairy section of walmart (what a total freak I am).
It's weird what I was experiencing. I was so happy that they were able to go out and do things for themselves, and that someone cared enough to help them do it and help them feel a sense of independence and ability, but sad with the thought of, is that what bub will be when he grows up? And I noticed how people went out of their way to avoid being near this group, looked at them and made remarks to the other people with them, and that made me cry too. Bub is so cute right now because he is so young, and has blond hair with big brown eyes, and a smile that can melt your heart, but as he grows, some of that baby cuteness will lessen, and the behaviors that other people put off to being young won't be as acceptable as he gets older...how is that change in acceptance going to affect him?
After I got a handle on myself (let's just say I hid out in the toilet paper/paper towel section for a good while pretending to be reading the advertisements on the back of a huge 12-pack of scott's TP in front of my face, all the while thinking "I am such a freak"), I went and found that group of young men and their helper. I smiled HUGELY at each of them and told the helper that I really appreciated what she did and God bless her for the work she does!
(of course I started crying again as soon as I got out of sight of them, and hid out by the windex)

So anyhow, as I am reading some of these blogs written by adults with autism, I found one that was reflecting on whether or not she would take the "cure" to autism if it was ever discovered.
She felt that she wouldn't, because how autism manifests in her life is a part of who she is, and she wouldn't want to take away something that is what she is. This got me thinking as well.

I am often asked/pointed out that sometimes I over-analyze what Mr. Man is doing, and that sometimes what he does is normal for any kid his age. And I agree with this, to a point. I -am- hawk-like in my focus on any change in behavior or abnormality in his physical state (like changes in his "out-put"), but do I know what is just "bub" and what is just manifestations of what is going on in his brain? And then I think, where does autism start and Bub begin? Is there a separation at all?
Really, I don't think there is a dividing line, or if there is, it's very fuzzy and fluid, changing constantly. For example, he sees a teacher/aide he likes in the parking lot as we walk up to school, and they wave to bub. I tell him who it is and ask him to wave back. Somedays he just stares at them blankly as we walk up to school, then other days he smiles as soon as he sees them, and still other days he walks blankly for a bit, THEN gets what I asked him after a min. or so and starts waving in his little way (lifts up his hand and turns it clock-wise a bit). So what's going on there? How can I say "on the days he has instant recognition of the teacher and request, THAT is bub...on the days he doesn't or has delayed reactions, THAT is autism". I think that kind of mentality is crap. It's ALL bub. This is who God created him to be. Is this the total potential of who he is created to be? I don't know, but I will when we get to heaven and we are in our perfected resurrected bodies. I am thankful that I have that hope when things are hard, and he tries my patience, like pulling off his dirty diaper and smearing poop on the carpet, or intentionally spills his juice on the floor to watch the liquid flow.
Anyhow, hope I wasn't too melancholy today- prolly hormones, or something. *wink* It's amazing to me that I'm not back on zoloft yet..heheheh. (maybe I shouldn't laugh too hard at that one) *grin* you know, self-fulfilling prophecies....*erk

NUBS to all!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

rice "pancakes" gf/cf

decided to share one of Bub's favorite EASY gf/cf foods.
I make these really fast before sending him off to school to eat them, his teacher & aide said they wanted some when they gave it to him. :)

1 c. cold cooked rice
1 egg
1 banana
gf/cf canola spray (I like walmart brand)

-mash banana and mix with rice and egg thoroughly
-spray pan surface really well (or it will stick & fall apart when flipped)
-spoon 2 heaping Tbs on pan and cook until side up looks dull
-flip and cook 1 min.

SUPER easy and tastes really good. won't work for SCD diets tho.
it freezes well and can be nuked or toasted, tho Bub usually eats them quickly and tries to sneak more when he thinks I'm not looking. The banana makes it sweet enough that no honey or syrup is needed.
I have also made this with out the banana and substituted spinach and added salt, but although it was acceptable to Mr. Man, it wasn't his favorite either.

Today, I am gathering the nerve to take him to ...."Lab-X", our Church's kiddo activites on Sunday nites. Cousin K is coming along. I took him to one last year (before we knew what was going on with him) and had a horrible time b/c he just had no idea what was going on and just wanted to run up and down the halls.
Several reasons why I am trying this again:
1)Good for his growing faith

2) he's older and might get into it....

3)he's had a few weeks in school and seems to be more open to the concept of "sit still for a while and watch what is happening on the stage, -then- run around w/ other kids"

4)Being around neuro-typical kids who like him for who he is is good for my bub (and good for me to see too)

5)I can't just keep him from the world, however much "easier" it is for me.

anyhow, I'm up for the challenge, and I will think happy thoughts about it. Plus cousin K will be with us to help. I must say that it is amazing in how she mother-hens bub. It's not bossy at all, and Mr. man does listen to her and tries to copy her. He is more likely to copy something she does than something I do. This morning after church, they were sitting up at the kitchen bar drinking some soda grandma got for them, and cousin K taught bub how to clink their bottles together. I actually heard bub try to say "cheers" with her (it sounded more like "cheee-ras").

so that's today, will post more as can.
(hopefully get some .jpg's up too.)


Saturday, October 06, 2007

Autism and diet II, ie- what happened after my last post....

is it irony or poetic justice...I can't remember the actual definitions of those two things anymore...long lost is the desire for an English degree...
So I post the last post, and get set to go out and buy a bunch of alternative flours, and I get a call from Bub's school nurse.
Mr. man has bathroom issues, you need to pick him up.

So now, I have several possiblities of what is going on in his gut...
1) he got casein in on tuesday and is still reacting to it...

2)this is a continuation of the gluten reaction he had on Thursday...

3) his immune system has been weakened by the cold he's been fighting off the last 2 weeks and now he can no longer tolerate gluten which explains Thursday's reaction...(this is the the most likely case in my opinion) (bucket theory of allergens)

4)his immune system has been weakened by the cold he's been fighting off the last 2 weeks and he's getting a yeast overgrowth... (least likely as he has not been on any antibiotics, but I'm not ruling ANYTHING out)(PLEASE don't make me deal with candidas!!! PLEASE)

5) he just has a tummy flu that will go away and not further complicate my life....(unlikely as he has not vomited nor does he have a temperature)

as it is now Saturday and we have not had an exploding training-pants since yesterday afternoon, I am still gravitating to 3 & 5. I wish I could say it is 5, but murphy's law tells me to expect 3, and since Murphy apparently has been my best friend thru much of life....well, you get the picture. *sad grin*

Loves to all.

Friday, October 05, 2007

autism and diet...this is my life.

No pictures today...sorry, still having PC issues...

Yesterday I think bub had a gluten reaction, it was very odd. Imagine hanging out with a very giddy drunk person...that's what it was like. He was all wobbly, he didn't seem able to keep his balance and kept falling over and then laughing like crazy. He would try to grab his stacking rings and over or unshoot them several times before being able to grab them. I watched this behaviour for about 10 min to make sure he wasn't just being silly (cuz sometimes he likes to be silly).
I am SO thankful for E.C.I. and all the different therapies they helped me learn. from what he was doing, it seemed as if his vestibular and proprioceptic sensory systems were WAY out of synch: so we started with spinning supine, upright, and then a couple of sommersaults. Then we did bouncing on his bouncy ball, finally I got him to roll up tight in his fuzzy blanket a few times. I thought about getting out the bean-box, but after spending an hour on these activities, he seemed grounded again, and seemed to have recovered his balance an sense of where his body ended and the world began. I tell you...it is the oddest thing to watch, seeing the total disorientation turn into calmness again. anyhow.

Like I said earlier, I am guessing that he had a reaction to gluten, which is surprising because I tested him for gluten sensitivities back in June when I took him off casein and could not find a difference in behavior with him on or off of it. However, 20 min before he got wonky, I had given him a graham cracker. He really hadn't eaten much wheat before that, he had cereal for breakfast (8am at school) and 1/2 a small roll at lunch 10:45(school again), and then the graham cracker @ 2pm. He was at school the other 2 times he got gluten, so I don't know if he reacted or not. His teacher and aide may not have recognized his reaction even if he did have one, they did say he was very happy during the day, so maybe he did and they aren't as tuned in with him as I am to know that reeling around and laughing his butt off for no reason is not normal for him. really, they have only known him for about 2 weeks...so I can't assume they would recognize it. And to be perfectly honest, I am SO impressed with how much they will work with me on his dietary restrictions, I mean really! There are only 2 of them and 6 special needs kids. I know for sure that one of Bub's classmates cannot feed himself properly, and I think another one may have difficulties with feeding herself- and mr.Man is ALWAYS all over the place, those women have their hands FULL. I am amazed they even tolerate my manic insistence that Bub only eats what I send him with.
I digress again....So yesterday I decided to test gluten again. So for today thru sunday, Mr. Man will not ingest ANY gluten in any form. This makes my life a tad more complex, but HEY, didn't I always say in my foolish youth that I thrive on stress and challenges? (Won't the Doctor show up in his TARDIS and take me back to myself 10-15 years ago so I can kick myself in the ass a few times? please?!?!)
then Bub has Monday off school (teacher activities stuff) so I have ALL DAY to apply gluten to him and watch for whatever kind of firework-display he'll give me. yayee me. *thhptthp*

I got to go off to one of the local health food stores and buy some alternate ground grains that contain no gluten so bub doesn't freak out over no pancakes, and if I do end up adopting GF as well as CF I already AM doing, I'll have some supplies to get me thru the initial days. I already looked up a bunch of GFCF recipes that I will be experimenting with this weekend.

I just have to hope and pray that he doesn't start having yeast issues next. I really don't want to go thru several rounds of diflucan and even more dietary restrictions, but a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do.

Loves to all!


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