Monday, November 9, 2015

A Success Story in the Making

Sometimes I want to write and I just can't get there. It's not like there is a reason not to I'm just struggling with a mindset. But here's the truth. My house is clean from top to bottom, save one major closet, and a few dishes in the sink.  I can almost never say that so I HAVE to say that. Harvest season is over, there's no canning to do, my greenhouse takes very little time to look after right now, and I might as well wait for the rest of the leaves to fall before we rake them again. We've had a string of wonderful, interesting young people coming and going and today the last of them left for the airport. Brianna left for a couple weeks, too.  We've even gone on our last weekend outing until winter is over. It's like we we turned a page and completely entered a new season starting today. Until today we have had plans and people and things to look forward to. . .

 So, let me share some good news that I've wanted to write concerning the twins. Steve and I decided to start them on the Feingold diet several weeks ago. I've been considering it for some time, but it's a bit overwhelming to get started. When you are already dealing with overwhelming behaviors it's really hard to want more of that.

#1. We noticed that on the Feingold Diet that Missy was calmer right away. Eventually James calmed, too. My kids have always fluctuated, though. We have had days of peace and relative calmness in bits in pieces over the last 5 years. Never consistent, never both kids at the same time time, and never for long. I thought it might be a fluke at first. The first few weeks of the diet were calmer, not super good or anything, just calmer. Things improved over the next couple weeks so much so that when we went to the church camp for the weekend the kids behaved like normal children. They enjoyed their whole time there. There was no pushing the boundaries, no attention getting behaviors, no inappropriate behavior, no fussing. They even accepted the fact that they could not eat everything served in the dining hall without any issue. It was unreal. We were quite amazed. We have NOT ever had a peaceful weekend like that with the twins since they joined our family. I do mess up on the diet sometimes, and I really messed up this past weekend. We totally paid for it with a screaming, raging, swearing and hateful tantrum on Sunday, each. Today they are fine. I see through the window that they are playing "Journey to Bethlehem" on the lawn together. They are even singing Mary Did You Know at the "manger".

#2. We really, really, really enforced the NO whining, no huffing and puffing, and no saying "No" to authority. Ever. Period. We did burpees and pushups and sit-ups and such for any and every infraction. We were on top of it. Brianna and I were a team and the twins were either with her, or me 100% of the time so there was no getting away with it ever. It was exhausting. The first week all we did was push-ups and burpee. They were doing so many ALL day long that we had to get creative and use jumping jacks and other things so as not to over-work their little muscles. Missy can now pump push-ups like nobody's business. James not so much, he doesn't put out any effort to build any strength and one can actually do all the activity and not build a single muscle if that is your goal. By the third week we were only doing them 6 or 7 times a day. By the fourth and fifth week they were doing them maybe three times a week.  Let me note that the heart is not at all changed by these exercises. That is still my number one goal, but expect that will happen "sooner than we think and longer than we wish".

#3. We put up the chart I explained in the last post and enforced it to a T. The first 2 weeks the kids took turns missing out on the blessings offered. They both missed sometimes and we had some phenomenal tantrums over that, but we stuck to it like the ten commandments. And then they went two days without missing and then three and then they were able to go almost a week without missing a single blessing.

#4. Tantrums were relegated to the bedroom with the door alarm on. This is a change from having their tantrums outside on the porch. If they wanted to destroy anything it would be their own property in their own rooms. They have both put holes in their bedroom doors and that is about it. I'm not going to fix the holes. Those will serve as reminders.

#5. We put Missy on a low dose of ADHD med. I can't tell if it is helping. I think the diet is more beneficial at this point, but desperate times call for desperate measures and we were desperate. Kind of bad timing on my part. The doctor was worried it would affect her appetite. She need not fear. That child could eat a horse anytime.

view from the house
It is quite obvious to everyone in the house that we are experiencing a measure of success. Yesterday's big tantrums were a reminder of where we have come from. We don't want live in that zone anymore. I can't wait to figure out just exactly what in the diet is effecting their ability to be calm and controlled. It's going to take patience though.

I'm thankful.

I am beyond grateful.

*And I'm burned out.*

I've been exercising like crazy and it is helping me but I have a serious problem with my feet. Some days I'm a total cripple. I'm waiting for my appointment to the podiatrist and hoping he can work a miracle. But I don't think that is going to happen. I have to figure out how to keep going...
Colchuck Lake Hike


Thandi said...

Sorry about the poor feet. Hurray for the successes!

Kim said...

Wow! That is awesome about the kids! I'll pray for continued strength in that arena. With your feet, it sounds like you might have plantar fasciitis. Have you researched that much? Mine was so, so bad. Once I was vigilant about the exercises, wearing the right shoes and taking a curcumin supplement everyday, the symptoms gradually decreased until I woke up one day with no pain...even when getting out of bed first thing in the morning! I hope you can find relief soon.

child of The King said...

I found this web site about foot pain. it has a ton of information about all kinds of foot troubles. There are stretches and exercises listed. Thought it might help. I've had crippling Plantar Fasciitis twice and it has gone away, but I don't know what I did but pray.

So glad the Feingold diet is helping the kids.


child of The King said...

I just remembered something that did help with plantar fasciitis. Ice. If I would ice my feet whenever I was sitting down it would help.