Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Ok so the Cha-cha-chia pet commercials are still running through my head from Christmas because that was what I thought of when I thought of a blog title. But really there are some similarities! Chia pets you grow, as you do the SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). Some people are grossed out by the thought of eating your chia "hair" even though it is just alfalfa (right?) and some would be very hesitant to drink Kombucha after looking at these pictures! But, if you don't already know about the health benefits of Kombucha, check out my other blog posts here: http://thirning.blogspot.com/search/label/Kombucha I have already blogged about the why's and how's of Kombucha so I will not do that again in this blog.

This is our 2nd attempt. Our first attempt grew us the really nice SCOBY or baby (soon to be a mom) you see on the bottom. Right now (day 4) we are growing a new baby on the top which we will then use for the next batch. We kind of forgot about our first batch since it was in a cupboard in our laundry room. You see, they are supposed to have somewhat dark and quiet conditions. Good luck in our house. But, when it was in the laundry room it was forgotten and probably ended up as vinegar. So, here is our next attempt, in a more visible spot and we get to watch it growing and changing. We will be bottling on day 14, a week from this Friday. Come hell or high water, we are bottling. That is called the 2nd ferment. Right now is the first ferment. It will get "fizzy" once you do the 2nd ferment in the bottles (supposedly since we've never gotten that far before). The 2nd ferment is also the stage where you can add fruit for flavoring. Not going to get into that right now, just straight Kombucha for now. Then we may branch out. But, what a cool science project for homeschoolers or just in general! So, I will keep you posted on our Kombucha progress. I sure hope it turns out OK. I love Kombucha but $3 per bottle is killing me! This whole batch probably cost $2, now that I can handle!!
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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Please sign this!

Here is a link to the Organic Consumers Association website. http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/642/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=1783

It is a petition to oppose Tom Vilsack's confirmation as Secretary of Agriculture. From what I have read, this guy is pro GMO (genetically modified) food and pro cloning. Those get two big thumbs down from me. Please read the background on this guy and if you agree, sign the petition. I would sincerely hope President Elect Obama will choose someone who supports sustainable farming and NON GMO crops! GMO food (or cloning for that matter) is not OK for me or my children and I want a Sec. of Agriculture who is not a Monsanto lackey. We need truth in labeling and also a focus on more sustainable farming with real crops, not Franken-food!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Charcoal, it is not just for BBQ-ing anymore.

From the annals of "betcha didn't know this" comes an article on Activated Charcoal. We've used activated charcoal for yeast die off, iffy dietary infractions, etc. If we think there is a back log of junk trying to get out of M's system we will do some activated charcoal along with mag citrate (charcoal can be constipating so the mag helps keep things moving). However, I just read an article in the New Beginnings newsletter that expounds on the wonders of activated charcoal. Did you know that it can help with stomach flu, food poisoning and diarrhea?? Me either but I am glad I do now! Evidently it absorbs the toxins released from the bugs that cause these ailments and quickly helps resolve the problems. "Its the most awful time of year" for illness so if these yucky bugs hit your house, you may want to have some activated charcoal on hand.

The way activated charcoal works is when it is "activated" that process creates tiny holes or caves in the charcoal. These holes appear to have electrostatic properties and when they come into contact with noxious chemicals (toxins) they are drawn up into the spaces and bound which makes them less harmful to the individual. Pretty cool, huh? I see a big difference in M when he needs the charcoal and we give it to him. The next day he is SO much better. But, it can absorb supplements so you want to do it 2 hours away from supplements. We usually give at bedtime and we have to break it open and syringe it in. It is black and we make sure we have water handy for him to rinse his mouth since his teeth will be black after, even after mixing with water or juice. I can't recall M's dosage but this article states 2 caps (260 mg per cap) 3 times daily for an adult, more in the case of poisoning. It won't work for everything (like strong acids, alkalis, alcohol and petroleum type substances). And this is not an everyday kind of supplement. We use it once in a while, as needed and again, with mag citrate to avoid constipation! It can also be used in a poultice for bites and stings to take the sting and itch out, disinfect and deoderize wounds, it can even absorb the poison from spider and snake bites. So, I hope that helps, I hear the stomach bug is going around so it may be well worth it to you to keep this little gem in your medicine cabinet!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

You know you have a child with Autism if.....

Yes, I know, I have been posting more stories and less facts. But hey, what can I say? I am in the flurry of Christmas preparations, making, wrapping, packing, shipping, oh my! So, not to bore my blog readers (all 2 of you) too much I wanted to still post but have had very little time for research or even pulling together items of real material value. So, this is something that I have been meaning to post since the DAN! conference. Dan Rossignol who works with Dr. Bradstreet in Florida did a "You know you have a child with Autism if....." top ten list and I just had to share. It is on his website (along with the full presentation which was excellent by the way) and can be found here under the presentations tab: http://www.icdrc.org/index.html

But, here is the list (with my notes in bold):

10 You walk around with your child’s medical records at conferences (I have to fess up, I had Matthew's records with me at DAN!)

9 You know what ileocolonic lymphoid nodular hyperplasia means (and many other equally unpronounceable things....)

8 You think a good’s night sleep is 2-3 hours (thankfully not since Methyl B-12, but for MANY years!!)

7 It takes longer to explain the GFCF diet to your waitress than it does to eat the food (we don't go there, just bring our own!)

6 Your child takes more pills than your grandmother (oh yeah, big time!!)

5 Your best friends are the ones you met on an online autism support group (or the therapy clinic waiting room!)

4 Your family and friends think you are practicing voodoo medicine on your child (oh yeah, between homeopathy, aromatherapy and supps, everyone thinks I am a witch doctor!)

3 You receive so many packages from pharmacies that your neighbors think you are a drug dealer (just got one yesterday! the boxes keep getting bigger....)

2 Your child’s urine has been to more countries than you have (DEFINITELY! and sad....lol)

1 You compare poop stories with all of your friends (or on your blog!)

So there you have it, a little laughter to lighten up the crowded malls, the deadlines and the aching backs after wrapping your little booties off. As for me.....back to work, more presents to wrap!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

'Twas the night before Christmas....Autism style

I know, I know, it's not Christmas Eve YET but I got sent this poem last year and was just talking to Abby about it today. As we all feel the crunch time of Christmas and as our little kiddos feel the extra excitement, stress and pressure, it is a good time to reflect on their special challenges and also the extra blessings we have because of them. Here is the poem by Cindy Killeen Waeltermann I want to share. Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I did!!


Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the house
All creatures were stirring
Yes, even the mouse

We tried the melatonin
We gave a hot bath
But the holiday jitters
They always distract

The children were finally
All nestled in bed
When a nightmare of terror
Ran through my own head

Did I get the right gift
The right color and style
Would there be a tantrum
Or just maybe, a smile ?

Our relatives we will see
But they don't understand
The pleasure he gets
From flapping his hands.

"He needs discipline" they'll say
"Just a much needed smack"
"You must learn to parent"
On goes the attack

We'll just smile and nod
Because we know deep inside
The argument is useless
Our anger we will try to hide

We know what it's like
To live with the spectrum
The struggles and triumphs
Achievements, and regressions.

But what they don't know
And what they don't see
Is the joy that we feel
Over simplicity

He said "hello"
He ate something green!
He told his first story !
He didn't cause a scene !

He peed in the potty
Who cares if he's ten
He stopped saying the same thing
Again and again.

Others just don't realize
Just how we learn to cope
How we barely hang on
To the end of our rope.

What they don't see
Is the joy we won't hide
When our child with autism
Make the tiniest stride.

We sometimes look at others
Without the problems we face
With jealousy, and envy
Longing and even distaste

But what they don't know
Nor sometimes do we
Is that a child with autism
Brings simplicity

We don't get excited
Over expensive things
But we jump for joy
With the progress hard work brings

A child with autism
Tries hard every day
That makes us proud
More than words can say

They work even harder
Than you or I
To achieve something small
To reach their star in the sky

So to those who don't get it
Who don't have a clue
Take a walk in my shoes
And I will assure you!

After ten minutes
Into your walk
You'll look at me
With respect, even shock

You will then realize
Daily what is it I go through
The next time you're tempted to judge
I can assure you

You won't say a thing
You'll be quiet and learn
Like the years that I did
When the tables were turned

Autism Reform

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Bad news for our veggies.....

I just spoke to a friend yesterday and was told that they passed the irradiation proposal for ALL fruits and veggies. I am trying to find the actual documents online so I can read through them and see what they mean. She was saying that the documents also allude to the issue that everyone with a backyard garden would need a "permit" to grow their own food. Again, until I can find the actual document and read through it I won't know all the facts. But what does this mean for you? If you are interested in organic produce with all the nutrients and vital enzymes that nature intended, you will need to become your own farmer. I will post here once I do find all the data out. But, my friend (who moved from Mesa to Flagstaff a few years ago) has started a community co-op. Each family grows a certain crop and then the group (of about 15 families or so) swaps produce. We will be forced to go back to the day of each community supporting one another and the barter system to get fresh, healthy, organic produce that has not been tampered with. I think most people who have studied this topic understand that the real problem is with cleanliness and with processing (as with almonds) rather than the actual contamination in growing, for the most part. It is the same reason why we have pasteurized milk, not necessarily because the cows were producing bad milk but because the handling and bottling was dirty. Even Louise Pasteur admitted later in his life that pasteurization is not always a good thing. Even for dairy, it kills the good bacteria necessary for easy breakdown of the proteins in the milk. That is why some kids on the autism spectrum (and people not on the spectrum too) who have intolerances to pasteurized milk can tolerate raw dairy. In any event, if this indeed has passed by Codex, this is a very sad day. I find it very disheartening to hear about these organizations making such large decisions for us all (like food irradiation and herbal supplement regulation) without more representation from the people and for the most part, I don't even think most of the population KNOWS about this organization. And yet they have the ability to change our ability to find truly organic, untampered produce. That is sad....

Here is my garden.....and it appears that we will be increasing our crops in the future. We have lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cilantro and basil. I will be exploring new ways to add crops to our yard in the future, as well as planting more fruiting trees. I have been meaning to post about the Phoenix Permaculture Guild. They are an AWESOME organization that promotes sustainable gardening in your own yard. They do a bulk order for fruit trees that DO grow in our soil/temps and they even teach you how to plant and prune it. The prices are so cheap. The last two years we have missed the deadline (Nov) but the delivery of trees is in Jan and they usually have extras that they have ordered. I am sure hoping that is true because we need to get some fruit trees going, and in a hurry. They even teach how to have your own "mini" orchard in your own, regular sized home lot. The main guy has an "Urban farm" here in Phoenix with rain water harvesting and crops and teaches YOU to do the same.....smart thing in these times. So any Gilbert ladies (or men) interested in a local co-op, I am totally in to start one of those. We can get a group together and start planning our crops and who will grow what. I will post the links to the Phoenix Permaculture Guild soon too. In the meantime, here is our garden and rain water harvesting barrel that my husband made.

Here is our garden on the side of our house, raised beds to ensure soil quality.

Here is the view from the other side.

Here is a close up of our spinach.

Here is our rain water and AC condensation run off barrel. Have you seen how much water gets produced as condensation from your AC unit in the summer??? It is amazing!!!! We have a bucket that collects it and then we put it into this barrel. It really helps with watering our plants and saves quite a bit of water, which we can all use to save as much as possible. Then when it rains we put out buckets and collect the rain water to put into the barrel as well. Why not use these natural resources as much as possible?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

So my friend Abby posted this story "Welcome to Holland" on her blog recently. It is something I got from a message board a few years ago and seemed so appropriate. And then I also came across this response posted below not too long after I read the first version and I thought it was pretty funny and accurate in many cases. It just got shared with me again recently and I thought I would post it. If you have not read the original "Welcome to Holland" and want to, post a comment and I will post it as well. Or if you know Abby, check her site if you haven't already!! Here's the response:
Holland Schmolland
by Laura Kreuger Crawford

If you have a special needs child, which I do, and if you troll the Internet for information, which I have done, you will come across a certain inspirational analogy. It goes like this:

Imagine that you are planning a trip to Italy. You read all the latest travel books, you consult with friends about what to pack, and you develop an elaborate itinerary for your glorious trip.

The day arrives.

You board the plane and settle in with your in-flight magazine, dreaming of trattorias, gondola rides, and gelato. However when the plane lands you discover, much to your surprise, you are not in Italy -- you are in Holland. You are greatly dismayed at this abrupt and unexpected change in plans.

You rant and rave to the travel agency, but it does no good. You are stuck. After awhile, you tire of fighting and begin to look at what Holland has to offer. You notice the beautiful tulips, the kindly people in the wooden shoes, the french fries with mayonnaise, and you think, "This isn't exactly what I had planned, but it's not so bad. It's just different."

Having a child with special needs is supposed to be like this -- not any worse than having a typical child -- just different.

When I read this my son was almost 3, completely non-verbal and was hitting me over 100 times a day. While I appreciated the intention of the story, I couldn't help but think, "Are they kidding? We're not in some peaceful country dotted with windmills. We are in a country under siege -- dodging bombs, boarding overloaded helicopters, bribing officials -- all the while thinking, "What happened to our beautiful life?"

That was five years ago.

My son is now 8 and though we have come to accept that he will always have autism, we no longer feel like citizens of a battle-torn nation. With the help of countless dedicated therapists and teachers, biological interventions, and an enormously supportive family, my son has become a fun-loving, affectionate boy with many endearing qualities and skills. In the process we've created . . . well . . . our own country, with its own unique traditions and customs.
It's not a war zone, but it's still not Holland. Let's call it Schmolland. In Schmolland, it's perfectly customary to lick walls, rub cold pieces of metal across your mouth and line up all your toys end-to-end. You can show affection by giving a "pointy chin." A "pointy chin" is when you act like you are going to hug someone and just when you are really close, you jam your chin into the other person's shoulder. For the person giving the "pointy chin" this feels really good, for the receiver, not so much -- but you get used to it.

For citizens of Schmolland, it is quite normal to repeat lines from videos to express emotion. If you are sad, you can look downcast and say, "Oh, Pongo." When mad or anxious, you might shout, "Snow can't stop me!" or "Duchess, kittens, come on!" Sometimes, "And now our feature presentation" says it all.

In Schmolland, there's not a lot to do, so our citizens find amusement wherever they can. Bouncing on the couch for hours, methodically pulling feathers out of down pillows, and laughing hysterically in bed at 4:00 a.m. are all traditional Schmutch pastimes.

The hard part of living in our country is dealing with people from other countries. We try to assimilate ourselves and mimic their customs, but we aren't always successful. It's perfectly understandable that an 8 year-old from Schmolland would steal a train from a toddler at the Thomas the Tank Engine Train Table at Barnes and Noble. But this is clearly not understandable or acceptable in other countries, and so we must drag our 8 year-old out of the store kicking and screaming, all the customers looking on with stark, pitying stares. But we ignore these looks and focus on the exit sign because we are a proud people.

Where we live it is not surprising when an 8 year-old boy reaches for the fleshy part of a woman's upper torso and says, "Do we touch boodoo?" We simply say, "No, we do not touch boodoo," and go on about our business. It's a bit more startling in other countries, however, and can cause all sorts of cross-cultural misunderstandings.

And, though most foreigners can get a drop of water on their pants and still carry on, this is intolerable to certain citizens in Schmolland, who insist that the pants must come off no matter where they are and regardless of whether another pair of pants is present.

Other families who have special needs children are familiar and comforting to us, yet are still separate entities. Together we make up a federation of countries, kind of like Scandinavia. Like a person from Denmark talking to a person from Norway (or in our case, someone from Schmenmark talking to someone from Schmorway.), we share enough similarities in our language and customs to understand each other, but conversations inevitably highlight the diversity of our traditions. "My child eats paper. Yesterday he ate a whole video box." "My daughter only eats four foods, all of them white." "We finally had to lock up the VCR because my child was obsessed with the rewind button." "My son wants to blow on everyone."

There is one thing we all agree on. We are a growing population. Ten years ago, 1 in 10,000 children had autism. Today the rate is approximately 1 in 250. Something is dreadfully wrong. Though the causes of the increase are still being hotly debated, a number of parents and professionals believe genetic predisposition has collided with too many environmental insults -- toxins, chemicals, antibiotics, vaccines -- to create immunological chaos in the nervous system of developing children. One medical journalist speculated these children are the proverbial "canary in the coal mine", here to alert us to the growing dangers in our environment.

While this is certainly not a view shared by all in the autism community, it feels true to me.
I hope that researchers discover the magic bullet we all so desperately crave. And I will never stop investigating new treatments and therapies that might help my son. But more and more my priorities are shifting from what "could be" to "what is." I look around this country my family has created, with all its unique customs, and it feels like home. For us, any time spent "nation building" is time well spent.

So there you go. We too have created our own nation. And there are still days when I want my visa and the first plane out of here, those days (I happily report) are becoming more of a memory than a constant like they used to be. I was thinking about this last night as a matter of fact. The days of the constant meltdowns (his and then mine shortly after) are much fewer and my reactions are more calmer and soothing than the frustrated ignorance that was there before. Maybe understanding the why's of the meltdowns help me handle them better, maybe it is just aging and maturity. Maybe it is Stockholm syndrome, can't be sure, but whatever it is, I am happy for the change (or acceptance). It is so much better to be happy with where you live and who your neighbors are. That's not to say I don't keep striving each day for peaceful negotiations and change, it is what we work for everyday. So for all the other Schmolland-ites, I wish you all peaceful negotiations and cross cultural interactions today! All we can say is "we come in peace....."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The difference between healthy and skinny.....

I started to get excited yesterday. As I was getting Matthew ready for school, Good Morning America had a brief segment on Stevia. I thought maybe it would start getting some mainstream *good* press for a change. It kind of did. Of course there was a person saying "not everything natural is safe...." Here we go again, dun dun dun......this natural sweetener that has been used for centuries could cause cancer (as all the natural supplements get accused of in some way shape or form)......of course their studies were worried about the product in processed foods. Really?!?! Do people really even believe this stuff? OK so lets take a look at the chemical sweeteners like nutrasweet, splenda, equal, etc. I can grow Stevia in my garden (and have). Personally I think something I can grow in nature is a heck of a lot healthier for me than a chemical any day. So you want to look at cancer risk? Lets pull out that data on sweet n low. It galls me to see stuff like this. So lets just say we use the same logic to discuss zucchini. Most people would say zucchini is a healthy food. Now lets bread it and fry it in canola oil and then say "well, you know this zucchini, if eaten enough, can cause cancer". Sure, now lets just stop eating all zucchini. Lets not discuss that the frying and the breading and the hydrogenated oil is what is making it bad. It is the same thing with Stevia. So the studies on its safety in processed foods are still inconclusive, here's an idea, lets not eat so many processed foods!

I felt the same way watching the Biggest Loser last week. They did a Thanksgiving episode, talking about ways to do a healthier Thanksgiving dinner. I thought this could be a good segment. And then the celebrity Chef Rocco Something-or-other began taking a beautiful turkey breast, adding seasoning and herbs and rolled it in plastic wrap and proceeded to boil it! My mouth gaped open. Seriously????? You think boiling turkey in plastic wrap is better than maybe roasting it? I would take the extra fat and calories over the chemicals boiling out of the plastic wrap and into my food. And then he talked about the pies and sugar. He advocated using some of the chemical sweeteners (splenda, sweet n low, etc). ARRGH!! By this point I was so disappointed with the whole episode that I was grumbling out loud. Luckily my husband is used to my anger at these BS theories about "health". It was clear that the issue on this show was calorie count, not actual health. That galls me. Its like the people who live off cigarettes and diet coke and are rail thin and thereby perceived as more "healthy". Yet I completed a sprint triathlon in April and still carry around some of my baggage from two pregnancies even after all the training. Aarrgh!!! I am not saying it is OK to be overweight but I think there is a huge difference between healthy and skinny, and I want everyone to know I am using these terms as metaphores, I am not just focusing on actual weight here.

We are focused in general I think on the slick glamour of things, not the actual content whether that be nutrition, health or depth. It drives me nuts. If we looked at other countries we would see use of Stevia as an alternative and we wouldn't be so scared by natural alternatives. We would appreciate the real qualities of life and not just the face value of things. But unfortunately the natural health community does not have big lobbyists behind it. And so they get crucified by the big companies wanting market share and so the public gets fooled into thinking calorie content is king and the chemicals really don't matter. I would say that especially in the Autism community, chemicals DO matter. We do need to be very aware of all the chemicals that our kiddos are exposed to and cannot rid themselves of easily. And in return, your whole family gets healthier. I will say it again, butter is better than margerine. What animal does margerine come from? Its nearest relative is Tupperware as far as I am concerned. Do we need to be prudent with the amount of butter (or Ghee if you are GFCF) we use? Yes, absolutely. But the real deal is better than the "franken-food" that have "zero fat and calories!" that many things seem to promote. Skip the "low sugar" or "sugar free" varieties as they are sure to contain artificial sweeteners. Reach for agave nectar, honey, fruit or stevia as alternatives. But don't buy into "no calories are better" theory because we need calories, just the right ones.....And learn to read labels. If you can't pronounce it or don't know what it does, maybe you should leave it on the shelf. Does that limit your choices? Absolutely. We have very few boxed or prepackaged foods in our cupboards. It takes way more time to plan, shop and cook but I still say it is well worth it, for all of us, not just Matthew. Now I am "one of those" people that is in the aisle reading labels (the kind of person I used to smirk at years ago, writing off as a nerd). I guess I am a food nerd, I should have my glasses and pocket protector with my neatly written list. But instead I usually have at least one child hanging out of the basket, singing or whining (or both), my list usually getting misplaced at least once during the trip and not neatly written at all, most items added on the fly or in the car. But that's OK, I am still paying attention to those labels and at heart am still a food nerd. And I am OK with that.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Water filter for showers

I have been meaning to blog about this topic since coming back from the DAN! conference. So much to say, so little time. But, I also had not fully researched the issue. At the DAN! conference I learned about even the water we bathe in can be bad. The junk in the water can be absorbed through the skin, especially since the steam opens your pores. So, we started looking at getting a whole house filter. This was especially precipitated by the fact that the RO system we THOUGHT we had was not really an RO system, oops! But so many systems to choose from and so many sales pitches telling us each one was the "best". I asked my husband why we couldn't just get hand held shower heads with the filters on them? And then Saturday I got a mailer from Vita Cost, it is a site I used to order Candidase and Virastop from that was much cheaper than Sprouts. Their latest ad has a Crystal Quest shower head combo with filter for $49.35, retail is $69.95. Here is a link: http://www.vitacost.com/Crystal-Quest-Handheld-and-Shower-Head-Combo-Luxury-Shower-filtration-system-1-Unit

I think that is the route we will go. The heck with a several thousand dollar complete system, I am going to order 3 of these and walk across the street to my neighbor who owns a water and ice store here in Gilbert and ask him about a water dispenser and some bottles of water each month. I will solve 2 problems and support a local business, and that is always a good thing!

Along these sames lines, what you put on your skin in the bath is important too, avoid those sulphates and parabens, try and stick to natural ingredients, preferrably ones you'd feel comfortable eating, especially if you have a child on the spectrum. The purest ingredients are always a good choice, our skin is our largest organ! Keeping that toxic load down is a huge priority for them and everyone really. I have been meaning to order from Dr. Mercola's site, his stuff looks pretty good. Same goes with cleaning, especially in and around the tub. We don't want our little ones swimming in a toxic bath. Vinegar and baking soda work really well and if you need to disinfect it will help with that too, or add a few drops of tea tree oil and/or lemon oil if you really are worried about germs. I drop a few drops in my mop bucket with pure, hot water and that is what I mop with and the smells are wonderful to boot. I can be sure when a piece of food gets dropped on the floor and one of the kids picks it up and sticks it in their mouths that they are not getting the chemicals in Pine Sol or Ammonia along with that little morsel. Although I know for years I used Pine Sol (oops) and loved that smell, which now probably would gross me out. Live and learn and try and do better each subsequent day I guess, right?

Thanksgiving update

I wanted to update everyone on our Thanksgiving GFCF-ness. It was a success in general but here's the skinny:

I loved the potatoes, the turkey, the gravy and the pie. I was less fond of the stuffing and the rolls but I am a HUGE stovertop fan (yes I know, its the MSG, I cannot help myself) and I am not a big fan of rolls anyways so my viewpoint may be skewed. My husband LOVES rolls and he really liked the Namaste mix and also the stuffing. So, from the adult perspective, there you have it, I would say success. The kids loved everything and yet hardly ate a thing because they were so excited. I think what Matthew loved most was being ABLE to eat anything. And the kids loved being able to drink their water with a splash of apple juice in cute little glasses. Here are a few pictures of the day, including one of Matthew saying "cheers". My kids don't get apple juice too often (feeds yeast) so even the slight dash of it to give the water color and a bit of sweetness was a special treat, and the glasses just added to it. I remember my grandmother letting me and my cousin drink juice from the special glasses she had when I was a kid and just how special that made me feel, I even still have "my" glass, she gave it to me at my baby shower for Matthew and it immediately brought tears to my eyes remembering those wonderful memories. Now that she is gone I love passing down that bit of special-ness to my kids. I hope your Thanksgiving was just as special!