Friday, July 29, 2011

Our New Blog

With changes going on around the McKinney house, I thought it was time to start a new blog, because I have so much extra time...hehehe.  It is in the beginning stages so bear with me while I add pictures, make updates, and changes.

Monday, July 4, 2011


I often blog about all things controversial and how my beliefs and opinions seem to be so different from the majority.  Reading through past blog posts, I also noticed that I have mentioned a few times about lack of support from family and friends.  I want to dedicate this post to the amazing support from some of my family and friends!  My husband hasn't always agreed with me but he has always supported me when I want to try things to help our children.  He has attempted to eat foods that don't look edible, helped with supplements, and, financial, always put the kids needs first, even if that meant making other sacrifices.  Thank you babe, you have no idea how much your support means!  My mom has stood by my side from the beginning doing everything she can to support me.  She always makes sure she has food in the house that the kids can eat when we visit and will even drive an hour to a grocery store that has certain foods.  She has tried to educate herself as much as possible to understand me and my beliefs.  She has never judged me, questioned me, or complained about the choices I make for my kids.  She will choke down a gluten, casein, soy, corn free brownie at my kids birthday parties with a smile on her face.  Thank you Mom!  My grandma, Ella Mae, has always supported me too.  She shares my blog with her friends and always lets me know that I'm doing the right things for my kids.  She even attempted a gluten free recipe for her infamous dumplings.  Thank you Grandma!  Then I have about a handful of really close girlfriends who are very loyal to me.  I'm not going to name them but they know who they are.  They are the ones who may or may not agree with me but support me. They listen, question, encourage, and support me.  My life wouldn't be quit complete without them.  Thank you ladies!  I really don't know what I do with all these wonderful people in my life.  I am so thankful and blessed! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Clean Eating on Vacation

I can't believe two weeks has gone by since my last post!  We have been so busy around here.  We've enjoyed swimming with the Dunigan's every week, playing outside, going to the library, dance class for Ella, the zoo, and all the crazy activities at home.  We also spent a lot of time planning for our family vacation to Panama City. 
It is still important to us to avoid certain foods when we travel so we have to plan, plan, plan.  It was even more crucial this year because my gym, PR Fitness ( , started their Whole 30 Challenge (, the Monday of our vacation!  Basically, I can eat meat, veggies, fruit, some nuts, and seeds but that is about it...for 30 days.  I did not realize how out of balance my body was until the sugar withdrawal symptoms started! (More on that)
We always stay somewhere with a full kitchen and we found a great resort this year with a spacious condo.  Before we left we bought and made all our food for breakfast, lunch, and snacks.  We decided to eat out for dinner each night.  The kids were GREAT!  They had an awesome time!  On the other hand, this pregnant momma, was a hot mess.  I'm kind of glad I went through all the crazy symptoms while on vacation because I was on the beach or at the pool in front of a bunch of people.  I had to keep it together.  My head pounded like it has never pounded before for 3 days straight!  I felt very fatigued and was so irritable (just ask my husband, he'll tell you). :-) Going out to eat for dinner was pure torture and a true test of my willpower and strength to say "no" to some very tempting foods.  Finally on the 4th day, I had a mild headache and was starting to get some energy back.  Now on day 7, I feel like myself again.  It just goes to show what sugar and the wrong carbs can do to our bodies...crazy!  We did let the kids splurge on too much sugar and gluten but we kept them away from corn and peanuts. 
I've already gotten some remarks and comments about doing the Whole 30 Challenge.  People think that because I'm pregnant I shouldn't be so restrictive.  I think that because I'm pregnant I should be restrictive.  I remember with Haiden eating whatever the heck I wanted and my pregnancy was often an excuse.  "I'm pregnant so I'll eat the entire sleeve of Oreos!"  I ate the most processed, disgusting food with him and have a ton of regret.  With Ella, I wasn't much better.  I still consumed my sodas, loved my ice cream, and ate about a cup of peanut butter everyday!  Finally, after going through hell with Haiden and Ella's health I realized how important it was for me to take better care of myself when I am pregnant.  With Mason, I did much better.  I stuck to water and orange juice, lots of fruits and veggies, but still enjoyed a cookie every once and awhile...okay maybe everyday.  It is obvious that I have a hard time making healthy babies since they can't handle and dispose of all the chemical in vaccines and our environment.  It is my priority to make sure this baby is just as healthy as Mason was when he was born, if not more so.  I am doing everything I know to do to make sure of that.  I will continue to eat mainly organic meats, fruits, and veggies.  I will continue to only drink water.  I will continue to work out.  I will continue to take clean vitamins.  I will continue to reduce my exposure to chemicals.  I will continue to make myself the strongest I can be to have a drug free child birth.  So if that means doing the Whole 30 Challenge and eating Paleo, then I will!

Okay, I'll step down from my soapbox now and share a few picture from our summer so far. :-)

Haiden and Ella have become quite the puzzle masters.  (Granny, Haiden loves this puzzle you got him!)

Painting outside!  Why not, that why we get to pain on the concrete too!

Mason loves playing with his rice and beans.  He fills up bowls and measuring cups, mixes it all together, hides letters, and makes me "taco soup"!

Haiden also has "home school" time everyday when Ella and Mason take a nap.  He reads from a chapter book for 30 minutes, completes a speech activity each day that his awesome speech teacher from White Lick sent home, and complete two activities each day that his awesome general education teacher from White Lick sent home for the summer.  He also loves to do the Brain Quest questions which I think is great!  His motivator?  When he is finished he get to play with this best friend, our neighbor, Tate!
For Ella, I do these awesome Preschool Packs that I got from this website,  She loves it!
For Mason  and all the kids, I love this blog,  She has really helped me tune in to my crafty side with the kids and they love all the new things I show them. 

Can you hear them yelling, "Florida!"

 Haiden loved the ocean until day 3.  I saw some fish, freaked out, and scared him to death.
 Princess playing in the sand.
 Mason loved the beach!

On our way home from Florida I finished the book, The Vaccine Epidemic.  It is a must read for any parent who wants to know their rights and understand the dangers of vaccines.  I have more of that to share in future blog posts!  Until then, I hope everyone is enjoying their summer!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday Mason

My how you've grown this past year!  You went from a babbling, wobbly walker to a talking runner.  You make me laugh all day and you test my consistency all day too.  You love your big sister and brother so much and try so hard to keep up with them and follow their lead.  About 5 months ago you started to show interest in using the potty but you could walk around with a poopy diaper and not ever care.  Your favorite place to be is outside.  Daddy built a huge sandbox this spring and you could sit in there forever just digging and playing with the sand toys.  You also love to pick up bugs, squish them, laugh, and throw them down.  You could also let me push you on the swing for hours.  You love to eat!  You eat more than most grown ups I know but you won't put anything green in your mouth.  Within the last 3 months your speech has exploded and it is so fun to finally hear what goes on in your little mind.  My favorite expression of yours is "Oh man!" when something doesn't go your way.  At home you are so expressive, loud, and outgoing but when you get around strangers you become shy, quiet, and keep close to mommy.  It's okay though, mommy likes that.  You also love books, coloring with markers, trains, cars, blocks, painting, and swimming.  Every night I rock you before bed and we sing "Rock A Bye Mason" and "You Are My Sunshine".  You continue to be so healthy and strong and remind me everyday that the choices I have made are the best!  You aren't going to be the baby of the family much longer since you have a new brother or sister on the way but you will always be my baby boy.  Mommy, Daddy, Ella, and Haiden love you so much Mase-man!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Unavoidably Unsafe

I've been back from the Autism One conference in Chicago for about a week and I'm still on a high!  Before I left I was down and out about autism, vaccine injury, diet, and anyone understanding me anymore.  I was sick of having to explain myself over and over and over again to family and friends who just think I'm crazy and cast negative judgement towards me as a mother.  Now that I'm back I'm more confident than ever in my parenting and the choices I've made for my children!  There were thousands of other parents who experienced the same issues I have, watched the same things happen as I have, and were helping their children get better.  Ever since Haiden's diagnoses and our road to recovery I've felt that I'm suppose to do something with this experience.  Maybe it was to just tell our story so that maybe I can save one other child but I have a drive to do more. 
Even though I was crazy busy photographing the conference I did get to sit in and listen to speakers I wanted to hear.  I learned so much from Law Day with Mary Holland that I had to share!
1. Did you know that the U.S. law states that vaccines are "unavoidably unsafe"? Hmmm, bet your not going to hear any doctor tell you that?!
2. There is a Vaccine Injury Court that has no due process, no jury, and no cross examination.  Sounds fair to me! (Insert sarcasm)
3. There is a 1986 Vaccine Injury Compensation Program that has compensated over 2,500 families since 1990.  In order to be compensated you have to go through Vaccine Injury Court which is almost impossible.  You also have to have hard core evidence.  How many of you are taking before and after pictures/videos of your children when they get shots?
4. There are over 11,000 cases awaiting Vaccine Injury Court.
Now, I'm not a doctor, I'm not a lawyer, and I know little about politics but to me this is worrisome.  If vaccines were so safe, and it is okay to give our children over 30 doses of vaccines by 3 years of age, then why does the U.S. law state that vaccines are "unavoidably unsafe"?  Why is there a Vaccine Injury Court?  Why is there a Vaccine Injury Compensation Program?  Why are there so many cases awaiting to be heard in Vaccine Injury Court? 
When vaccines where first considered effective living conditions were much different.  There wasn't proper trash removal, there wasn't proper transportation of food, there weren't waste treatment plants like today, and sanitation standards were different.  History has shown that diseases come and go even without vaccines.
There aren't any studies that shows the health of unvaccinated vs. vaccinated children.  There aren't any studies that show what can happen to our children when they have 30 doses of vaccines.  All our government keeps doing is adding more and more vaccines to the vaccine schedule.  All I keep hearing about is how Autism, ADHD, ADD, and allergies have increased by 400%!
Now, there are some of you out there who will say, "Well there have been studies that show there is no link between autism and vaccines."  Let me tell you what is wrong with those studies.  For one, they were funded by the vaccine makers themselves so there is a HUGE conflict of interest.  For two, they only tested one vaccine (MMR) and one vaccine ingredient (thimerisol).  You have no idea what all those chemicals can do to your child. You want to see what they are injecting your child with?  Take a look here, straight from the CDC,
Also, the government is currently paying millions of your tax dollars to 83 known, and I emphasis known, families who have children with vaccine injury and autism. 
Like I said, I know little about politics but I feel like the only way changes are going to be made is if we go to the people who can change the law.  The Canary Party was launched two weeks ago and I am getting involved.  I feel that I can help make a difference and save other children.  If you are interested or would like more information, I encourage you to visit,

Dr. Wakefield and I.  I respect this man even more now that I had the chance to meet and talk with him!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


I have received all my information and duties for the AutismOne conference in Chicago this week!  Everything is planned out, well almost everything, and I have a ton of emotions going a hundred miles per hour!  I am super excited to attend an event with thousands of other professionals, parents, grandparents, doctors, teachers, and advocates who "get it"!  I'm thrilled that I get to photograph this event and all the amazing speakers, vendors, and activities.  I can't wait to learn new information about the latest research, therapies, treatments, laws, supplements, and foods!  I want to jump up and down when I think about all the advocates, doctors, and authors who are leading this great movement of "Recovery Is Possible" and how I get to meet and photograph them!  For me this is like attending the Grammies and meeting all the artist, or attending the Academy Awards and meeting all the actors and actresses, or a huge sporting event and meeting all the athletes.  It may sound silly to you but to me these are my heroes and the people I look up to the most.  Why?  Because they fight for what they believe in!  They know that autism is not a brain disorder that can't be healed, they know that there are reasons why there has been a 400% increase in autism and they are fighting to be heard!  These are the kind of people I love.  They never give up, they fight for these kids, and they don't let anything or anyone stand in their way. 
I have never been away from my children for 5 nights and 5 days so this makes my heart sink but I know that I have an awesome opportunity in front of me.  My mom is coming up to help take care of the kids and I know they will love every minute of it.  I've told them several times that Mommy is going away for awhile but as soon as I mention "Grandma" they light up!  I'm very thankful for my husband's support because we parent so well together and I hate anytime he has to be gone overnight.
I can't wait to share my experience when I get back!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A bunch of ramblings and my kids

I often think about things I can blog about.  I have a lot on my mind and a lot that I want to share but get caught up in the business of life.  Here are a few things I've been meaning to blog about but haven't:

1. Ella and Mason's IGG food allergy test that came back positive for peanut and corn but negative for egg and dairy.
2. Paul Thorson, who conducted the study showing there is no link between autism and vaccines, was indicted on fraud.  Didn't hear about that one on your prime time news did you?
3. Labels.  Everyone seems to get upset about labeling children and how they don't want to put a label on their child.  No one seems to get upset about labeling their child High Ability, Gifted and Talented, Athletic, Top of the Class, Musically Inclined.  A label doesn't define who your child is, it opens the door to a ton of resources.
4. How the government is paying out millions of dollars to children with autism that have been vaccine injured and the truth is about to explode.  Don't believe me?  Take a look,
5. Our average weekly grocery bill of $300!  Trying to find a balance with eating healthy, organic food but not spending our mortgage each month in groceries!

Instead of going on about everything that is negative, I'll continue this post with all things 3 kids!

Haiden is doing AWESOME and we couldn't be more proud of him!  I can't believe he is finishing up his 1st grade year.  We had open house at his school last week and it was so fun to see the progress he has made over the year.  He has been playing soccer for about 4 weeks now and loves his team.  The kids all seem to get along great and they really play well together.  We are trying to give him more responsibilities because for so long he hasn't had any real chores. ( I know, completely my fault.)  He isn't a big fan but does it anyway, we only get a couple eye rolls and sighs. :) He is still completely obsessed with basketball and wants to play it and/or watch it 24/7!

Ella is still Princess Ella but there has been a lot less crying and fewer breakdowns.  As I mentioned above, we found out, through an IGG blood test, she has a food sensitivity to peanuts and corn.  Never in a million years would I have thought this!  I always thought it was dairy and eggs.  I've also adjusted my parenting style with her and it has made a world of difference. :) You know the saying, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree"?  Well it is so true, Ella and I are so much alike that we were butting heads constantly.  I'm really working hard to be more patient, understanding, soft spoken, and sympathetic with her and it seems to be making a huge difference.  She loves all things babies, dress up, and girly right now but she can run with the big boys, loves soccer, and doesn't mind getting dirty.

Mason is slowly moving from a sweet baby to a defiant toddler.  I knew this time was coming but I'm really not ready for it.  He tests the word "consistent" to no end!  Mason has also been in speech the past 6 weeks which I was a little hesitant to share.  Partially, because to me, I had done everything right this time so why was he so hard to understand? Why was he getting so frustrated when he talked?  Why did he seem to have low muscle tone in his mouth?  I know how important early intervention is so I contacted our wonderful First Steps coordinator, Becky, who is also our neighbor and someone I really look up to.  So maybe I fibbed a little bit on his evaluation but he qualified and we got a fabulous speech therapist who was also Ella's speech therapist.  (On a side note, did you know that the APA has lowered their standards and that by the age of two years, children should be saying 10 words?!  When Ella was 2 years old the standard was 20 words. So according to our pediatrician Mason didn't need speech because he already had 10 words at 18 months...crazy!)  Within two sessions, Mason's vocabulary seemed to double and we were able to understand him more.  Now he is saying 2-3 words phrases, communicates all his wants and needs, and even throws in a few extra hilarious "Mason sayings".  For example, he tells me daily who all in our house has a wee-wee, he tells me when he needs "privacy", he has called me a poop head, and when I push him on the swing he tells me he wants to go high like a super hero. :)

For Mother's Day we spent the morning at Eagle Creek Park.  Brian took a few pictures of me and the kidos.

 Baby #4 at 15 weeks!

Friday, April 22, 2011

What's in your prenatal vitamin

We are thrilled to be expecting our 4th child!  Of course I have my worries and I am doing everything possible to make this the most healthy pregnancy I can.  Currently I participate in CrossFit  at PR Fitness ( two days a week, yoga one day a week, and I try to swim once a week.  I feel like we eat really healthy around here but I'm trying to stay away from sugar which is really hard for me.  Sugar is my drug. :)
All expectant moms know that it is important to take our prenatal vitamins.  So as soon as I found out we were pregnant I called my doctor to call in my prenatal vitamins.  Now that I've become an obsessive label reader the first thing I did when I picked up my vitamins was read the labels.  I was disgusted!!!

Here is the list of ingredients in the tablets: acaia gum, blue 2, croscarmellose sodium, crospovidone, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, magnesium stearate, maltodextrin, microcrystalline cellulose, polydextrose, red 40, silicon dioxide, titanium dioxide, triacetin, yellow 6
What better way to help a developing baby grow than load it up on preservatives, fillers, binders, and food dye!  I don't allow this stuff in the food we eat so I wouldn't dare put it into my body through a "vitamin".  The softgel DHA vitamin only says at least 275 mg of DHA and EPA and other omega 3-fatty acids, gelatin, glycerin.  For one, I have no idea where these omegas came from and two, I have no idea the potency.
When I called my OB's office to ask for vitamins without all this junk, they had no idea!
So I called up our dietitian, Staci Small, from The Wellness Philosophy for some advice.  (  Lucky for me she is pregnant as well and was able to give me some great prenatal vitamins that are vegetable based.

These things are loaded with nutrients but don't contain any fillers, binders, preservatives, or dye.  On the far left are the Pure Encapsulation PreNatal Nutrients, next is vitamin D3, then Kirkman Labs Pro-Bio Gold probiotic, and on the far right fish oil loaded with 600 mg of DHA and EPA from a well respected company.
It feels so much better knowing my baby is getting the best!
So pregnant mommies, what is in your prenatal vitamins? 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Autism Action

April is Autism Awareness Month and I think it is awesome that an entire month has been dedicated to autism but we are fully aware by now!  We are aware that autism is growing at an alarming rate.  We are aware that 1 in 110 children and 1 in 74 boys will be diagnosed with autism.  We are aware at the emotional and financial devastation this causes children and families.  It is time for some Autism Action!  There is a growing group of parents that "get it" and are taking action to recover, cure, prevent autism in their child/children but unfortunately there are so many others who still trust the "professionals".  I finally "got it" and will continue to spread the word no matter what.  I've lost friends, I have family who thinks I'm crazy, but I have a healthy son who no longer demonstrates "autistic characteristics"!  We love you Haiden!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Gardening Time

We try every week to stay within a budget when we go grocery shopping but rarely do.  Eating all organic can get expensive but to us it is totally worth it.  One way to save money on our organic fruits and vegetables is to grow them ourselves.  Last year we expanded our garden to 9ft x 13ft and we were able to get an adequate amount of produce.  Over the weekend my wonderful hubby expanded our garden to 9ft x 33ft!  We plan on growing all organic corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, potatoes, broccoli, cucumbers, asparagus, kale, spinach, and strawberries.  We also have a pear tree and a cherry tree.  Today we did a little gardening project with Ella and should have pumpkins in the fall! 

You can see the old garden gated and how far out Brian extended our new garden.

We found this awesome pumpkin gardening kit at Lowe's.
 She is ready to plant her pumpkin seeds!
 Of course Mason wanted to help.  Haiden is away for the weekend but he isn't much of a gardener.
 Adding organic soil.
 Helping Daddy put the pumpkin seeds in the soil.

 Watering the seeds.
 Our pumpkin plants will live here until May when we can transplant them outdoors.

Can't wait to show you our garden once we have all of produce planted and growing!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Email

Here is an email I received from Haiden's special education teacher.

Hi Abby,

Haiden did such a nice job at the play today. I love when he is proud of himself... that confidence continues to grow! It was so cute to see your little group of kids sitting around you for the play! They were so good! The reason for this email is to share that the whole special ed team at WL feels that if you were interested or ready for Haiden to head back to his home school, we are all in agreement that he is ready. We are basing this on the level of sp ed support he needs to be successful. He has done so well in every facet, everyone has readily agreed that he could return to Eagle if that is what you would like for him. This is not a decision you need to make right away but if Haiden attending Eagle in 2nd grade is a goal, I need to start some transitioning discussions. Let me know your thoughts.


I could barely finish reading the email because my eyes were filled with tears.  This was something we really wanted for Haiden and we are thrilled that it is happening so fast!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy 7th Birthday Haiden

Dear Haiden,
Wow!  I cannot believe that you are 7 years old already!  I was always told by my parents that time flies by but I never really understood what that meant until I had my own children.  You are an AMAZING boy Haiden! 
Right now you love anything sports and have an insane talent for sport statistics.  This past fall you loved watching Notre Dame football on Saturdays and Colts football on Sundays with Daddy.  You remember the score to just about every NFL football game and know most of the starters and their numbers.  You also know their win/lose record without thinking twice about it.  Now, your new passion is basketball and you love anything basketball.  For Christmas we bought a "real" basketball hoop that hangs on a door downstairs.  You spend hours shooting hoops and have gotten very good at it.  You really like watching IU basketball on TV. 
In school you are a superb student!  You always have good behavior and seem to have many friends.  In fact, several of your classmates with be at your birthday party this weekend.  You are reading chapter books already and working your way through division.  You also have a photographic memory.  There will be times that we are reading together and you will look at a paragraph, look away, and "read" that paragraph to me.  The first time you did it I was beyond shocked and asked you to do it again. 
At home you are very patient with Ella and Mason and I know it is not always easy being the oldest.  I appreciate all of your help and how good you are with your little brother and sister. 
Seven years ago I never knew how  much you would change my life.  You have made me such a better person and everyday I try to be the best mommy I can be!
I love you to infinity!

He is such a goofball!