Celebrating One Year Dye-Free, New Blog Look, My Vacation, Guest Bloggers, And Something Just For My Readers!

It’s been one year since we ditched the dyes, and our first full dye-free summer will be over in a few short weeks.  Has it been better than last summer?  Oh hell yes.  Is it still a challenge?

Often.

Even equipped with all this information about the affects of petroleum dyes, I still find myself frustrated and exhausted with all the label reading, the new products, and helping my impressionable kid fend off awful products being mercilessly marketed to her demographic…The DIY tattoo kits, the brightly dyed Easy Bake Oven morsels, and the cupcake shops we have to walk out of because they only sell dyed confections.

And my kid still has her Koo Koo For Cocoa Puffs moments, like today, when her summery sleep-deprived mind just seemed to stop working.

I tried to pick her up from a friend’s house, but she didn’t want to go yet, because she didn’t get a chance to play out in her friend’s backyard.  Her friend’s mom explained that it’s hot and maybe they can play outside next time, and it’s time to go.  She ignored this.  I offered to give her a treat I had in the car from my grocery errands.   My daughter wasn’t having it.  She stubbornly tuned out all the grown folks’ pleas and started trying to get through the back doors, all the while throwing a really bratty fit.  She was stomping and yelling over everyone’s voices, telling me how it was going to be “right NOW!”, and being way too Diva for my comfort level.  I chalked it up to her hypoglycemia and lack of sleep.  But she still earned that yellow on her behavior chart, ohhh yes sir.

Being that today was a really loooong day with many car repairs and errands, we decided to have a quick dinner at a Chinese restaurant.  My girl had some lo mein noodles and some plain rice.  And then the (un)fortun(at)e cookies came, which I found to be completely ironic.

We all cracked open our “cookies”, and bravely faced our destinies while I vehemently warned against consuming the crunchy, yellow-dyed destiny-vehicles.  Apparently, my destiny couldn’t be bothered to say much more than, “This week, your lucky number is three.”  Well thanks, fortune cookie writer #45. Good job.

My daughter’s fortune read: “Past inspirations and experiences will be helpful at work or school.”

Damn.  It didn’t say “at a play date.”  Or “in the car.”  Those fortunes are complete malarky.

As far as I could tell, my daughter had lost that part of her mind that housed both long-term and short-term memory.  Apparently, she wasn’t inspired by past experiences of yellow and red stickers on her behavior chart.

So I celebrated our one year anniversary of being dye-free with a slightly more colorful behavior chart, and an unruly child. Yaaaaaay.

But still it’s better than last summer.  No, really.  Last summer I was ready to call a child psychologist, and I felt like a total failure.  She was having daily violent tantrums, and meltdowns over tiny stuff. She would scream bloody murder until she lost her voice, SLAM every door she could find until the frames rattled, kick walls and doors, say awful things to me, hit and kick me, and throw hard objects all around her room.  Time outs were plentiful but they only seemed to make her more determined. Her freak outs would last for hours and hours.  

And I was a super pissed mommy.

Nowadays, I’m only the normal amount of pissed.  Her freak-outs are few and far between now, and when they do happen, they are a complete anomaly.  The final two weeks of summer vacation last year, when we removed all dyes from our diet, were so great that I not only stopped calling people to vent/cry/bitch about my off the charts offspring, but I was actually super sad when she had to start school again.  This summer has been lots of fun, with only a little bit of backfiring from super late nights and lack of sleep.

But I’m still ready for a vacation…So I’m taking some time off to do the logical thing when you have a sleep-deprived, dye-sensitive kid:  Drive 1,900 miles in a tiny compact car, following the paved path of basically a health food desert.

What have I done?

All will not be lost, I’m determined!  This will be like a little experiment.  I will collect data (restaurant selections, what snacks we packed), make observations (behavior), and then formulate a treatment plan (drink).  I will share my findings (and roadside oddities) with you either while I’m on the road, or as soon as I get back.  Keep an eye on the DFD Discussion Forum for posts in the “Dye-Free Away From Home” section, and post any question you have in the forum.  And follow @DieFoodDye on Twitter for travel tweets.  

Crossing my fingers for a Muffler Man sighting…

But WAIT!

Don’t run off like that.  I have a couple of goodies for YOU!

While I’m out, you’ll get visits from your fairy guest bloggers.  

Tomorrow, you’ll meet guest blogger Robin J., a teacher in Thailand who is coping with one son’s severe physical reaction to food dyes and another son’s seizures.  I love her story of strength in the toughest of times, and her jubilant picture. They seem like such a fun family.  I may make a pitstop in Thailand via Texas…

And you’ll love guest blogger Abby E.’s determination to change the world one family at a time.  I can totally relate to her son’s experiences.  Abby will inspire you next Wednesday, so be on the look out!

And while you’re drinking up these families’ transformations, take a look at my blog home page.  I’ve given it a bit of a spiffing up, making the really useful info easy to find in one spot, and making my mission a bit more obvious.  Click on “Start Here: The Basics” in the left sidebar, for a collection of my most informative posts to help you in your dye-free journey.  I’ve broken them down into categories like shopping help, school food, guest bloggers, and surviving special events.

You’ll also notice something I just added this week – On the left sidebar, click on the badge showing a red circle and slash through the bottle of pink poison that says “1 Year Dye-Free!”.  It will take you to my new Badge Shop where you can grab your own free badge to announce to the world how long you’ve been dye-free!  Copy the code and post it into your blog home page.

ONE more thing…I’ll be giving away some exclusive DFD t-shirts when I return on Monday, August 6th! Keep an eye on the blog for the return of the monthly ‘Monday Mashup’ question.  I’ll pick a couple of random commenters who answered my question on that thread and send them a free shirt.

And if you see the headline,

Area Woman Vows Revenge On GPS, Self

well then hey, it’s been nice knowing all of you!  

Lucky numbers are: 7, 18, 29, 35, 39, and 40.

(Send bail money anyway, just in case.)

And feel free to throw some travel eats suggestions my way!

 

Why are his cheeks so red?  What’s dude got to hide?

Comments
One Response to “Celebrating One Year Dye-Free, New Blog Look, My Vacation, Guest Bloggers, And Something Just For My Readers!”
  1. Jen says:

    Cute DYe Free Badges.. if only I had my own blog to post it on 🙁 I sure am DYE FREE AND PROUD 😉

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