Monday, May 23, 2011

Day in the Life of a Kid with Celiac

Kid #1 was diagnosed with Celiac Disease at 17 months.  He was so sick.  He was up to 20 diaper changes a day and vomited at least once every day for 2 and a half months.  He was so sad.  He lost 4 pounds (he weighed 22 to start)  The diagnosis seemed like such a big deal (until we had Kid #2 to put things in perspective!).  Gluten free food wasn't everywhere.  Most people had no idea what I was talking about.  But not now.  Even the most conventional grocery store has a gluten free section.  I thought I would write about what a day as Kid #1 looks like.

When he wakes up in the morning he has a gluten free bagel.  He has his own toaster slots and his own cream cheese. (and butter, peanut butter, and any other spread that could be contaminated with the "double dip" of a knife)  I keep it all clearly marked for everyone's convenience.  I found some squirt bottles to make buying in bulk (and avoiding the expense of smaller squeezable versions) easier for all of us. 

We pack his lunch everyday.  This doesn't break my heart.  It was a real shock to find out how many of the school lunch options have gluten (wheat).  Taco meat and french fries just to name a few.  I tried to let him buy his lunch a couple of times, but it was usually a hamburger or a hot dog without the bun and a vegetable.  For us, it was not a value and he was still hungry.  It also wasn't the nutrition I thought he needed.  He also packs a snack.  This gets tricky as schools crack down on nuts in the classroom.  (Get it, crack down?)  In years pasts we have had a written plan to allow him to have nuts in the classroom.  This year he was placed in with a student with a nut allergy.  Fortunately, it is just peanuts, so we try and avoid those when choosing a school snack.  (Nuts often are used as binding ingredients in gluten free products.)  I prefer the idea of each kid bringing their own snack.  It was always a bit more stressful when one student brought snack for the entire class.  And don't even get me started on cupcakes!

Once he gets home snack is easy.  He has fruit, vegetables, crackers and hummus, or yogurt.  Most of our dinners are gluten free.  If not, there is a gluten free substitution (like 2 different pastas).  I have found this a more economical way to shop for stuff, since gluten free items are so expensive.  We have 2 pizza cutters, multiple cutting boards, items labeled in the pantry.  I really think this has been a blessing to our family.  I was forced to start reading labels.  Once I started reading them I became shocked by what I was reading.  Kid #1's Celiac Disease got me on a plan to feed my kids healthier, less processed foods.  We did it at first because we had too, but now we do it because I can't imagine eating those fillers and chemicals. 

Recently, I put Kid #3 on a gluten free diet to see if her tummy trouble (which was different from Kid #1's, but not exactly) would go away.  It did! 

Friday, May 20, 2011

This Moment

No words, just a picture of a moment to remember!  For more see Soulemama.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


For the past 8 weeks Kid #2 has been in 2 casts on her feet to lengthen her heel cords.  (During the last week we only had 1 cast.)  Because of her CP, her range of motion is limited and her heel cords are TIGHT!  So tight, that she finds it difficult to stand on her feet.  When she pulls herself up to the standing position she often stands on her toes.  We decided to do this to see if walking would be easier for her.  I should say if walking on her feet would be easier.  She walks EVERYWHERE on her knees.  She has excellent balance and can move both legs perfectly.  I am happy to say that yesterday was the last day of our casting.  She got out of the casts, put on her braces (with no struggle, since her feet were so nicely bent) and walked by herself (with a walker) about 200 feet!!  Thank God!!  She was so proud of herself.  So the walker is being ordered and the walking program begins.  And to those doctors that told me it probably wouldn't happen, don't count this girl out!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

In 11 Months

This post is an ongoing effort to get myself on track before my 40th birthday.  Not that 40 is a big deal for me, but it is the newest milestone.  I have spent the last month or so feeling a bit overwhelmed.  Our spring schedule is hectic and I am lacking the downtime to get my thoughts together.  Add to that all the things I feel like I SHOULD be doing and am not and it is a recipe for disaster.  Ever since Kid #4 was born my husband and I have been taking turns saying things like, "We need a bigger house." and "We need a new car." and "I wish we had ____."  Facts are we don't NEED any of it.  And wishing and stressing about it has set an tone in our house that isn't always pleasant.   

This month I am focusing on what we really need.  What we really need is happiness, food, love, warmth, and faith.  A bigger house or a new car isn't going to bring me any of that.  In fact, I feel like it may take that away from those.  My kids all love to sleep together in one room.  They love to read books together and snuggle under the covers.  If we have a bigger house and everyone has their own room one of two things will happen: #1. They will all go to their own space and not connect with one another.  Or #2. They will still all be together in one room and I will be cleaning a much larger house.  I am finishing up the decluttering that I began during Lent and preparing to sell, donate and pitch more stuff.  I want to make this entire house organized, usable and tidy.  I plan to finish the decorating and begin working on the garden.  I want to spend time on what really matters.  Our Home.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This Mom recommends...

I love this new homeschooling website (well, it is not new, but it is new to me!) Confessions of a Homeschooler.  Her resources are fabulous.  She has tons of free printables, but also sells Letter of the Week (beginner and advanced) lessons and 2 great geography lessons, Road Trip and Expedition Earth.  These things are great whether you homeschool or not!  I have them all and my kids love them.

Right now she has a super giveaway, a  $100 gift card to Educational Insights.  Perfect to add educational toys to your collection!  I added her button to my page!  Check out Erica and her stuff!

And the winner is....

Karla G! 

Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients

Contact me by Friday and let me know how you want the book delivered!  Enjoy!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lowe's Build and Grow

This is a fun, free activity for you and the kids on a Saturday morning.  My kids have enjoyed these projects.  For more information click here.

Current Free Clinics
Biplane: Saturday 05/28/2011
Goofy Golf: Saturday 06/11/2011
Your child will love this kit! This cool Biplane comes with two complete sets of stickers and punch out pilots!
This kit is fun to build and makes a great Father's Day gift! Bring your child in and they can build this awesome Goofy Golf kit!
I already have the next few of these clinics in my calendar.  If we have the time we will be there!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

This Mom Recommends...

The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More FunIt is rare that I read a book that isn't about child development, learning styles, or educational theory.  When I do read for pleasure it is typically some self help book instructing me how to get organized, lose weight or live the life I was meant to live.  I think that is why this book The Happiness Project: Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin appealed to me.  She sets of on a year long quest for happiness.  The changes she made were totally the ones I need to make in my own life.  She even has a companion blog to assist others on their own happiness project.  This was a quick read and I had fun reading it.  This dialogue she includes with her husband could very well have happen in my own house.  This mom recommends this book!