Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I love teaching history to preschoolers.  Here are a couple of gems from my own budding historian.

Me:  Who remembers what special man we celebrated yesterday?

Lily:  Martin Burger King Carl's Junior


Me:  Who remembers who the first president of the United States was?

Lily:  Dollarton Lincoln

I could not make this stuff up if I tried.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

We don't need no stinkin' wheat!

It is important that, while reading this post, you imagine me eating an entire box of Country Creme Organic Ginger Lemon cookies.  That is what I am doing while writing it so it only makes sense.  I bought a box of these cookies a couple of weeks ago.  I was saving them for a special time or day when I would need them.    After finding out that my daughter has Celiac disease and we must now rid our home of all gluten containing products, I feel like now is that special time.  And working with the timeless idioms of "waste not, want not" and "if you eat enough of something in one sitting and make yourself ill, you may never want that thing again" I plan to rid my house of these particular gluten offenders one cream-filled center at a time.  The vanilla ones I bought on accident, however, will be going to the chickens unless someone comes over to my house later this afternoon to claim them.
Although a diagnosis of Celiac is on the lighter end of the chronic malady spectrum (leukemia, Down's, etc. being on the darker end), I imagine the initial blow is somewhat similar.  My life will never be the same.  Everything will change.  And while in our case, those changes will ultimately mean a cure, recovery and a lifestyle we will eventually find normal, I still am in that first phase of shock and denial, so please, be patient.
It is hard to hear that there is something wrong with your kid.  Anything.  We all want them (even think them) to be perfect.  I still think Lily is perfect.  Except her gut, which is apparently all kids of screwed up! Since September she has thrown up every three weeks and has complained of almost constant and sometimes excruciating stomach pain in between.  After rounds of blood work she finally got fitted for a suit of Celiac, or an intolerance to gluten, the main protien in wheat (and several other grains).   While this seems at first horrific, it is really a solution rather than a problem.  The problem is Lily's constant discomfort, the solution?  Lay off the bread.  In a best case scenario, under strict dietary changes she may even be able to recover fully and eventually tolerate gluten to some extent later on.  For now, we just hope to stop the all-nighter puke-fests and stomach pains.
It is a little overwhelming when you start researching all that has gluten in it.  Playdough, soy sauce, shampoo, vitamins, the list is staggering.  I really feel like I am going back to school learning what is healthy and what is not.  I feel so. . .novice.  Novice, but determined to learn.  It is also amazing if you compile a list of all the things that don't contain gluten.  That list is more practical, at least for my sanity. Glass half full and all that.  Still, even though I can intellectually say "it isn't that bad.  I can DO this.  I like to make new recipes.  We love Asian food" and all the rest, sometimes I still want to cry because we can't go to Kneaders anymore.  Really!  I should be happy that all that is required to fix my daughter is a shift in diet and not lifelong medication or surgery, and I am.  However, I do love bread.  I really do.  And I will mourn it's loss from our home.  
I hope that my life won't be defined by our being gluten-free.  I don't want that do be what Lily or myself is all about.  However, I know that for awhile, it will be.  While we learn, while we adapt, it will have to occupy a big part of our brains, time and, unfortunately for those that know us, our conversations.  It won't always be like that.  I have faith that we will slip into a routine and living gluten-free will just be that.  Nothing complicated just life.  I am already grateful for friends and family that have been so supportive and helpful in the last week and a half.  It just proves what I already knew: people are good and gluten is bad.  Well, at least I knew the first part.

Today we tried Cherrybrook Kitchen's Gluten Free Dreams Pancake/Waffle mix.  I added an egg to the recipe and made heart shaped waffles for our snack at preschool.  They were SO GOOD.  I served them plain, no syrup or anything and the kids all said they were the best waffles they ever had (maybe the shape?).  We will definatetly try that one again.   Also for snack we had a fruit/rice milk smoothie and hard boiled eggs.  Yum!