Blog Changes


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I know that I have typically blogged 3 to 4 days per week but I am ill. The diagnosis is still unclear and I have many appointments with specialists each week. It is definitely something neurological (brain-related). Thus, I wanted you to know that I will likely be blogging once per week at the most. There will likely be weeks that  I will miss.

Thank you very much for being such loyal followers. I love you all.

When my health has returned, I will likely continue blogging 3 to 4 days per week. 

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Celiac, Lies and Vertigo


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As most of you know, I’m the mom of a 3 year old who was recently diagnosed with severe celiac disease. Due to her fragile health, the GI doctors decided to forgo the endoscopy which would confirm her diagnosis until she is healthier. I was fine with this, in fact, I was relieved.

My little one is a pistol – too smart for her own good. She’s been dying to go to preschool since she was 18 months old when her brother started. So, this spring I signed her up at the same preschool he attended. I was clear in all of the paperwork that she had celiac. I even included a separate sheet that explained the condition in plain English.

In early August, I sent a letter from me along with a letter from my daughter’s doctor about the extent of her disease. I requested that she be kept from sensory tables that contained gluten products and that she not play with Play-doh that has gluten in it. The director of the school called me and said that if she could not play with Play-doh, she could not attend preschool. I calmly and politely explained that there are gluten-free options. By the end of our conversation, my daughter could attend school as long as I made homemade gluten-free play dough for the entire class (4 cups per month, a new color each time to match the curriculum). No problem, right? Well, the cost for the ingredients was $40 for one month! I requested reimbursement or a tuition credit and was denied.

Late last week the principal called and said that my little angel had to miss the first day of school because they have a tradition of making friendship necklaces out of Fruit Loops! Again I very calmly and diplomatically offered several gluten-free options and was turned down. It was just too inconvenient. I grudgingly agreed to keep her home. Several days later I had a voice mail that my daughter had to be kept home the following days: the day of the field trip to the pumpkin patch (they hand out pumpkin cookies), the harvest party (too hard to “police” the snacks), the Christmas party, the Valentine party and the end of the year picnic.

Needless to say, I am pissed off! I feel lied to and betrayed. How can they say they will work with me and then say she can’t attend any of the fun things? 

On top of all of this, I’ve been ill since August 15th when I was literally blind-sided by severe vertigo and a splitting headache. I was bed-ridden until several days ago. After a brain MRI, a physical therapy evaluation, my GP’s evaluation, a trip to urgent care and 3 visits to an ear, nose and throat specialist, no one knows what’s going on. I have more appointments next week: neurology; ear, nose and throat specialist; and physical therapy. The drugs the doctor gave me have virtually removed the vertigo symptoms but they make me very groggy and tired and I can’t drive. The downside is the constant splitting headache and occasional blurred vision have yet to resolve regardless of drugs or anything else. 

Sorry I haven’t posted but if I’d tried I would have been puking all over my keyboard. 

What is your experience as a parent or child with food allergies or celiac and schools? Helpful and accommodating or a royal pain in the ass? Please comment, I’m dying to know… I am feeling pretty alone right now.

Thanks! 🙂 

Family Time


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One of my favorite things about this summer is family time. I’m not sure how it happened exactly, but we seem to have more time in the evenings for family time and we all LOVE it! 

Monday night was LEGO® building night where we each built our own creation. Then last night we played one of our favorite card games. It’s called “Sleeping Queens” and is supposed to be for kids ages 8 and up but if we all have our cards face up so we can help our 3-year old, then everyone can play. 

We’ve gone to the park and played “Lava Monster” together, had family movie night and played rousing games of hide-and-seek or have just hung out in the backyard and eaten snacks from our organic garden.

It doesn’t matter what you do during family time as long as everyone unplugs and enjoys one another. We’re all so recharged and happy afterwards. It’s been excellent. 

I am resolving to change up our schedule once school starts – Will is going to complete his homework in the afternoons so we can still have some family time after dinner.

What are your favorite activities to share as a family? I’d love to hear from you!

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Gluten-Free Laundry Detergents


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If any of you suffer from dermatitis herpataformis as my daughter did, you know the importance of locating all products including cleaning and personal care that are gluten-free. In an effort to create the optimal home for my daughter, I have found this information and wanted to pass it on. Hopefully it will save some of you the energy and stress in searching for all of this information. At the very bottom is a recipe to make your own laundry detergent, if you are so inclined. 

Products that Guarantee They are Gluten-Free:

BioKleen Products

Dakota Free Laundry Detergents (environmentally friendly)

ECOS Free and Clear (environmentally friendly)

GrabGreen Laundry Detergents (environmentally friendly)

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day

Purex 3-in-1 Laundry Detergent

Purex Free and Clear

Rockin’ Green Laundry Detergent

Seventh Generation Free & Clear 2X-formula laundry liquid (environmentally friendly)

Sun and Earth 2X Liquid Laundry Detergents

Tide (liquid and powder)

Tropical Traditions Powdered Laundry Detergent (environmentally friendly)

Homemade Laundry Detergent:

                1 bar Ivory, Zote or Feles Naptha soap

                1 cup borax

                1 cup washing soda

Grate soap. Mix together. Add 1 tablespoon per load and voila – you’ve got homemade gluten-free laundry detergent. 

Here’s to clear skin and clean laundry! 

Does anyone else have another gluten-free laundry detergent that you love? If so, please share with a comment. Thanks!

Parenting, Perceptions and Peace


This past weekend we went on an awesome camping trip – best weekend of the year! An adoption group that we belong to meets at a local recreation area complete with beach, lighthouse, playground and meadow. We all join together for a potluck and s’mores as well as some R&R at the beach for the younger kids and a 10-mile hike for the older, more adventurous teens. 

It really hit me this year how much our group resembles a junior United Nations. One of the other moms and I were commenting that if only the world leaders were here for just a several hours, perhaps their perspectives would change. These children don’t care about religion or diet or skin color; they care simply about getting along and sharing a lot of laughter. There were some minor altercations, of course, but they were all resolved peacefully. I wish we could say that for our country’s involvement in their foreign affairs…

What if the world were more like our camping trip where we all shared one water source (oh yeah, technically, we do!) and what if we all cared about everyone being well-fed, tended to medically and loved? Wouldn’t life be amazing?

My son used to ask every year why we couldn’t all just live in one gigantic house. To him, that’s what heaven looks like. And you know, I agree with him. It’s wonderful having so many parents and children and we’re all tending to each other together without any concern for monetary reimbursement or recognition – just knowing that our part improves the greater good…. 

What is your vision of heaven? Your dream of an ideal world? Shouldn’t we all hope for an expect a more balanced existence here on this earth? 

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Headaches and Heat


Sports Drinks

So, it’s likely not as hot in my home as it is in yours, but Seattle is a fairly temperate place all of the time and we’ve been having a “heat wave”, for us, anyway. My house is still 74 degrees and it’s 6 AM. I know, most of you are likely laughing right now but our day-time highs have been near to or dipping into the low 90’s here, and as a population, we generally start to “feel the heat” by 80 degrees. Why? Part of it is that we just don’t get many days over 80 degrees and when they’re strung together without any cloud layer, well, it can cause some mild dehydration and anxiety. Also, very few people have air conditioning here – I don’t.

Last night, I started with a headache and not feeling well. I didn’t think much about it. We’ve been pretty busy this summer but when I woke up this morning, I realized – I’m likely a bit dehydrated. Rather than grabbing some more water which I’ve been drinking religiously – that’s basically all I drink; I made something to replace my electrolytes which may have dipped a bit low with all of the sweating. I found this recipe online at Mother Nature Network in an article written by Kimi Harris entitled “A Simple Homemade Electrolyte Drink” and this is my fist time using it but I’m already feeling a little better. I am planning to serve some to my kids for breakfast today as well.

Super Simple Electrolyte Drink
Ingredients:
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups of filtered water
2 – 4 tablespoons raw honey, to taste
1/8 teaspoon unrefined salt (to taste)

Directions:
In a blender, blend all of the ingredients together until the honey or sugar is dissolved. Taste test and adjust as needed. Enjoy.

If you are struggling with the heat or perhaps an extra-strenuous workout, give it a try. I promise it’s much better for your body than the commercially produced sports drinks on the market. You know who I’m talking about. 🙂

Share your comments if you give it a try. I would love to hear from you!

Puke, peanut butter and parenting


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So, we tried to go camping yesterday at Mount Rainier.

We’ve owned a travel trailer for years which is great as you’ve got your own bathroom and kitchen. A perfect little cabin on wheels. But then we took the course “Financial Peace University” and decided to sell our trailer in order to payoff debt. It was the right thing to do. 

This spring we purchased a large tent so that we could continue to camp which is a favorite family activity. It’s large enough that you can stand up in it and we figured there would be plenty of room for all of our gear. We found the air mattresses and sleeping bags that had been gathering dust on a shelf in the garage and got packing this past week.

The kids were up early, the cooler was packed solid with hamburger patties, eggs, Udi’s whole grain bread and other perishable sundries any gluten-free family family can’t live without.

So, it took longer to get to our destination due to construction work and many bathroom breaks which just occur with 2 youngsters.

We got there, got the tent put up and then started to lay out the food and the remainder of the camp to serve some lunch. The first thing we realized that we forgot was my daughter’s peanut butter. You see, the only “glutened” food we keep in our house is bread so we’ve got separate peanut butter – one pure and one contaminated… Looks like we forgot the pure one. Then we went searching for her Udi’s bread and guess what?! Yep. We forgot that too. Doh! I expected to keep my little one going on peanut butter sandwiches 3 days in a row while we were up here. Please know, this is not the norm…

So, we piled everyone back in the car to go in search of a gluten-free cracker or bread and some pure peanut butter. Realize, we are in a very rural part of Washington state and their idea of fine cuisine is Bar S franks and hoagie buns!

Slightly over an hour later and we’d hit pay dirt: Quaker rice cakes and peanut butter. Yes! We immediately donned the plastic spoon and smeared said peanut butter over a couple of cakes and passed them to our poor little one who had eaten some mandarin oranges and a cereal bar for sustenance. As we were driving back, she started to complain her head hurt. I assumed it was just the sun shining in her window that was bothering her. Stupid mommy…

We drove back to the campsite, knowing we’d arrive just in time to make dinner. So much for sightseeing today… 

Got back, little one had to use the facilities so the hubby took her (good man!) and I started prepping for dinner. On their way back, just before our site, she took a spill and a sharp rock gouged the hell out of her poor hand. 

Lots of comforting, soap and water (back at the bathroom) and 3 band-aids later and she was chilling with me on a rock when back up came everything she’d eaten since mid-morning. Oh puke!

So, we decided to call it a trip, take down the tent, repack the car and head for home. The mosquitoes were everywhere so I put the little sicko in the car but she didn’t want to be alone so I sat with her while my awesome 6 year old and his dad worked hard at getting everything else repacked. As we were sitting in the car the little bit of water that I’d given her post-puke came back up to… Yeah, right decision to go home.

Today, little one has very little appetite but otherwise seems “fine.” We’re all bummed that we’re here and not at the mountain but the thought of vomit covered sleeping bags was more than this mom could bare. 

Could have stayed if we had the trailer complete with bathroom and kitchen. Selling the trailer was the right thing to do. I don’t miss it all. Sniff…

My morning musing today: the BRAT diet of bananas, rice, applesauce and toast kind of works for celiacs, except for the toast – what do you eat when you are recovering from an upset stomach or flu?