Tuesday, December 29, 2009

beep beep

will is now almost 23 mos old. although he's not as chatty as some of his girlfriends, he sure figures out ways to get his point across.

with the holiday season upon us...
we read 'twas the night before christmas' every night for about a month leading up to christmas. he would 'read along' by saying 'brrrr' when we got to the part where the children were nestled in bed (under their covers), and he'd "meow" and say "cat" when we got to the page of santa hanging out with the cat eating the cookies...then he'd point out the toys in santa's bag, and then say "football?" wondering where the football was (...as this is what he asked for from santa). my favorite was when he'd get to the page w/ all the reindeer (...on dasher, on prancer, on comet and blitzen...) and admire their horns (aka antlers), cock his head to the side in thought and then belt out 'beep beep' (they are 'horns' after all aren't they).

here are some holiday pics...

Friday, October 23, 2009

bad mom moment #457

i'm still getting over a head cold, which is really no excuse, but heck, i'll use it.
i can honestly say that because of the cold i had no sense of smell (ahh congestion).

will and i had been indoors all day. by around 4, the sun came out and so did we. ready for our dose of vitamin d. we took the stroller to the park, but i decided to leave the diaper bag behind (bad idea). we got there and played for a while. will was headed up the steps with another little girl his size. her mom came over to watch her.

her mom: "pew, someone smells like poop, is it you honey (to her little girl)," as
she did the mom honored, look down the pants move. "huh, no poop?!"

me: (i hope i didn't just pass gas)

me: (wait a minute...what if will is the one who smells like poop...he did make some grunting sounds after lunch (hours ago))

me: (doing the mom (dis) honored, look down the pants move. (CRAP there is dried poop coming up his back, from who knows when?!))

me: (trying to keep my composure) "will honey, let's climb down the stairs so we can go home to change your diaper"

her mom (overhearing me): (bringing me a diaper and ziplock of wipes) "here you go, you can use these"

me: (feeling pressured to stay at the park and change him (bad idea #2) ....realizing, that he had dried poop EVERYWHERE, and here we are in the park with a borrowed diaper and ziplock of 3 DRIED wipes.)

will: (naked in the park, climbing all over me)

me: (trying to dodge the poop and wipe him off with whatever moisture was left)

her mom: (trying not to stare)

me: (wishing she wasn't starring, as i might have spit into the wipes to add a little moisture--- still dodging poop)

me: (not smelling a thing, wondering if his shirt smelled like poop, and wondering how much longer we'd have to stay)

me: (handing the wipes and changing pad back to her mom) "sorry we got a little poop on this"

her mom: "no problem...i hope the wipes were okay, we've had them in our stroller for over a year"

me: (for the love!) "no problem, thanks"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

the power of "uh"

being a speech therapist, i really should know better. no wonder i have a kid who's vocabulary (expressively speaking) is limited to maybe 10 words ("hoops", "ball", and "basketball" being 3 of those 10).
i know that really nothing is wrong with his speech nor his language, at least not in my professional opinion (remember i am a speech therapist that doesn't work with kids at all, rather works with adults who suffer concussions and brain injuries). he does however get a lot of language stimulation from his mom the slp. we read, and read and read. i navigate most of what i'm doing with words (aka, i talk to myself all day). we go new places and try new things. he watches youtube clips of my favorite sesame street episodes, and we play games like up/ down, stop/go, quiet/loud. we sing. he sees me read, and helps me write. i talk over his head, and at his level, and most times in between.
he does however get away with a lot of "uh's". being a speech therapist, working with patient's who can't always put what they want to say in words (aka aphasia), i end up filling in the blanks a lot. im used to reading context and helping them know that someone understands. i particularly skilled at tying abstract thoughts together into something cohesive even with my patients who are non-verbal ("how do you know she just told you we got married at the pavilion near city hall??"). so maybe this is to blame, or maybe i'm just a mom, excited by watching her son understand the world. i can see his connections, can see him understand and remember. see him generalize things that i wouldn't even get right away. it's so fun to watch and to see, so fun that i often jump in and translate. then again, why would he talk if his mom fills in all of the juicy details (between the u----and the----h)
so as an example, we were out at a happy hour last week. there was a band playing (bongo drums, guitar, singer, and bass) in the lobby of this high-end hotel. will was obsessed. he kept pointing to each of the musicians, watching in awe and dancing along (that was until the drunk guy cleared him out- so says chad). later on in the night (the band was on break), will saw a guy with dreadlocks sitting at the bar. he was ecstatic. "uh...uh...uh..." pointing to the guy, and then toward the lobby. (the bongo player had had dreadlocks). the guy looked over to me, and will pointing and "uh'huh'ing!!" the words that almost rolled off my tongue were:
"this is my son, and he noticed your dreadlocks and thought you resembled the bongo player. you see the band is on break, and my son really liked the band, and since you look like the drummer, he's requesting that you go back out and play. he'd really like to dance some more."
luckily i hadn't had anything to drink and my filer was on, such that i didn't interpret my son's "uh" to this total stranger, rather i smiled and asked will to give him a high five. will just kept saying "uh...uh!!!"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

cookies for will

packing for our trip to mn was a bit much--- mostly b/c of the whole food thing. who knows what kind of dairy and gluten free options there would be in Gaylord, MN, so there I sat packing and planning out meals just like I was counting out enough socks and underwear for the trip. I decided to try to make some teff flour peanut butter cookies for will as an easy protein snack. never having baked with teff flour, I wasn’t really too concerned. what’s not to like about peanut butter and maple syrup cookies everything mixed in well, though the batter turned a dark brown, which was different, but not too concerning (to me at least).
will watched me, and even helped with adding ingredients. I tried to really play up how great they were going to be (aka, please-eat-these-my picky-eater-of-a-toddler-who-has-had-the-stomach-flu-and-hasn’t- eaten-much-in-5 days)

me: “yummm, these are going to be soooo good”

will: looks at me, and looks at the brown batter

me: finger dipping good, “yum” tasting the batter and offering will a taste

will: shaking his head no, and starting to look a bit concerned

me: “this is really good buddy” (as I take another taste of the batter)

will: turning his head to the side and really looking concerned

me: what’s wrong little man?

will: (with a look of pain and pointing to the dark brown batter I have on my finger that is headed towards my mouth) “poop?!”

me: (oh crap, he thinks I’m eating poop---after all of our recent talk about pooping on the potty, and not playing with the poop---let alone eating poop) “NO, NO, this isn’t poop”

will: (head cocked to one side- looking a little less concerned, but still worried) “dirt?!”

me: (oh no, he’s never going to eat these cookies now….though I still make one last attempt at salvaging the situation…) “no, this isn’t poop or dirt, these are mommy’s special cookies she is making just for you…”

will: shakes his head no and walks out of the kitchen to go play basketball.

me: argh. 20 minutes later, the hardened turds, or mud pies (depending on how you see it) came out of the oven…rock hard. now I don’t even want to eat them, and certainly I can’t pass them off on my gluten deprived husband, let alone my toddler who we are encouraging not to eat dirt or poop. dang.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

food

food has been one of the biggest changes (aka challenges) in my life since will. (and that says a lot as there have been a lot of changes!)

those of you who knew me circa boulder knew my cooking and baking skills to be a bit sketchy to say the least. no real sense for what substitutes with what, no great attention to detail when measuring, pouring, or for that matter reading recipes. i could make a mean pot of spaghetti (with jar sauce), but that was my limit.
i advanced a bit from my days in undergrad through chapel hill, but it wasn't really until i moved to boulder that i started pushing myself to learn about food. i developed a few staples after a self-implied program of making a new meal a week (really it was more like every three weeks, but it worked). i thought i was doing pretty darn well. friends commented that i was a "good cook" (chad still laughs remembering my pre-boulder days well), and i had a few staple meals down pat. then will came along...
on top of all of the food sensitivities (dairy and gluten to mention the big ones-- & soy is in there too), i started to really focus on food nutrition---thinking about his little system and how much more sensitive he would be to the nutrition value (e.g. one study showed organic food has tested with 50-60% more antioxidants than conventionally grown food, not to mention it doesn't have any pesticides and antibiotics in it). i read 'super baby food' and took to heart the importance of using higher quality ingredients given how little our little people eat, and how much that little bit can effect their little systems. then my book club (and I) read barbara kingsolver's book 'animal, veg table, miracle' and it hit home that much more my desire to eat things that are local (when possible), in season, and organic. to try to be more intimately connected with the food i eat. (sounds great in theory, but has addeded to my food craziness)
so, in addition to getting our veggies from the csa, we put in the time to put in and tend the garden this year. i learned about pruning tomato plants, continually seeding lettuce, and keeping basil and cilantro cut back. i learned that lambsquarters has 4x the calcium as spinach and thus into our garden it went. i've been totally overwhelmed at times with all of the produce, and what to do with it. not to mention cutting out gluten (and most dairy) myself, as well as for will. trying to make sure will is getting enough calcium and protein (given no dairy, and his finiky toddler state of not wanting to eat most meat). sink or swim, or do both on a routine basis is more like what i've been doing. food has become an obsession. i spend hours thinking about, reading about, planning, prepping food...and stressed that i really have no time for all of this; let alone the learning curve has been huge for me. i despise throwing out food, but at times i've dispised seeing it all in my fridgerator without an idea of what to do with it all. chad's had nites where he gets shaky after dinner because he's gone on a long run, and we've had no protein (oops, i forgot to get the meat). not to mention if feels like our grocery bills are paramount to our mortgage some months. i've all but made myself crazy about food. food, this thing that i have such a love hate relationship with. chad says to simplify...i honestly dont know how.
how to use up the local, fresh, in-season food we have, without adding dairy or gluten, and then to make sure we have enough protein, despite will's toddler pickiness....and try to do this for 3 meals and 2 snacks a day...argh!

we'll it's not all that bad. i also love food, and i love what i've been learning about food. knowing what is in season, knowing about foods like quinoa, and fennel (which is in my favorite dish of the moment). i feel sometimes like i've just gotten another degree in family nutrition. i now know the difference between protein content in goats, sheep, coconut, and soy yogurt, and know that hemp milk is the best protein source of non-animal/ soy based milk. things id never have cared about before. i never would have thought much about using white rice vs. quinoa and the difference in nutritional value. never would i have known that soy sauce has wheat flour, but there is soy sauce without wheat flour, you just have to read all of the labels.

never before would i have made bread-pancakes (they are a mix between indian naan bread and a pancake) out of lentils and brown rice, but here they are:
(killer protein and fiber content, and a kid-friendly treat--great with a little butter, honey or nut butter, and would be good with a fruit spread too)

1 cup lentils
1 cup sweet brown rice
(soak these in water over nite, 4x the water for each, and put them in separate bowls). in the morning, blend the rice and lentils (with some of the water) in a food processor until they are pancake batter like. i added agave (but you could use honey too). put them in a skillet on med-med/hi that is coated with oil (i used walnut oil). flip half way through. eat as is, or add fruit, nut butter or hummus.


i'm at a point where the craziness has subside. the learning curve that has taken place over the past year has slowed. ive got several staples down. i'm taking a new lease on things and again trying to embrace and enjoy food. im also trying to 'simplify' as chad says and let go. aka...i just broke down and bought will hot dogs (they were the chicken kind that were 'all natural' as natural as hot dogs can be---but killer protein, and easy as easy can be!- and he loved them)

here's one more recipe that i thought i'd share, as it was one that i had fun making. it's my mid-year resolution...begin to enjoy food again.

Zucchini Boats (is it sac-religious to convert a moosewood veggie recipe into a meat lovers delight?!)


2 Zucchini
Tomatoes
Mushrooms
Sausage
Basil
Scallions or onion
Garlic

Shredded Cheese (i used hard goat cheese)

Scoop out the insides of the Zucchini. Blend these in the food processor with the other ingredients (except cheese). Stuff the zucchini boats (if you have enough left over you can add it to a separate baking dish). Sprinkle the tops with cheese. Bake zucchini on a baking sheet coated with a little olive oil. (i covered them with tin foil for the first 20 min, and then took it off when they got soft). i cooked it around 350 for about 40 min total (though i set my watch alarm every 10 min and check on things---this has been part of my new anti-burning campaign and seems to be improving my cooking in a big way!).

evergreen

we had a family weekend away in evergreen co (just the three of us) and it was super fun to get away...
some highlights:
-will's 3 hour nap on sat that allowed chad and i to cook a big pot of curry (together!), sit! and relax, and read our books (i mean more than just a few pages at a time)
-three sisters--- a hiking/ mt. biking area (chad and will hiked and juli got to bike, with only one flesh wound noted, to will's dismay (he's very sensitive about bo'bo's)
-gluten free pizza on the deck at beajo's (over looking the creek full of ducks and a river otter)
-a drive up to the summit of mt. evans
-fishing (chad caught 5 fish in 20 minutes---i guess it was more like "power fishing")
-and the best part was that chad and i got to talk...talk about life and goals, and struggles; the kind of talk we don't make time for much these days. im kind of a beave, and got us a 'love and logic' for marriages book and dvd (for our anniversary- sorry honey), thus i roped chad into watching the dvd (though i have to admit i feel asleep part way through- jeeze). anyway...at the end of it (once i woke back up), we had a chance to talk. talked a lot about ways to embrace the day to day logistics (which often take over), and ways to set goals for ourselves, our marriage and our family for the next 5-10 years. what a way to put perspective on the day to day. how does the present right now apply to what i am moving toward next? what really matters, and what should i focus energy on? just some things i'm thinking about....for now.
here are a few pics from our trip...


Saturday, August 22, 2009

watermelon

what a better way to celebrate summer (the end of summer :(...) than with watermelon. it's probably will's favorite food at the moment (though this changes quickly). in general he's been quite the fruitarian, and i worry about the nearing change in seasons and the effect it will have on his fruit availability...but for the moment, we're eating lots of watermelon---and enjoying it. i found this great recipe on my new favorite food site for watermelon sorbet. i decided to prep it by cubing 4 cups of watermelon and putting it in the freezer; however, we have yet to actually make the sorbet as will can't keep his hands out of the watermelon. he knows exactly where it is in the freezer and makes his way there many times a day. oh well, here's the recipe, we'll let you know how it turns out, if we can manage to save up enough watermelon to actually let it freeze.

Watermelon Sorbet

The trick to making this recipe at a moment's notice is to have your freezer already stocked with chopped watermelon (the part we can do quite yet). Then all you need to do is toss everything into the food processor and you can have a healthy, refreshing dessert in minutes!

4 to 5 cups frozen (seedless) watermelon chunks
the juice of one lime
1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
1/8 teaspoon guar gum or xantham gum

Place all ingredients into a food processor fitted with the "s" blade and pulse. Continue to process then pulse until all of the chunks have become a smooth sorbet. The pulsing is really the trick here, so if the watermelon chunks just are not breaking down, turn off your machine, then pulse. Taste and add more sweetener if necessary. Pulse again. You can serve it right away or scoop it out and freeze for a few hours in a container. Use an ice cream scoop to serve. Source: www.glutenfreewholefoods.blogspot.com
video

Monday, August 17, 2009

latest obsessions

obsessions are such a funny thing. why we love what we love. this weekend i reconnected with some passions, some pre-being-a-mama passions. chad and i went on a mt. bike ride together on sat nite. the sun was setting, there was a warm breeze in the air, and we were riding, rolling hills, beautiful single track. i giggled. i felt alive. i remember i used to take rides weekly where i'd feel that feeling. i don't know if it was an obsession, but regardless, i loved it. i wanted to do it again and again. it energized me. it still does, i just dont do it as often. the other thing this weekend that made me feel that way was folks fest. i love live music, and even more so the atmosphere of live music. it's so nice to share that with will now, and to share it as a family. as chad, will and i swayed to gillian welch and david rawlings belt out wayside , under a starry night, with dirt inbetween our toes from a days worth of playing and relaxing, i present. there was no where else i wanted to be. i could have swayed there forever (or at least until my back gave out from holding will in the ergo). so this brings me to will's obsessions. right now he has three. although i'd wish for them to be mountain biking (or maybe watching it in admiration), dancing to folk music (though he does enjoy this, and even clogs a step or two), and running around naked (what's better than a naked toddler). he does enjoy these things, but what he is really obsessed about....(drum roll please)... 3. Motorcycles. He is obsessed. He points them out wherever we go. He can hear them from a mile away and once they pass by all he can do is sign "more" and point in their direction. He sat on a friends motorcycle toy for about 30 minutes the other day. he was naked, as the plan was initially running through the sprinkler, but he abandoned this for the motorcycle. naked on the motorcycle---just sitting there, making some reeving sounds and pushing buttons. occupied for a half hour, until i insisted we wave bye-bye to the motorcycle. (ps...motorcycles are NOT my favorite things-- i think his dad had a motorcycle obsession as a kid, and may still have a little one---argh.) 2. Basketball. He is also obsessed. He can find a hoop from a block away, and knows where all of the hoops are in our neighboorhood. One of his first 'signs' was basketball. He pretends to play by throwing a ball up (way up) in the air towards our invisable hoop. i can't pretend to lower it for him as he's never seen a low hoop. he now knows how to turn on sports center, and will come and find me in the kitchen if basketball is on. i just hope he's a carolina fan. i think we may have watched too much march maddness during a very impressionable age (is there such a thing as too much basketball?!) #1. Tape Dispenser. He cannot get enough of our tape dispenser. yes, you're reading this right...our scotch tape dispenser. He's made up a game where he will load the dispenser and then shoot the circular tape piece into the air...giggle...and then run after it. he'll come to find chad or i as he knows we can shoot it the furtherest. is it normal for a tape dispenser to occupy a toddler for up to 60 minutes at a stretch?! we have to hide it at times to get a break from the tape dispenser game. i almost brought our tape dispenser to folks festival over the weekend, but i didn't know if the other kids would appreciate the game. not to mention what if we lost one of the pieces??!
video

Thursday, August 6, 2009

horray says the speech therapist

so having an 18 mo old who only said 3 words was a bit disappointing...particularly for being the speech thearpist that i am.
well i'm proud to report that since surgery (ear surgery to get the fluid out and allow him to actually hear things better) i'd like to count his words...(not yet perfected, but i think they count):

dada !!! (he hasn't said that since he was 11 mos old)
up (one of his favorites that means- "mom hold me....I'm not whining, i'm using my words")
high
eyes
mama
bubbles
jet (erin's son)
bye bye
hi
't' sounds (he almost said 'cat')
'g' sounds (though no words yet---sorry grammy and grandpa)
and lots of other babbling attempts.

i guess maybe we should be careful for what we wish for...

thanks grammy and gramps





we had such a nice visit with family. grandparents are pretty great.

the surgery

as a health care provider, hospitals don't freak me out at all...as a mama, the thought of surgery kind-of-sort-of-really does. after hearing horror stories from a mama who recently went through surgery with her 18 mo old, and reading some of the books my m-i-l gave me on surgical trauma, i was preparing for the worst. now that it's all over, i can say...will did fine (and is now hearing and seeing so much better with all the de-gooping that went on), and i didn't even shed a tear (though i did get choked up once). i was prepping to be emotional and (perhaps inappropriately) assertive (to make sure i could be with him at every possible moment!!), but alas, it all went smoothly--the staff were great, will was great (he even cracked a smile with the 'laughing gas' when he was going under), and was blissfully covered in orange popsicle once he woke up in the recovery room.

my husband on the other hand, was a bit more worried. there he was pacing back and forth, checking for surgery updates, feeling like the 20 seconds we were with will in the OR as he went under, 'felt like eternity.' not even able to read his scientific papers (aka leisure reading) he brought with him to the hospital (in other words, he was REALLY preoccupied :)). although he spends lots and lots of time in a science lab, he's rarely in a hospital, and to be honest i think he has some hospital phobia. he probably used the hand sanitizer about 15 times, in the matter of 30 minutes, and kept steering will away from touching anything. when will's slipper sock kept coming off in the hospital play room, it was chad who'd jump up to get it back on to insure his foot didn't touch the hospital floor or anything for that matter. he was very serious about the gowns we were given to suit up with, before entering the operating room. the gowns were white porus paper gowns. i do have to say that i have seen and used these gowns (OVER my clothes) for my own patients who have immune compromise or what not, but i must also say that at a quick glace, it's not that subtle to notice that these are very see-through gowns. chad was so preoccupied with worry and with being 'steril' and clean in the hospital room, that when he got his gown, he closed the curtains, and began to strip down...to put his gown on....his SEE-THROUGH gown. maybe it was my giggling that eased my worry about will's surgery...imagnining my cute husband....nude...in his see-through hospital gown walking down the hallway and into the OR...pumping the hand-sanitizer along the way, and making sure that will's slipper socks stayed right where they needed to.

Friday, July 17, 2009

outsmarting the toddler

of course as a parent of an 18 mo old, i think he's amazingly smart (i think i can say that most parents think their kid is really smart, and can't believe how much they know---even though this is normal development, and in fact is likely just average). i am now spelling buzz words in conversation with chad that i don't want will to overhear. he's like our little sponge. now comes the hard part...he's already outsmarting me.
he figured out that if he does his sign for 'hungry' when we're putting him to bed, we'll take him down to the fridge get a snack, and thus buying him another 15+ min of hanging out time. he also knows, if he puts his binkie in his crib he gets to get up and walk around and play, because "binkies are only for bedtime." sure as he learned these two tricks, he's milking us for all we're worth. the bedtime routine has now lengthened in time and he's successfully pushed back his bedtime to 8.30 or later. well...let me tell you, i'm on to him (finally after a week or more of his shenanigans). it's all about 'love and logic' choice making. brilliant folks they are (though if you listen to their cd's they are a little patronizing, so you have to get over that). perhaps they are just average too, but in my world, trying to outsmart my toddler, their techniques are brilliant.
now when will is trying to ask for food, or ditch his binkie to get back up and play, i give him his choices---
"do you want to get in your crib, or lay here and snuggle with mommy?!" (what kind of choice is that for a 18 mo old mama's boy who loves to snuggle, albeit snuggling leads to falling asleep--you get the drift, and so does he, drifting off to sleep that is.)

Monday, July 13, 2009

babysitter

will is an observer. it's part of who he is. he may get it from his mama. he may have also gotten the 'transition trouble' gene from me too. i do hate change, at least big change (like moving, starting a new job, starting at a new school).

chad wonders how i became such a social person that hates routine. not sure how i turned out the way i did, but at my roots i'm a shy observer that has the 'transition trouble' gene.

anyway...will has some of those genes too. he's currently working on going to a baby sitter a few times a month. (verses only with chad's parents and us) she's a SAHM with two kids. she's great. so patient, uses "love and logic" parenting, and hosts lots of fun play groups with the neighborhood. the kiddos are always dirty (in a good way), and exploring and jumping, and playing in water. everything fun about being a kid. will is a deer in headlights. he gets excited when we pull up. he points to her house, and is fine going in, but he looses it when we leave.
not atypical for a 17mo old. however, he's taking it to extremes.
today i kept getting text messages from erin. (she is very sweet to give me the blow-by-blow)

message 1 9am: he won't let me put him down so i've been wearing him in the ergo all morning.
message 2 10am: we went to the park, but will just wanted to be in the ergo and watch the kids
message 3 2pm: will's still sleeping (a 4 hour nap !!!)
message 4 2.30pm: will wont eat, he just wants to sit in my lap (still won't let me put him down)
message 5 3pm: still won't eat or drink
Phone call: i told erin to have him wave bye bye to his binkie and blankie, and then try a popsicle. ...it worked. (though that was all that he ate/drank all day)
message 6 4pm: still holding him...off to the airport to watch the planes take off and land
message 7 4.30: he smiled (first one of the day)
message 8 4.45pm: he'll let me set him down as long as i hold his hand

...jeeze...it will get easier huh?! poor will...poor erin...poor mom.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

cookies...i do love cookies...

those of you who knew me circa 2001 know that i didn't have such a great reputation in the kitchen. i couldn't really cook from taste, i'd make some pretty outrageous substitutions (pickled ginger is in fact VERY different from ground ginger), i'd regularly burn things, and just down right couldn't cook, and really couldn't bake.

those of you who know me in my more recent years may think i get around okay...or maybe even more than that. i actually enjoy to cook and even enjoy to bake (cookies that is). it's taken some time, practice, a handy watch timer (there were many things burned) and of course help from my friends. one of my biggest problems is that i have poor reading comprehension (yes, that's a pretty honest admission for being a speech therapist and all). i can't read, and stick to, a recipe to save my life. it does lend to some creativity...and luckily things seem to turn out better, more often than not.

so the last 5 years of so, i had somewhat perfected the chocolate chip cookie (thanks to my dear friend carlee). and i love the chocolate chip cookie. oh how i love the chocolate chip cookie. so the dilemma here presents ...the reliance on flour/ gluten for the chocolate chip cookie. damn!

i've tried a few times (ok, well just once) to make a gluten free chocolate chip cookie with my standby recipe and some 'gluten free flour'. well, no offense 'bob's red mill flour' but they were not good. they had this funky after-taste, and were flat, and all-in-all disappointing. i shared them with a friend who is GF"

tara: "the cookies were good"
me: "well, i'm trying, but they are not great"
tara: "it's amazing how much your standards lower with gluten free food"
me: ...but i have really high standards for chocolate chip cookies.... :(


so last week, i was picking will up at the babysitters. it was the same day as the 'pizza episode' and when i was picking him up there was a mom there with a plate of cookies. she asked "does will want a gluten free cookie?". will had never had a cookie up until that point in his life, but i automatically said "yeah sure" b/c he actually COULD have the cookie. the cookie looked like a real cookie. fluffy, textured, soft. i tried a bite, and i thought there was some misunderstanding, i couldn't believe it was really gluten free.

sure enough...gluten free. she told me about the website the food philosopher and sure enough the gluten free cookie has redeemed itself. i needed to tweak the recipe a little (what's new, i can't follow a recipe to save my life), but chad walked in on me giddy in the kitchen with my chocolate chip cookies, and now about to go to bed with a little bit of a tummy ache. horray food philosopher horray!

we ARE fam-i-ly


it's been over 17mos and on most days it seems as though will has been with us forever. then again, other days i just forget that we are a 'family' now...it's funny the things that make me realize "oh my goodness, we are a family..." well last nite was one of those. chad, will and i left town for a nite of camping. we got into camp just before dinner. it was a a beautiful colorado day. we found a campsite on the creek and set up camp. chad set up the tent (our brand new tent---might i add), and will and i went scavenging for sticks for the fire.

(as a side note, it was a riot watching will be on a mission for sticks. he'd want to walk 20 yards, find a stick that was 5 inches long and want to walk it back 20 yards, drop it in the fire pit, and come back for another 5 inch stick---never-the-less, we were occupied for a while).

once we got back and sat in our camp chair by the creek, i looked over and noticed our tent (our non-back-pack-you-can-stand-up-and-fit-6-people-in-tent) and realized..."wow, that's a family tent"...

me: "chad, did you know we are a family?!"
chad: "yeah, it's kind of wild isn't it"
will: (high five to mom) and then grab mom's hand and bring it over to dad's hand (will loves to get chad and i to high-five...we always say it's good for our marriage; will just thinks it's funny)
mom and dad: high five

Monday, July 6, 2009

crying over rice tortillas (vs. spilled milk)

so yes, it's true, tonite i did cry over the rice tortillas. it wasn't really about the tortillas (though the were hard and crumbly, and really not quite like a real tortilla at all). it was about will and his gluten free, dairy free diet.
let me back up to say that will had some rough months early on. he spit up a ton, had some reflux, was colicky (not that i wanted to admit this at the time), and slept awfully. he'd wake up writhing. we'd try burping him, gripe water, tylenol, rocking him. some of it worked, but he'd still wake up again, seemingly uncomfortable. some people may say maybe we just needed to sleep train him and he'd figure it out. maybe he was just manipulating us so that he could be held, rocked, or get sugar water (aka gripe water) from a syringe. but our gut feeling just kept telling us it was something more. not to mention he would have a nite or two that he'd sleep great, followed by a night where he'd be up every hour or two. this pattern lasted until he was almost 15 mos. i stopped talking about it. i tried 'embracing' the moments i had with him all nite long, i tried to enjoy co-sleeping (though he'd kick me in the head or ribs or neck). i started drinking coffee. and more coffee. i tried to pretend he was sleeping just fine. none of which really worked. so i started a food diary. trying to track every ingredient of whatever he was eating. i started reading and researching food allergies/ sensitivities, and we started noticing some patterns (particularly with dairy and wheat...and then gluten (wheat, barley, rye and some oats). all the while, it was harder and harder to come up with what to feed him, with the constant stress of not knowing if he'd be up all nite or be fine. ...whether he was getting enough protein and calcium and iron...
i scheduled an allergist appt, but then found out that before 2 yrs old there are many false negatives and positives, and the skin pricks are sucky for anyone. so then we heard about entero labs and some of the gluten/ casein testing they do (using stool samples vs. blood samples for increased sensitivity, and doing genetic tests). it's a little controversial in the medical community (as no one really understands gluten sensitivity/ celiacs disease, until symptoms are full blown (and by that time the gluten has attacked your system to the point of damaging villi in the gi tract and all kinds of other not so great diseases/symptoms (cancer, infertility, gout, diabetes, ulcerative colitis, etc.). anyway...i read and researched, and decided it was a good option. then the results came back positive. he had genetic predisposition for celiac's disease and gluten sensitivity (meaning he got it from chad or I or possibly both of us) and sensitivity with cassein (a protein in milk). his stool showed an active autoimmune response to both the gluten and cassein as well (meaning his body is trying to 'fight' the gluten/ cassein). they recommended a life long gluten/ cassein free diet. the kicker is that once you go gluten free, your body's immune system becomes even more sensitive to small amts of gluten and tries to fight it off more vigorously. thus, no cheating. sorry will, no pizza, birthday cake, cookies (not to mention all of the foods that have hidden wheat/ rye/ oats/ barley). the neurotic parent is me says---am i robbing my child of his childhood?! not to mention...someday, beer (and everything else in between).

on one hand there are some strong theories/evidence out that that over time an autoimmune response from gluten can break down your system on many levels---from a GI standpoint (with ruined villi leading to decreased food absorption, discomfort, extreme gas, IBS, diverticuli, etc), from a blood sugar standpoint (diabetes), from a neurological standpoint (trouble concentrating, seizures, MS), and so on. the list of symptoms/diseases related to celiac's and gluten sensitivity is LONG. many people have 'silent' symptoms for years, and then it isn't until something triggers (hormone change, surgery, trauma, etc.) that they recognize the symptoms. at that point they have already had years of autoimmune damage. why would i want to set my son up for this? (let alone is he now mostly 'sleeping like a baby' on his new diet. :)
and if i have the same makeup, why would i continue with a gluten diet. (not that it's as big of a deal for me...i've had plenty of pizza, cake, etc, and feel only slightly deprived---unless we are at a local brewery and i have to order wine)
on the other hand.... well food is a really big deal. food is social, it's part of who we are, it's a way we connect with others. it's a part of development and exploration. it's also a necessity, and the more limited we are with what we can eat, the more singled out we can be. i decided to go gluten free (given the fact that I gave will my genes and my family history with many 'gluten sensitive' symptoms ranging from gout, diabetes, cancer, IBS, GI issues, bloating, etc. etc.).
so finally a few months later, i'm figuring it all out. it's becoming less of a big deal....
and then i drop will off at a babysitters last week (for the first full day). there are 5 kids there having a great time. he's overwhelmed, taking it all in, and very shy...and then one of the dad's walks out with a pizza fresh out of the over. all the kids flock toward him. will looks at me and starts to make his sign for food...and then his sign for please....and then pointing to the kids...and the pizza. my heart breaks a little. this will be the first of many...i pull it together, until tonite. i'm already thinking about wed, when i'll drop him off again. so i start making rice tortilla pizzas with goat cheese...and they fall apart and are hard. and chad finds me crying over the rice tortillas. he says it's cute...and a little silly. and it is...but at the same time, am i doing the right thing? i guess this is just the first of many for me too...questions/ decisions in parenting.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

latest photos

here are some photos of recent

signs, signs, everywhere there's signs

so since i'm doing a not so great job at keeping up with will's 'baby book,' i feel the need to document a few things here.
1. he's 17 mos and not yet talking (though he says "hi" "mom" "uh-oh" (often in reference to the toilet bowl that is off limits), and "up" (though it comes out like 'ba' (which is not quite the phonological process we are working on)
2. this isn't really that big of a deal or that far outside of the norm, but heck his mom's a speech therapist, so...what's he waiting for...not to mention his dad is waiting for a little bit of glory..."da da" isn't that tough is it?!
3. given that i'm a speech language therapist, we work on language...language...and more language, and he is leaning the language part quite well---he signs, gestures, points, grabs our hand and directs us to what he wants, and when all else fails, he waves his arms around here and there, hoping someone will get his point.
4. if i were to fill out a 'language inventory' as of today, here are the "signs" he does:
(does this say anything about his priorities in life?!)

- more (hands together)
- please (patting his chest---though when he first learned this one, he'd pat/ hit my chest...

my M-I-L: "he keeps hitting me, im not sure why he's doing that?"
me: "oh, i taught him that (kinda sorta) it means "please"
my M-I-L: "so he hits us in the chest to say please?!"
me: "yeah, well...we're still working on that"

- basketball (yes he did learn this sign in march during all of that glorious madness, and yes he did think the sign for basketball and tv was universal that month- heck, so did we)
- fan (this was the first sign he ever used)
- light (second sign)
- on/ off (to go along with fan and light---our electricity bill suffered a bit the month he learned these)
- dog (snapping the fingers)---he gets quite a finger work-out at the dog park, talking about all of the dogs
- all done (motioning wiping his hands)
- open (hands together and then up and out)---this may be his current favorite as it applies to opening containers, tubes of paste, doors, drawers, and yesterday he even used it to open the computer (and even used "please" right after)- interesting he used "open" for the computer vs. "on" ...
- eat (this one has been especially helpful as of late...when he gets up in the middle of the nite, and we can't figure out what's wrong...last nite he finally told me right off the bat---of course i couldn't see the sign, so he kept tapping me on the shoulder and doing his sign---finally i got smart enough to feel around, and sure enough, that growing boy was hungry.
- no (quite a favorite)
- yes (a dramatic head back and then down--followed by laughing, and then usually 'no')
- bye-bye (he uses this to people, though his timing is sometimes off and he often waves after they've left. he also uses this to indicate he's about to do something that otherwise he wouldn't be allowed to do---like "bye-bye- im going to walk into the street now" or "bye-bye i'm going to walk around the block by myself right now"
and the newest sign (and my current favorite)
- pirate's booty (a yummy healthy kid favorite snack) which is putting one hand over his eye like a pirate. (i could only be funnier if i could get him to say 'arh' at the same time...we're working on that

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

wiping the babysitter?

so we don't get out much. (it's still my new year's resolution to find a baby sitter other than omi and grandpa, and heck it's still 2009 isn't it). we did however get out tonite. omi and grandpa came over to watch will and put him to sleep. all went well from what they said. but as they were leaving omi mentioned that will "helped her go to the bathroom" with a smirk. i mentioned, 'yeah he does follow me up there quite often'...but she proceeded to note, well he actually HELPED me go to the bathroom. come to find out, there was will barging in...on a mission, pulling off pieces of toilet paper, and shoving them down (yes, through her legs) into the toilet...and pulling off more...and then shoving them down (yes, through his grandmother's legs) into the toilet.
jeeze, the things this kid is picking up on. some of them, maybe not so appropriated, but we sure do laugh a lot.

camping







so we went camping. will's camping trip number 2 (of his life). we borrowed the 'mondo condo' (not really the name of this particular sierra designs tent, but i liked that name, and condo it was). the tent was an '8 person, stand-up-and-have-a-square-dance-in kind of tent.' my aunt, whom we borrowed it from, was quite concerned of what my (somewhat) minimalist husband would think. we got lots of warnings that it was 'big'...'really big'...and that 'it might not even fit on the designated campground flat.' (this is quite an upgrade/ downgrade from our 2 person back pack tent that you can barely sit up in) well, regardless, we took it...and to be honest, we fell in love...chad actually spoke the words "i could get used to this." we filled up that 8 person tent in no time flat (see figure 2). we used the organizing sleeves and compartments, we spread out our gear...jed had his own little area...we had blankets everywhere, and sleeping bags, etc. we even put will's little tent inside of our big tent. he had his own little sleeping bag (thanks for the loan melissa) (see figure 1), and it was just lovely. i do need to back up and say lovely, but a little wet. don't get me wrong, the tent was very water proof- sierra designs makes great rain flies. it was wet from the inside. will was so excited about the tent, so much so that while changing his diaper, he hopped up and ran around to check it all out. he got so excited he started to pee (kind of like when his mom laughs (or runs, or coughs, or sneezes)- she pees- ). the problem was that it wasn't just a little piddle, rather he never stopped looking (aka "turning") all around so he sprayed all over. i yelled to 'stop, wait, let me grab a diaper.' in the midst of my yelling, i startled him to tears (so now if he's not potty trained by age 5 b/c of being yelled at for peeing standing up, you will all know just why- poor little guy). though all and all, it was funny...mostly b/c it wasn't my sleeping bag that got peed on, it was mostly jed's blanket (see figure 3) (poor, poor jed) and the inside of the tent (sorry aunt sara- though to our credit we did wipe it down with some baby wipes).

have 17 mos already passed?!?!

so i'm a blogger slacker, or a slacker blogger....either way, i haven't blogged in ages. i'm inspired again (not that i wasn't inspired before, i just had too many other things i was trying to do or figure out). we went to see music tonite- the punch brothers. the music was good, interesting, different (traditional bluegrass, classical composition, and then a radio head cover- eclectic). anyway...somehow live music always has a way to inspire me. so i got inspired to 'create'...(but not so inspired that i'm back to pottery or sewing or jewelry-no time for that at the moment)...create some written word, and also have something to put in will's baby book (since it's pretty empty at the moment). not to mention, writing is good for the soul, and helping to figure out things, so maybe i'll have some new Revelations as i reflect/ create/ write/ or just blog. so here i am blogging again, at least for the moment.
so i'll re-start with what i've learned in 17 mos
-i was a really good mom before i had kids (yes, i stole this from the title of a book, but it's true)
-sleep deprivation is truly a form of torture
-i can honestly relate to my patients who have trouble with multi-tasking, concentrating, and remembering things
-stomach aches can lead to sleep troubles and can be caused by food---who knew
-gluten-free isn't SO bad, but i've got a the learning curve is killer
-kids are really cute...especially when they are your own
-there is always "something"...so enjoy the moment and be present...life is way too short (easier said than done, but so important).