So, what's changed in a year, besides what's listed above? Nothing, and everything. How is that for an answer?
So, let me catch you up. Last summer was pretty uneventful as far as major life events go. The kids played a little t-ball that one of my BFF's and I volunteered to coach (meaning...we volunteered our husbands and spent the rest of the time in the dugout wondering why we get ourselves mixed up in these things). Kindergarten started for the oldest Ericson kid, Miss Tayler. Gavin entered his last year of preschool, and turned 5, which means that I officially no longer have babies in the house. Do I ever wish for another one? Sometimes...but then sometimes, like this weekend, I have four REALLY GOOD kids in my house at one time...and no. Hell no. I'm good with two and the self-sufficiency that they are starting to bring to the table.
So, long story short....Kindergarten starts off well. Adjustments seem to be happening, all is hunky-dory...and then I get a phone call that changed the rest of the year. My kid got sick at school. I know, I know, what's the big deal, right? Every kid does. I still remember one of my best friends from grade school yakking all over me at the lunch table. It happens.
But then it started happening Every. Single. Day.
Now, as a parent...there is nothing in the world that leaves you feeling more helpless than when you can't "fix" your child. Doctors were consulted. Play psychologists were involved. I had more meetings/talks with the principal and/or faculty than I ever hoped to have...not just for one year, but for their entire school career. I won't go into specifics, but suffice it to say, everyone was frustrated, and I watched my happy-go-lucky, sweet, outgoing little girl turn into a timid, scared, shell-of-her former-self girl. It was, to say the VERY least, heartbreaking. Also? Scary. Traumatic. Infuriating. The list goes on and on. And those were just my feelings. I can't imagine what her six-year old heart felt every day.
So, for the sake of brevity, it goes like this: Gluten blood panel ordered. Positive. Next step would be? Endoscopy with biopsy of the intestines. Here's where we drew the line. We didn't want to put her through a test (mostly, I didn't want her knocked out), where ultimately, the outcome would be the same even if she did come back positive. We would have to go Gluten Free. There's not a medicine that fixes it.
We decided that we would do this as a family. If Tae couldn't have wheat, we wouldn't, either.
She's done SO much better than we have. Every thing she eats, she asks about the gluten content. She's excited when we find some of her favorite standbys (Thank you Annie's GF mac and cheese) are an acceptable substitute. I ordered GF flours, Bisquick, Pasta, goody mixes (of the chocolate chip cookie, brownie, and cupcake variety).
The results? She doesn't have to get up to use the restroom every meal. Bathroom visits are more pleasant. I don't have to spend hours at night rubbing her belly because it hurts. In short, it seems to be working. She seems happier, too. I hope that when she goes back to school this fall, this last year is a thing of the past. If we never mention it again, it will be too soon.
We're starting to emerge from the shock of changing everything over. When we implemented this, I went through my pantry, and put everything that had wheat in it in a bag to give away. I've never seen a panty look so empty afterward.
We're making it. I seriously love to cook, and this has forced me to get back to cooking for my family. Funny how things work out, you know? I left my job in May to pursue my dream of running my own business (from home), but it's given me SO much more time with my kids...and it gives me the opportunity to make these changes without throwing everyone in to the six o'clock (alright, 7 or 8 o'clock.) dinner panic. So, this blog is about to take on a new theme...I mean, it's still better from home. But, now it's better from a gluten-free home.
Oh, did I mention the weight I've gained in the last year from the sheer amount of stress?? Because, that's what I do. Stress, then eat (and drink wine). Stress, then eat (and drink wine).
We'll be tacking that big ol' elephant in the room too. (no pun intended...ish.)
So, here are some of my "We're all in this thing now" recipes from yesterday and last night. I can't wait to keep exploring!!
First up: Scrambled eggs with a little cheddar cheese, and some green onions (ok, so the kids didn't eat the green onions. But they should have, because they were delish.) Also, we *may* not have gotten up and around until 9:30, and ate eggs at 11. I'm just saying this is a possibility of why we didn't actually eat lunch...
For snack, we had some hummus that I made, and some bananas. I found a recipe that I've tweaked a bit to make my own that's pretty dang good...and it never lasts more than a day in this house. Seriously. Every time I make this, I think "Holy Cow that's a lot of hummus", and by the same time the next day, I'm lucky if I get a scrape off the bottom. I've also found the it's a GREAT way to get these kids to eat some fresh veggies.
Skinny Taste (which, if you haven't visited that sight, you should. I mean, finish reading this first, and then GO!). Of course, I think I have something against following a recipe to the letter, so I've altered it to fit our taste. And now that I look at the recipe, I realized that really I actually don't follow it at all...hmmm...so here is my version.
I served this with my refried beans recipe. I also made some instant brown rice cooked in chicken broth, and when it was done cooking, I splashed it with lime juice and added about tsp of chopped cilantro. Steamed fresh broccoli rounded out the meal. YUM.
Chris has been begging for some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (his fave), so I decided to make my first venture into GF baking from scratch last night, too. It's really not that much different. I followed this recipe to the letter (I am a great cook, and a mediocre baker at best!), and I have to admit, GF or not, these are probably the BEST cookies I have ever made. Delish. I have a feeling these aren't going to last long around here.