Tuesday, April 7, 2009


There are so many things that I should be doing right now, and not typing away on the computer. For example; folding laundry, finishing packing for our trip to VA, getting ready for work...need I go on. But, I realized that I need a break and I have a few unfinished stories or thoughts that I wanted to share before my trip.

When I started this blog, it was a way for me to communicate with friends and family from my hospital bed while on bed rest with Carter. Now it has evolved to so much more as my photography hobby continues and my boys are growing so big. So thank you for continuing to share my life with me.

Now, before I jump into what's been happening lately, I want to say a great big THANK YOU to Michelle Mitchell at Scribbit Motherhood in Alaska for drawing my name to win her giveaway this week. Click on over to her site and check out her life in Alaska. It is truly amazing! Also, Congratulations to Christa and Andy! Their baby boy Brendan came home to them from South Korea this week.

Ok, down to business. So we've had a lot going on these days. So I want to start with Carter and his Gluten allergy. (note: abbreviated but still a lengthy story)Now, he has always been a very very "fussy" child, and we have always said that something was wrong with him from the get-go. Starting in late December we started to switch Carter over to whole milk, as it was about that time. In early January he started to throw up every morning for 3 weeks. I had many calls to the Dr.'s office and got the same reply "we don't need to see him, just switch him back to soy and we will see you for your 12 mth visit." Well, we did that and he still threw up and actually lost weight. He also started to have diarrhea consistently. So I insisted that he go in and be seen, where they concluded that he was lactose intolerant. Ok fine, and they started him on Prevacid to calm and heal his tummy. The Prevacid did the trick with the throwing up, but the diarrhea persisted. Did I mention that he still had yet to sleep through the night and screamed day and night. We did not get more than 2 hours of sleep at a time for 2 months, not including the nights in the 11 months leading up to this that he woke at least 5 times a night. So after several visits to the Dr., she suggested that he was either Lactose & Soy intolerant OR "Do you have a family history of Celiac's?". DING DING DING!!! Why hadn't I thought of that?

Celiac's Disease is an allergy to wheat and gluten that actually damages your stomach and small intestines. Click on the link above for more info. There is such thing as a Gluten and Wheat Intolerance, that has all of the same signs and symptoms, just no damage to your body. (Other than the immediate effects, that are sometimes just as bad). So here is how we started down the path to Gluten Free Living. Carter had all of the symptoms: Family History, red rash on his face, diarrhea, vomiting, hyperactive, bloated tummy, constant smelly gas, unexplained screaming all day, and oh...all night, he would scream with his eyes closed for hours. And many many more symptoms that all lead to Gluten Sensitivity. Those symptoms go away without Gluten and Wheat, then return within an hour of eating something containing Gluten and Wheat.

We made an appointment with the Pediatric
Gastroenterologist (tummy Dr.) to get blood work done and for a consultation. Don't even get me started on the ignorant a#%hole today. Dr. Robert Baker from University Pediatrics is the man you want to run from! I repeat RUN!!! You will have to trust me because I will get worked up if I tell you the stories of what we had to deal with. UGH! Now my blood pressure is up. Great!

Needless to say, after a month of tests, trial diets, and Dr.'s visits we have come to this conclusion...Carter may have
Celiac's but he is too young to detect the antibodies in his blood. What we do know, is that he is Gluten and Wheat intolerant. So what does this mean for us? It means 2 weeks into starting him on a Gluten Free (GF from here on out) Diet, he slept through the night! HALLELUJAH! (Do you here the trumpets? I do!) So this means, that as long as Carter steers clear of Gluten and Wheat, he is a happy camper. He is a completely different child. He smiles! Whod've thunk it? He sleeps much better than before. And his tummy is feeling much better these days.

Since figuring this all out, we have
completely changed our lives! Our kitchen has been turned upside down. Everything labeled GF, stored in separate cabinets for easy grabbing, we make our own bread, we only dine at restaurants that have GF menus, separate butter and jelly containers (we can't risk contamination of Carter's food with Gluten), you won't find a loaf of white or wheat bread within a mile of our house. And many many more lifestyle changes have been made. Education to loved ones is a must, and they get it. Absolutely nothing passes through his lips that hasn't been triple checked first.

So, announcement time: I am going to start to switch gears a bit on this blog. At the end of every post I will be including a
GF recipe that we have tried and love, a GF tip, or a GF Product that we cannot live with out. I will be adding labels to my posts (this just means that people searching for Gluten Free Tips can find me easier). Don't worry Mom, I will still be mostly posting pictures of your Grand kids and current events in our lives.

today's Gluten Free Product is:

Pamela's Products Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix

We made this for Tucker's Birthday and we loved it. We could not tell the difference what so ever. And actually got several comments about how good the cake was.

Recipe Variation: We smeared a layer of
GF Carmel Sauce between the layers. It added extra moisture and tasted so yummy. Then we iced the cake with homemade GF Buttercream Icing.

Now you are all caught up. Thanks for reading if you made it this far without snoozing. And I look forward to sharing our, well,
new life with you. Hopefully a lot happier, healthier, and less stressed out. Be glad you only read about these things, they are not pretty in realy life.

Until next time:)

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