Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I had the best intentions. I was going to send out Christmas cards.
Then "Bless A Nest" came, and I went a little bonkers organizing Christmas for 20 of our sparrow families, that I ran out of time! Grrrrr!
So, for your viewing pleasure...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Brennan lost his first tooth!!

Mommy and daddy had to assist in the removal of the tooth. It was "hanging by a thread", and he didn't want anyone helping to pull it. But after some discussion and a bit of trickery, the tooth came out! Brennan anxiously put it under his pillow, and this morning... A DOLLAR!!
A big " Hip-Hip-Hooray" for the tooth fairy!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Special Needs Mommy

This was sent to me by my fellow July '05 mommy, Tara. Her daughter has been diagnosed with autism as well. Although, the theology of this story does not necessarily mirror what I believe, the story makes my heart warm and my eyes fill with tears. The idea that God chose me to be the mommy of Parker, and that he finds me up for the task, gives me hope.
If you are a crier, grab the tissues.;)

The Special Mother
by Erma Bombeck

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by
social pressures and a couple by habit. This year nearly 100,000
women will become mothers of special needs children. Did you ever
wonder how mothers of special needs children are chosen?

Somehow I visualize God hovering over earth selecting his
instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He
observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger.
"Armstrong, Beth; son. Patron saint...give her Gerard. He's used to
profanity." "Forrest, Marjorie; daughter. Patron saint, Cecelia."
"Rutledge, Carrie; twins. Patron saint, Matthew." Finally He
passes a name to an angel and smiles, "Give her a special needs child."

The angel is curious. "Why this one God? She's so happy."
"Exactly," smiles God, "Could I give a special needs child to a
mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel." "But has
she patience?" asks the angel. "I don't want her to have too much
patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once
the shock and resentment wears off, she'll handle it." "I
watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence
that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child
I'm going to give her has his own world. She has to make him live
in her world and that's not going to be easy." "But, Lord, I don't
think she even believes in you." God smiles, "No matter, I can fix
that. This one is perfect - she has just enough selfishness." The
angel gasps - "selfishness? is that a virtue?" God nods. "If she
can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she'll never
survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child that
the world sees as less than perfect.

She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never
take for granted a 'spoken word'". She will never consider a "step"
ordinary. When her child says 'Momma' for the first time, she will
be present at a miracle, and will know it!" "I will permit her to
see clearly the things I see...ignorance, cruelty, prejudice....and
allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at
her side every minute of every day of her life, because she is
doing My work as surely as if she is here by My side".
"And what about her Patron saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised
in mid-air. God smiles, "A mirror will suffice."


So, last week Parker was diagnosed with autism. As much as we were preparing ourselves for this information, it still came as a real blow to actually hear the words. His therapy will be increasing, but the EI (early intervention) that we work with has to do some additional evaluations themselves before they can add to the # of hours of therapy that Parker recieves. Hopefully that process will move quickly, so that we can get movin'. I am always anxious to learn some new techniques to try with him.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Cold feet

Nothing is worse than cold feet.
I am a warm weather girl, and to be perfectly honest...
I HATE the cold.
I love summer time
Wearing flip flops
Fraps from Starbucks and smoothies from my kitchen
Eating dinner on the deck

And now...fall is upon us.
It is cold, and wet, and cold, and rainy, and COLD!!
I know, I know. There is something about being in a warm house, eating homemade soup, watching the rain pound on the windows. And don't get me wrong. That is fun and cozy...for a day or two.
Then the boys get bored,
and runny noses start,
and layers of clothing just to go out and get the mail,
and bundling three cranky boys up to just run to the grocery store.
And NOTHING is worse than COLD feet.
Time to break out some wool socks!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A well placed taser ™ will take out even the most deadly of ninjas.

This is a post from Dwight Schrute's blog. Yes, there is a DWIGHT SCHRUTE BLOG!!!!
Very little makes my day brighter than a little Dwight K. Schrute....well, that or an iced mocha!
Here is the link for my fellow Office fans:

An excerpt for you!!
When Ninjas Attack!
Every year, when spring comes, my mind goes to one place and one place only, Ninjas.

Every time you read about Ninja’s attacking somebody or assassinating some public figure, it seems to happen in the spring. I’m not sure why, it’s just the way it is.

Maybe it’s the fact that the spring is traditionally the new year in most pagan religions. It is also the Persian festival, “Naw Ruz” or “New Year”.

Whether it is a throwing star to the neck at a bowling alley, a poison spike that sails through an open window and lodges itself in the fleshy part of the leg, or a mysterious black-clad figure with a bo staff, perched up on the ceiling of your garage as you pull in your car from your awesome job, ninja attacks can and will happen anywhere and anytime.

And they happen to the best people too. Just ask my cousin Heindl. She has lost 12% hearing in her left ear from one.

Things to remember:

Be alert. Everybody loves a lert. (Ziggy joke)

Check ceilings first, when doing your safety inspections, that’s where they like to ‘hang’.

The best defense against a ‘shuriken’ or throwing star is a good offense. Also, armor.

You will never beat a ninja at a sword fight, one on one. When the Ninja draws his sword, fire your taser ™. A well placed taser ™ will take out even the most deadly of ninjas.

Show them that you know they’re there. Shout out, when entering a new locale or a suspicious locale, “I know you’re there, Mr. Ninja. Your element of surprise has now been taken away” [I’ve gotten many ‘funny’ looks for this kind of preparedness, but so be it. That is a risk I’m willing to take. Are YOU!?]

But most importantly, remember that a Ninja is only trying to kill you if someone has hired that ninja to do so. So for every ass-kicking Ninja trying to take someone out there is some alienated girlfriend, some enemy rival at the workplace or some Japanese feudal lord who has paid that Ninja to kill. Or worse.

I hope this web log has made your spring a more beautiful and restful time. That was the author’s intent. Also, fear.

Dwight Kurt Schrute, Assistant Regional manager, Dunder-Mifflin Paper
Chairman and Founder, Lackawanna County Ninja Preparedness Council

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Halloween costume issue!

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My boys all LOVE Halloween. Who doesn't love costumes and candy, right?! (we don't do the scary stuff). Brennan is going to be a vet, or as he puts it, "a pup doctor". Andrew is not sure what to be yet, but is excited about all of the possiblities out there. Parker is another story. He will HATE to be dressed up. If he was my first child, I probably wouldn't bother this year, but the older two are SO excited at the prospect of dressing up Parker, that I am not sure what to do. Nothing big or bulky. Nothing with a mask or a hood. Nothing requiring any face paint or make up. I don't want to spend a lot of money on a costume that he won't be happy in, ya know?
I have this dragon costume that my mom made my little brother David when he was small (so the costume is over 20 years old). I thought that it would work for Parker. I tried it yesterday, he screamed. I tried it again today, he hated it, but there was less screaming. I think that if I don't make him wear the hood, and if I keep "practicing" with him every day, maybe he will toerate it when Halloween arrives.

Here are some pictures of my grumpy dragon:

Eating green onions

Parker's sensory issues are worse. When he can't handle a situation he tends to pull *strong* tastes off his PECS choice board, like pickles. Last night after the costume fiasco, I was making stir fry for dinner and cutting up green onions. He was whining my feet, so I gave him one. Not the hollow end, but a long piece of the solid end by the bulb. He crunched it all down. He then ate a few more before I cut him off. I didn't want him to get a stomache ache. His breath was kickin!!
Here is a short video of my onion-eater!

Monday, September 24, 2007

I wasn't even THINKING!!

So, I was making brownies (gluten filled) last night for our weekly date with D&E. I started to clean up after I put then in the oven, went to rinse out the bowl, and shoved the gluten covered brownie spatula into my mouth.
Instant panic.
I spit it out into the sink and then rinsed my mouth out with water about 10x.
Really stupid. It just shows that on the GF diet you can never stop thinking. 28 years of not thinking about what I put into my mouth is a hard habit to break.
I took a multi-enzyme, and hoped for the best.
I didn't get sick.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Parker talking!! (video)

Here is some video of Parker talking. His vocabulary is still very small, but he has made some improvements. The *ready, set, DOOOOOOOOOOO* has taken 6 months of therapy to *sink in*, and finally after working with Alisha one day, something just clicked!

We are working on "No!". It is one of the first words that he is trying to mimic.
We are excited about his progress. Slow and steady wins the race, right?!;)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Another school year begins!

Andrew started second grade at Lone Pine Elementary this year.

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Brennan started Kindergarten this year. He is in the a.m. program, and "wishes school was longer".

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Verbal Apraxia


"I Do Talk To You"
I know you can’t hear me....but I do talk to you.
And I hear everything you say to me too.
I hear when you laugh, when I do something funny.
I hear you yell "Hooray" when I try so hard.
I hear you tell others how you’d never trade me for the world even with all the trials I came with.
I hear you thank God for what a blessing you have been given.
I hear you encourage me when I can almost do it.
I hear you cry, too, when it gets a little harder
And when you ask God "Why?!" your baby.
And I know you know I understand somehow.
And you know I listen when you talk to me too.
But, I want you to know, mom...........
I do talk to you

Sunday, August 12, 2007



We finally cut Parker's hair. He still didn't have a TON of hair, but the hair that he did have was long and out of control!! So, we took him in to get his first hair cut. He sat on my lap and cried pathetically. IT broke my heart, and I sat and sang the Veggietales theme song over and over again. He finally smiled for daddy and the camera at the end, but if you look closely, he still has tears on his face. He looks a lot older with his new 'do!

Friday, August 10, 2007

It's been a long road...

I am so sorry that I have not been dedicated to this blog. I know it is how some of you stay current on our family, and I have felt terribly guilty for not keeping you up to date. I have been in somewhat of an emotional rut with Parker, and so I have not had much to say.

The boys have been having a great summer. The swim lessons have been paying off and I have found myself with three little fishes instead of boys!;)

Parker's therapy has continued and we are adding some OT (occupational therapy) to the mix in the fall for some increasing sensory issues. The EI (early intervention) office is closed until the end of August, and we will be applying for an increase in all aspects of his therapy (PT, ST, and OT). We just got results back from his testing done by a new SLP. She was fantastic. Parker scored in his age bracket for his receptive language (what he understands), but is in the 4th percentile for his expressive language. On another test, he scored in the 9-12 month age bracket for his expressive language. Although all of this was expected, it is always hard to see written down on paper. This is all confirming their diagnosis of verbal apraxia. They gave us some tools to help him at this point, but I am very anxious to begin more therapy with him in the fall.

On the gluten front, Parker and I are doing well. I got glutened BADLY from a local restaurant here in Medford, and was REALLY sick for 2 days (no Mucho Gusto for me again!). On the positive front, I found a new restaurant in Klamath Falls called Wingers with an extensive GF menu!! We went there last night while in K-Falls for a visit, and it was YUMMY!!

Parker and I have an new BFF at the Farmers Market here in Medford. She makes GF breads, cookies, cinnamon rolls, and brownies. Her Buckwheat Bread is to die for!!!

I am going to make much more of an effort to blog from here on out. I am off to make some GF chocolate chip cookies. I found the recipe on the Food Network website, and Alton Brown has never steered me wrong in the past. I will let you know how they turn out!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Getting back into blogging

Ok, I have totally fallen behind in the blogging dept. Boo!
Yesterday, I made the BEST GF cookies. In fact, Matt said that he couldn't even tell that they were gluten free (the best compliment I can get). They were pumpkin-chocolate chip. If you didn't want to use chocolate, you could substitute raisins and/or walnuts. They are more a "fall" cookie, but they were so yummy that I didn't care.

Pumpkin Cookies
2 1/2 cup
bean or rice flour blend
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1 egg
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup raisins or chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine gluten-free flour mix, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl.
In a mixing bowl, beat margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, pumpkin, and vanilla. Add in dry ingredients. Stir in raisins or chocolate chips.
Drop by tablespoons onto an oil sprayed baking sheet. Bake 15 to 18 minutes. Makes 36 cookies.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I got glutened!!

I got glutened at the restaurant that we ate at last night, and ended up being sick most of the night. Yuck! My reactions seem so much worse as the gluten is out of my system (for the most part) now. Eating out can be so scary for a Celiac. It is a risk to take. It is hard to have the guts to try new places. I am always so afraid. I love to eat out, but I guess in the future I will be more careful!

Safe places in Medford (for sit down meals)
-Thai Bistro
-Red Robin
-Outback Steakhouse
There are definately others, but those are the restaurants that I have consistant success at. Hopefully, as time goes by that list will get longer and longer.

Friday, May 11, 2007

One more year of being a "twenty-something"

So, today I am twenty nine...I am getting old;).
It has been a great birthday. I still have some gf treats from the lady at the Farmer's Market, so I will indulge a little with a GF cinnamon "roll" later (I am drooling a little on my keyboard just thinking about it). We went to Brennan's Spring Tea at preschool, and I brought GF treats so that Parker and I could enjoy treats with everyone else. Bren and I made Cocoa Pebbles Treats this morning, and they were delish!!


1 box (regular size) Cocoa Pebbles (can also use fruity pebbles)
1 bag of mini marshmallows
1/2 stick GF margarine or butter

Melt margarine in pot on med. heat. When melted, add marshmallows and stir until smooth. When all is melted, dump all of the Cocoa Pebbles in the pot and toss until coated evenly. Press into a foil lined 9x13 pad. Cool and enjoy!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A rough few weeks!

I have not been posting lately. We have had a rough few weeks, and to be perfectly honest...I didn't feel up to it. My little sister Erica (9 years old) got really sick, and was diagnosed with ITP. It is an autoimmune disorder where your body attacks the healthy platlets in your body. She had some treatments done, and her platelet count (which was extreamely low) is slowly going up.

One of the Sparrow children that we worked with passed away. This is the part of my job that ravages me emotionally. We have another child that will most likely be dying in the next few weeks. I have not been myself, and have been so drained emotionally. If you have a chance, and are so inclined, please be praying for the families of these children.

On the bright side, we went down to Cali last weekend to pick up the trailer that my grandparents were giving us, and to spend some time with Erica. While we were there, we got to see all my siblings and Sandy at a BBQ at Stefs house. It was a TON of fun, and great to see everyone. We also got to visit the De Anza flea market with Auntie Lynnie which the boys were giddy about.

Today I went to the Growers Market to get some produce, and found a lady selling GLUTEN FREE baked goods!!!! She let me have samples, and her cookies were divine!! Parker and I inhaled the snickerdoodles, and the chocolate chip cookies were soft and chewy. SOOOO GOOD!! I can't wait to go see her again next week!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Feeling Experimental!!

So, I have been on a search for a GOOD GF bread. Either in a recipe form or pre-made in stores.
Here is what I have found so far:

GF Pantry Best Sandwich Bread: I made this recipe, and to be honest...threw the loaf out. The "wet" texture made me gag! It was cooked all the way through, but even when I toasted it to the point of charred, it still was moist in the middle.

GF Pantry French Bread and Pizza Mix: I had heard good things about this mix, and I was some what disappointed. It was better than their Sandwich Bread, but still not very good. I have a hard time with the consistency. I made some french toast with it though, and it was ok.

Kinnikinnick White Rice Bread (premade, frozen): I wanted to try this brand, and figured since the mix was the same price as the pre-made bread, that the best thing would be to try the premade kind. That way I was trying it the way that they intended it to taste. I made a grilled cheese sandwich with it. It was ok, but not great. Definitely better than the types I had made at home. I used some toasted with butter to mop up my marinara sauce with dinner the other night, and I thought it was pretty descent when covered in pasta sauce.

Kinnikinnick Bagels (premade, frozen): I had read on another blog about some FANTASTIC bagels (Glutino), but since I have yet to find them in stores here, i bought the Kinnikinnick ones. They are not bad. I toasted the heck out of them ,and smothered them in cream cheese, and pretended that I was back in San Jose, sitting in Main Street Bagels with Lyns, Ty, and Whit...eating a "real" bagel. It almost worked...almost. I think trying them with a flavored cream cheese and some veggies or Turkey Bacon would improve the overall experience.

I have some other recipes to try. Some of them are so complicated, that if I DID make them, and they turned out gross, I would probably cry. I might go to Ashland to the co-op to see what they have there.

I think that they will taste better to me over time. Right now, I am still at the point that I remember what gluten-filled foods taste like, so I am disappointed with the alternative. Over time, I will probably acquire a taste for these gf baked goods, but for now my quest goes on...

To Be Continued...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

P is for Parker and Pneumonia

I haven't blogged in a while, because life has been very chaotic around here.
Thursday: Parker started running a low temp. I chalk it up to teething.
Friday: In the morning Parker seems the same, but by lunch time he is really acting sick: shivering, fever, fussy, and tired. I decided to take him to the Dr. I thought it was an ear infection. We had plans to go to K-Falls for the weekend (Matt was preaching, and we were leading worship over there). By the time I get Parker to the Ped. his temp is 105!! They stripped him down , and gave him a shot of something to help with the fever. They examine him, and decide to do some bloodwork. They were checking for meningitis (among other things). After the blood work comes back, they send him for a chest x-ray. We look at the scans...pneumonia in both lungs! Poor guy. He fever was maintaining around 103, even with meds, but they said that was ok. I will give him the acetametaphen and ibuprofin alternating every three hours around the clock, as well as the antibiotic.

Needless to say...Park and I didn't go to K-Falls.:(

Fast Forward to today: Parker had another temp spike on Sunday night, but seems to be doing better today. We will lay low (think, house arrest) for the rest of the week, but hopefully he will continue to improve as the week goes on.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A weepy day for mommy

I know it is pathetic, but I started crying in Fred Meyer this afternoon. I just was so overwhelmed with all that Parker and I are/will be missing, and burst into tears. I just never realized how much I love food. I love Krispy Kreme donuts, and everything bagels with dill cream cheese. I love the Old Spaghetti Factory and Togos #24 sandwiches. Do they even make GF sourdough rolls? If they do, they probably taste nothing like real sourdough bread (my absolute favorite type of bread). I want to eat french toast from Denny's, pizza from Willow Street, and black licorice.

But then I realize that I am feeling sorry for myself. I actually am beginning to feel better today. I made myself a YUMMY gf pizza for dinner, and found the joy in warm banana bread with Parker. I remind myself that if I continue to eat gluten, that I am 40-100x more likely to develop intestinal cancer, and all of a sudden...donuts seem pretty unimportant.

Tomorrow is another GF day...but I am vowing to do it with a smile.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Some info for you all!

For all who are curious:

What is celiac disease?
Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate a protein called gluten, found in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is found mainly in foods but may also be found in products we use every day, such as stamp and envelope adhesive, medicines, and vitamins.

When people with celiac disease eat foods or use products containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging the small intestine. The tiny, fingerlike protrusions lining the small intestine are damaged or destroyed. Called villi, they normally allow nutrients from food to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Without healthy villi, a person becomes malnourished, regardless of the quantity of food eaten.
Villi on the lining of the small intestine help absorb nutrients.
Because the body’s own immune system causes the damage, celiac disease is considered an autoimmune disorder. However, it is also classified as a disease of malabsorption because nutrients are not absorbed. Celiac disease is also known as celiac sprue, nontropical sprue, and gluten-sensitive enteropathy.

Celiac disease is a genetic disease, meaning it runs in families. Sometimes the disease is triggered—or becomes active for the first time—after surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, viral infection, or severe emotional stress.

What are the symptoms of celiac disease?
Celiac disease affects people differently. Symptoms may occur in the digestive system, or in other parts of the body. For example, one person might have diarrhea and abdominal pain, while another person may be irritable or depressed. In fact, irritability is one of the most common symptoms in children.

Symptoms of celiac disease may include one or more of the following:

recurring abdominal bloating and pain
chronic diarrhea
pale, foul-smelling, or fatty stool
weight loss/weight gain
unexplained anemia (a low count of red blood cells causing fatigue)
bone or joint pain
osteoporosis, osteopenia
behavioral changes
tingling numbness in the legs (from nerve damage)
muscle cramps
missed menstrual periods (often because of excessive weight loss)
infertility, recurrent miscarriage
delayed growth
failure to thrive in infants
pale sores inside the mouth, called aphthous ulcers
tooth discoloration or loss of enamel
itchy skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis
A person with celiac disease may have no symptoms. People without symptoms are still at risk for the complications of celiac disease, including malnutrition. The longer a person goes undiagnosed and untreated, the greater the chance of developing malnutrition and other complications. Anemia, delayed growth, and weight loss are signs of malnutrition: The body is just not getting enough nutrients. Malnutrition is a serious problem for children because they need adequate nutrition to develop properly.

Another one bites the (GF) dust!!

Well, after wondering for a while, we have discovered that I, like Parker, have Celiac Disease. It actually explains SO much within my life dating back from my childhood. All of the things that I thought were not related, all come back to this disease. I am sad to be having to give up so many foods, and change my lifestyle so drastically, but am glad that I will soon be feeling better.

Currently in my oven- Banana Bread and Sandwich Bread. The banana bread I know is yummy, since I have made it before for Parker. The Sandwich Bread is a new recipe. I will let you know how it turns out!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Whole New World!!

In our family, the #1 favorite meal is quesadillas. The boys will choose that ANYTIME it is offered, and never seem to grow tired of them. Parker has never been able to enjoy this favorite meal with his brothers...until now! HealthWay (a local health food store) has just started carrying GF Brown Rice tortillas. Those, along with some soy cheese, has completed the ingredients needed for the favorite meal! He is enjoying some as we speak , happily dipping the wedges in some fresh salsa. Yea for GF tortillas!!

Easter-GF style!

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Having a GF Easter this year was easier than expected!

Friday night: The older two boys dyed eggs after Parker went to bed. I was unsure about gluten in the dye, and it would definately be MESSY if we tried to include Parker this year. Next year I will be more prepared.

Saturday: It was a busy day. Andrew had TWO back to back birthday parties to attend. Brennan and I had a non-GF date (thx to Papa and Grandma Sandy who sent the boys Starbucks cards for Easter). See pic above. The Crawford family came over and we had an Easter egg hunt and BBQ. It is great celebrating with another GF family, no fear of contamination! We filled the eggs with freeze dried fruit and little goodies like bouncy balls, erasers, and other small toys.
Sunday: Church in the a.m., and then BBQ and Egg hunt with the Jacobs/Pepin families. The kids had a ball. I filled Parkers eggs with Smarties and GF Jelly Beans and hid his on the patio. It worked out well since he can't stand or walk on grass alone yet. The eggs were found quickly and the hunt was over in less than 3 minutes!:)
Everything was so easy this year. I know it will probably get harder as Parker gets older, and wants to participate in public hunts, but for now I am happy!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Cilantro Chicken Soup - 6 little thumbs up!!

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We made some Cilantro Chicken Soup for dinner a few nights ago...and it was a HUGE HIT!! Woot! All three boys loved it, and Parker ate 3 bowls!!! It had all of the components of a sucessful Sampson meal
1) It was easy, which is very important to mommy :)

2) It was healthy and well balanced containing meat, veggies, and beans.


Often times, I have to cook 2 meals. Those times that I try to cook GF for the whole family it is noted and not enjoyed by the non-gf ones. I am stoked to find recipes that are yummy, and that are great for the whole family.

A special THANK YOU to my wonderful friend, Alisha. Without you, I would be lost and alone on this GF road.
The recipe was her's, but I made a few changes. Love you, Alisha!

Cilantro Chicken Soup

Begin by boiling 1lb. chicken meat, until well cooked (I used boneless, skinless, thighs). Cut chicken into small, bite size pieces. Put chicken into large soup pot.
Add in:
~two stalks of celery, sliced small
~1/2 cup sliced green onions
~8 large mushrooms sliced and sauteed (I sauteed them in minced garlic)
~1 cup cilantro leaves
~1/2 teaspoon celery salt
~1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
~1/4 teaspoon pepper
~ 48 oz. organic gf chicken broth
~15oz. can of northern beans or pinto beans (drained)

Let the soup simmer for about 2 hours on low. I served with some GF toast strips for Parker (he thought that sipping them was GREAT fun!) and some breadsticks for the rest of us.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


I was so excited that last night we got to go to see the Newsboys in concert, here in Medford. It was such a FABULOUS concert!! We went with our great friend Brad (I miss you, Alisha), and had so much fun! It was Matt and my 6th time of seeing the Newsboys in concert, and they keep getting better.

It was great to have a night out, and my sickie son was in great hands (thx, Beth!)

Two ear infections, One ruptured eardrum, and a Partridge in a pear tree!!

Parker has finished his antibiotics for his last infection, and has not been getting better. The weekend was horrible. He was just so sick. Saturday night he was up crying three times with me. He has slept so well since being GF, that I though maybe we had made a boo-boo, but he was showing none of his other gluten symptoms. We put him to bed Sunday night, medicated, bathed, and humidifier blasting. He slept great. He woke up Monday morning with snot everywhere, including his ear. I got him all cleaned up, thinking that he had wiped his nose and then rubbed his ear (gross, I know!). A few minutes later I notice that his ear is leaking (ummm...yuck!), and after getting him cleaned up again, we call the ped. He is seen in the morning, and the doc says that both ears are badly infected, and his right eardrum has ruptured. I was told that the reason he seemed better Monday than over the weekend is that after the eardrum bursts, it relieves the pressure and pain in that ear. We are given prescriptions for a stronger oral antibiotic, and a eardrop antibiotic. Hopefully, this stuff will work, and he will be back to his usual self!

Monday, March 19, 2007

General Mills...I love you!!

General Mills cereals have been making some changes. Now some of their cereals are GF!!!
I will still have to read the labels carefully, because there are some older boxes out there.
NOTE of CAUTION:Some of these contain oats, which most celiacs eat, although we have yet to try it with Parker.

Double Ear Infection!!

We are on the antibiotic route AGAIN!! We took Parker in because his pink eye was not clearing up + he starting running a fever. He has a double ear infection. Poor guy. So he was started on some major antibiotics, and we began giving him probiotics at home along with them. The antibiotics were making his stomach bad, but once we started the probiotics we were on the road to recovery.
Hopefully today we will be making some GF playdough. Brennan has been begging for playdough for a week!
I will post after we make it, and let you know how the recipe turns out!
PS- Trader Joes Pear Sauce hides the taste of probiotics well, and is OH SO YUMMY!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A small gluten panic!!

Holy Pink Eye, Batman (thx,Lyns...I have been saying it all day cuz of your blog;)
I just had a small panic about the eye drop Rx that Parker started yesterday. I didn't even check to see if it was GF.
Called the manufactuer.
It is.
Whew! (wipe brow)
You would think that Celaics can only get gluten from food, but that is not true.
Cleaning supplies, shampoos, soaps, dish soaps, sunblock, toothpaste...all can contain gluten.
Gluten Free product of the Day:
Mary Kay SunBlock (thx Jen)

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Pink Eye!!! GROSS!!

So, first Matt got it. Then Brennan. Then Andrew.

Then it seemed to be all better and we went to Disneyland.

Then we return, and Matt gets it again! Now Parker.

I am losing the battle against Pink Eye in my home. I am washing everything in sight that could be re-contaminating us. Yesterday, the doctor did a swab of Matt's eye to see if it is bacterial or viral, as he has now finished his Rx.

Oh, man...please Lord, keep it in the *boys club*. Don't let the mommy get it!!


So, we had a great time in Disneyland. The weather could have not been more perfect. Andrew was a little daredevil, and rode every ride that was thrown at him. His favorite ride was California Screamin'. Brennan loved the rockets, and enjoyed the characters a lot. Parker rode with us everything, and liked all the characters except Woody (Toy Story).

I was a little disappointed with Dlands Gluten Free list. It contained all of the restaurants in the parks that he could eat at, but at each one we would have to speak to the chef as to what was gluten free. That may be fine for an adult, but for a picky 19month old, we could end up at 4-5 places before finding something that I thought he would eat. I just ended up packing all of his food every day, and they gave me NO ISSUES at bringing in large bags of food daily.

Here are some pics for your enjoyment:
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Kisses for the Mouse
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Buzz and the Big Boys
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Parkers favorite ride

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Traveling with a child with dietary restrictions

So, we leave for our trip to Disneyland in two days (yipee!!). This will be our first trip away, since Parker has been diagnosed with CD. I should re-phrase that. We have gone down to Cali and stayed at my mom's house, but never have yet had to do the hotel/multiple days thing. I took for granted how easy it was to travel, prior to our "new life". Now, meals have to be planned, prepped, and thought carefully through. Shopping has to be done, and food brought with us...WHAT A PAIN!!!

We are going to Disneyland. Supposedly, the "Happiest Gluten-Free place on Earth". I have spoken to "Disney Dining" twice. I have permission to bring as much food as necessary into the park, plus I was told that "City Hall" on Main St. will provide me a complete list of the restaurants within Disneyland and CA Adventure with gluten free choices, and who to speak to at each place to ensure that there is no cross contamination. It is nice to know that we will have some dinner options, but we will still bring all of Parker's lunches and snacks into the parks, as well as breakfasts at the hotel.

I can't wait to let you know all about our trip.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Today Parker had an appointment with Dr. Narus who is a pediatric neurologist. Let me start off by saying that Matt and I both LOVE him. We think that he is a great doctor. He was super thorough, asked a TON of questions, and explained everything to us. His basic synopsis is that his gut is telling him that there is nothing neurologically wrong with Parker. He still wants to do a CT scan here in Medford, but we are feeling GREAT about it since Parker does not have to be put under for that. There are still some unanswered questions about his metabolic work up, but nothing too alarming at this point. Had Parker not started walking last week I think that this appointment would have been very different, but he is walking more and more every day.
He will be seen again after the CT scan (which is at least a few weeks out), and we will go from there, but we are very hopeful after such an encouraging appointment!! Thank you all for your prayers!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Want to know a secret?

I think that I am a shame to mothers of Gluten Free children everywhere. Every gluten free blog I read is full of people who love to cook gluten free dishes, and they do it beautifully. They show pictures of their incredible creations, and I drool a little bit on my keyboard. Having a child with CD means that cooking is a must. You must cook most (if not all) of your meals and bake most (if not all) of your baked goods. Here is my dirty little secret...
I hate to cook. I don't enjoy it, even a little bit. I am not very good at it, and it is not fun for me.
I feel better now that it is off my chest. People have told me that I will enjoy it more, if I do it more. I am trying. Maybe if I was good at it, I would like it. But there are some things that I actually DO make well, and I don't even find joy in making those things.
But sometimes you have to do things in life that you do not like. I could probably get away with cooking less, if I made my whole household gluten free, but I am not ready to do that yet. So, for now, I cook 2 dinners most nights. I am aware that someday that will have to change. Right now Parker is allergic to dairy and corn in addition to having CD, so my choices of recipes are somewhat limited.
So, I keep plugging away...doing what I need to do to keep Parker happy and healthy. Right now, I have a loaf of bread to bake.

Tomorrow we see the neurologist

Tomorrow we take Parker to see Dr. Narus. He is a pediatric neurologist here in town. He also sits on the metabolic board up at OHSU. He has the blood work results in his hot little hand from all of Parkers tests a few weeks ago. All I know is that there were six test results that came back "out of the normal range". I am sick with worry, but I know that my God is a great God, who loves Parker more that Matt or I.
Before Parker was walking, we were told by our pediatrician that Parker would definately have to go up to Portland for an MRI. Now that he is walking (although not regularly), we are hoping that is not the case. We probably will still have to go up there for more blood work, but who knows...
If you think about it, please be praying for us.

Friday, February 23, 2007

He is still doing it!!

I know it is a silly fear, but every time I put Parker to bed, I wonder if when he wakes up if he will still be able to walk. It still feels like such a miracle, that I am afraid that it will go away. So far, so good!!
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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

It is a Miracle!!!

Parker is WALKING !!
Today, Parker started walking!!!!!!!!! I am not even joking! Matt and I were working with Parker, doing some PT, and he just let go of me, and walked to Matt.
He skipped the *standing on your own* stage, and the *take two steps, and fall down* stage. He has moved to the *I can walk down the hall, through the kitchen, and into the dining room, alone* stage.
I am crying as I type this, because I truly believe that this is a miracle. We have been praying that Parker would walk prior to his neurology appointment on the 28th of February. And today he did it!! Andrew's birthday is Friday, and he told me that Parker walking is a great birthday present for him!!
I think that this will help his CD ENORMOUSLY!! If he is off his hands and knees, he will definately pick up less gluten crumbs off floors and stuff!! Yee-Haw, Baby!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Picky GF eater!!!

You know that age between 18 months and two-years-old that children decide that they have control over what they eat? They become "picky". Some kids stay that way. I have been fortunate with my other two fabulous sons, that it was a short lived phase. Parker has unfortunately entered that stage. He always is in the mood for chicken nuggets and pasta. Unfortunately, his GF chicken nuggets are $5/box, and there are only 10 small nuggets in a box. He eats 5 in a sitting. He also loves GF pasta, with or without sauce. He will eat unlimited fruits and veggies, so that is a blessing!! I have been searching for some "kid friendly" gluten free recipes. I found a great cookbook:
Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Cookbook for Kids and Busy Adults, by Connie Sarros

It has some yummy recipes that I am excited to try. I will keep you all *posted* (tee-hee-hee)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

So Gluten is just breads and pasta, right?

I am finding that many people have no clue what gluten is. Those that say that they know about gluten say "Oh, like bread and pasta, right?". And then there are those few and far between that say "Oh, gosh...gluten is in everything!" That about sums it up. Gluten is in just about everything.
First there are the grains:
Wheat (Einkorn, Durum, Faro, Graham, Kamut, Semolina, Spelt)
Oats are a maybe
Then there are all of the derivatives...too many to name here. All the secret things that gluten is hidden behind.
You would be shocked. Ketchup, soy sauce, french fries..all can contain gluten."What!", you may say. "How is there gluten in any of those things?" Manufacturers use gluten as a thickening agent. It is hidden in things like "natural flavorings". You can buy safe alternatives to many products. Some choose to just eat completely natural. I think we are a combination of both. Parker eats more fruits and veggies than any 18 month old I know. He eats them both dried and fresh MANY times a day. GF bread is so expensive (about $5/loaf), that I bake him his own at home.
We DO find GF treats in the mainstream grocery stores. For instance, last night was Valentines Day. Thank Goodness for Peeps!!
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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The beginning of a journey

I was never into blogging, but perhaps it will be therapeutic, and I am willing to try anything. I was actually ecstatic to discover that Parker had Celiac Disease (CD). I was so tired of knowing that something was wrong, and not being able to fix it. He was sick for months. He gained no weight between his 12 and 15 month appointments. He had diarrhea 8+ times a day. Test after test showed us nothing, and he seemed to be in pain physically. I told every doctor available that he seemed to hurt and wince when he moved. They did x-ray's and told me he was fine. Then one day, a friend mentioned "maybe it's gluten?". I looked it up online, and called his pediatrician that day. Lo and behold, Celiac Disease. My friend and foe. After one week of being gluten free (GF). Parker was pulling up and crawling with no apparent pain. Within one week of being GF, Parker's diarrhea had stopped. Within one week of being GF, Parker had gained 10oz.!!

I say Celiac Disease is my friend, because it is manageable. As long as Parker does not consume ANY gluten, he can lead a healthy, normal life. When even a tiny amount enters his body, he gets sick. Most days are good, some days are bad. The bad days are becoming fewer and fewer as I get better about cooking, reading labels, and cross contamination.
Today was a good day.