Saturday, October 31, 2009

Out of the mouths of...well, kids and tweens?

I love chatting with my kids. They say the funniest things. They may not be toddlers still exploring their world, but as big kids they still are learning, discovering, and discovering their own identities. This means they can say some really amusing things. And I like to share my stories. A blog seems like the ideal spot to do that. Here are a few favorites from this week:

--Penguin explained that they were talking about flying cars earlier. And she thought it would be funny in the future when they thought that those weird things on wheels in the museum were labeled "Cars" pronouncing it "Sarz", because of the C. Even more confusing because it's short for Automobile.
Wait. That really doesn't make sense. Huh. Why do they call cars, 'cars'?
I don't know.

--(After a rough afternoon) Me "Hey, we don't kick even if we are mad at someone."
Bumblebee: "I wasn't kicking. I was putting my feet on you HARD."

--Penguin (While shopping earlier this week) "Oh, look, they're building something! I hope they don't take down that really old pretty dead tree. It's so pretty! But I think it's dead. It looks dead. It's pretty, though."

--Bumblebee "I wonder why we give out candy for Halloween. The real spirit of Halloween is to remember dead people and scare away bad spirits. What does that have to do with dressing like Hannah Montana?"

--Bumblebee, on hearing her sister has a fever the morning of Halloween: "Why does Penguin have to be sick on holidays? It's not fun to be sick on Holidays. Except Christmas. Because on Christmas you still can have fun even when you're sick. You just give people their presents late."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Give that girl a gold star

"What?!? I don't get it," Bumblebee was snuggled up in my lap and is now scrunching up her eyebrows at my book.
Don't worry, it's an adult book, but not adult content! I'm reading "The Hundred Year Lie" and have hit the chapter on vitamins. I think I need to refrain from commenting out loud and reading random passages to my husband, at least in the hearing of little ears.

"At the level of molecules seen under an electron microscope, synthetic and natural vitamins may look similar to some chemists, but they don't assimilate the same way in the human body."

The above sentence is a direct quote from the page she's scratching her head over.

"What do they mean?" Bumblebee asks again. Hmm. How do I put that in seven year old speak?

"Well," I try, looking over the preceding paragraphs for guidance, "they take cornstarch and corn sugar and mix it up with chemicals until it looks like vitamin c under the microscope. And that's called synthetic, or fake, vitamin c. They did a study that says even though some synthetic, or fake, vitamins look the same under a microscope, they don't work the way vitamins in our food work."

She sits and thinks for awhile.
"So, they use a bunch of chemicals and make things that look like vitamins and smell like vitamins and taste like vitamins and feel like vitamins and sound like vitamins?"
"Um, yeah, essentially."
"And then they are surprised that they don't work like vitamins?"
"Yup, that's pretty much what that page is saying."
"But don't they know they're still chemicals? They aren't vitamins!"
"I know, but they look like vitamins under a microscope. So the scientists thought they'd be close enough."
"But they aren't."
"No," I acknowledge, "No, they aren't."
"I knew that," she says, "They're still chemicals. Only our food has real vitamins."
I agree with her.
"I'm seven and I'm smarter than a scientist," she ponders, "Maybe I can be a scientist when I grow up."
"That'd be nice," I tell her.
"And I'll draw my studies," she says, as if suddenly a problem is solved and everything has fallen into place.
"Okay," I smile at her. It is her life's ambition to be a "kid" artist so she won't have to grow up.
"Because an artist," she explains, "Is so busy all the time. Everyone wants pictures. Of themselves, and of pretty things. For like their windows, and their fridge, and everything! That's a lot of work. If I'm a scientist, I can still draw fun things and just maybe sell them for money."
Okay. This is priceless.
"And I can just do scientist stuff the rest of the time. Because no one wants anything from scientists. So, they aren't very busy. They just like, write books about their study and stuff. And maybe I'll draw pictures, because I'm good at drawing pictures."

I think that's a great idea.
I tell her that I hope she also remembers to think things through.

"Well, duh. I'm not going to forget that chemicals are NOT vitamins, even if I make them look like vitamins in a microscope." She tells me disparagingly.

That's my girl.
If anyone can take on the world and win, it's Bumblebee in righteous whirlwind mode.

((There was more to the conversation, and I may have gotten some of the wording slightly wrong. But I guarantee the heart of the matter is captured here.))

Scene from the bedroom...

Penguin's at rehearsal. Bumblebee is quietly coloring in her room. Occasionally I hear her low voice, speaking quietly to our next door neighbor through the window.

I'm folding laundry.

Suddenly I hear a thunk, a screech, and a wild cry that does not belong to my child. I pause.
Bumblebees voice shouts "I'm sorry, okay,"
Another voice screeches "You hit me, you hit me, you hit me, it hurts!"

I drop the laundry.

Bumblebee is sitting wide eyed on her bed.
Neighbor child is standing outside the window, clutching her head with both hands and screeching "Bumblebee hit me, it hurts, it hurts!"

The window is intact.

So is the screen.
A quick investigation reveals no way for me to quickly or effectively reach injured neighbor child.

I look from one to the other, raise an eyebrow, sit back on my heels and ask Bumblebee what exactly happened.

"The stepstool I was coloring on flipped over and hit the window," she says, looking me right in the eye, "Apparently it hit Ms neighbor."

I look at the still-keening neighbor child.
"Um, Neighbor, Hon? Are you okay?" I ask through the screen.

"No, I was just sitting here playing and she hit me on purpose! It hurts so bad!" she wails.
"Okay," I say, still studying the intact screen and window frame, "Whose in charge today? Your sister? Do you need us to bring you an ice pack, or do you have one in the fridge?"

Suddenly the sobs stop. Her hands slowly drop away from her head. Wheels turn behind those eyes, but I have no idea what she's thinking.
"Um, I'm okay," she says, sniffing back the remnants of tears.

I study her for a moment.
"If you just got hit in the head with a stepstool, we should tell another adult about it," I tell her, imagining goose egg lumps and concussions. The stepstool is a nice, sturdy wooden one. "Do you need me to come explain what happened to whoever's in charge?"

The child is 6. I've seen the tag teams trade places. I hear voices speak to her on a regular basis. I know there's an adult over there somewhere.

Eyes widen. Head shakes quickly.

"No, that's okay. I'm okay. She did hit me, but um, I'm okay now. It didn't really hurt."

I give both girls another Look. Neighbor girl forces a nervous laugh. There are tear stains on her cheeks.

"How did she hit you in the head with a step stool without breaking the window?" I ask in exasperation.
"I don't know!" Bumblebee wails, "Stop yelling at me!"
"On purpose!" neighbor girl says, and flounces off.

Bumblebee flops down on the pillows and sobs broken heartedly.

Those two are up to something. I just can't figure out what, exactly.
But I'm buying Bumblebee a cheap plastic lapdesk, just in case.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Getting creative

Well, trying to get creative, anyways.

I have figured out my problem. The real trouble is quite simply the vast number of intolerances I'm juggling. Lets see...The sum total of everyone's current avoidances?

Corn (and all of it's derivatives)
Squash/gourds (Includes cucumber and melon)
Cruciferous vegetables (broccolli etc)
Soy (lecithin okay)
Refined sugar
pecans (and possibly other nuts)
Artificial dyes and preservatives
sesame (including oil)
kidney beans
Olives (including oil)
green beans

It seems like I'm forgetting something...Hmmm...

Plus all foods need to be carefully washed, peeled, and thoroughly cooked. Even fruit.
Avocados are the exception. Maybe overly ripe bananas.
Still crunchy onion in scrambled egg? Yum, but bad. Stuffing with nice, thick chunks of celery for crunch? Delish, but bad.
And there are foods that are good, but only in moderation. Sauteed spinach. Guar gum/xanthan gum (not good on any of our tummies) Quinoa. Beans. Artichokes. Sweet potatoes.
And foods that we're supposed to try under controlled conditions. Nuts/nut butters, tomatoes, anything "new".

And then there's the whole clueless-when-it-comes-to-meat issue.
It's hard to find food we all can eat!
Then you have to take into account food preferences. Bumblebee won't touch beans. Or chicken. Or sweet potatoes. Or...well, she's picky. It's better if her foods don't touch too much. And if they aren't soup. Or saucy. And if she can dip them in parmesan.
Penguin will experiment a bit. But she draws the line at fish. And you can never second guess her. Serve eggs at the wrong moment, and you hear for an hour about how they're "okay, except that they are just disgusting."
And if she doesn't eat, she gets a migraine and misses 2 days of school. (I'm not exaggerating. I can send her, but they send her right back.)

Tonight I was pondering the options. Penguin requested spaghetti (Tinkyada rice pasta) and I was obliging. Since I was craving beans and cheese, I made that on the side for dh and I.
It occurred to me that it wouldn't seem like spaghetti every day, if I could do more with it.

Perhaps stir in some tomato sauce. No, wait.
Maybe just veggies and cheese for a, wait.
Well, I could do chow mein for all, sautee onions, garlic, peppers and scramble in some eggs. Drizzle with soy...oh, wait.

Dh and I like the soy-less chow mein. But Penguin prefers the soy cooked in. That takes an extra pot.
We'd like any of the cheese creations, too. But they're blends, so bumblebee will only look. And Penguin can't touch. 2 pots, again.
And Penguin and dh would enjoy the tomato bake, especially with olives. But me? Um, I'd like the taste. Tomorrow I'd regret it. And the next day. And the next. Maybe even next week.

We get back into the question of "what will I serve the rest of us?"

Roasted sweet potatoes and eggs for 3
Spagghetti with a variety of toppings feeds all
Rice feeds 3 (we can add beans, or fry it sans soy)
Chicken (with leftover starchy foods) feeds 2-3 of us
3 can eat dinner salads (or side salads made dinner size for those not partaking of the full meal) But the pots and stress of preventing cross contamination drive me batty.

I want to make the kitchen safe for all.

First, I need more options to play with...

Keep your fingers crossed that we pass the wasabi test this weekend. (hopefully this weekend, I reserve the right to back out at any moment.)
I'm not sure it will increase our options any, but I want something spicy!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Emotional Impact

I've now been gluten free for 4 years. And corn free for 6. Active in the food allergy cyber world for a little longer, as I began to delve into the world of food mediated reactions. After all, it takes a lot of courage to admit that something as benign and emotionally charged as food (especially so-called 'health food') could possibly be the root of physical pain. Especially when people are telling you the real problem is located a wee bit above the digestive organs.
In this time, I've seen plenty of other patients come and go along the food avoidance forums. And they all seem to share distinct traits, in shock, indignation, anger and feelings of being overwhelmed. There appears to be a cycle of grief involved in the process of food allergy diagnosis.
To that end, I've put together the following based solely on my observations as someome with no medical training, just a patient who reads and thinks. :-)

They say that there are 7 stages of grief that one must go through whenever they experience a loss. Usually this is discussed in terms of death or divorce. The process is often applied to people who live through disasters, such as fire or severe floods.
Food allergies don't exactly compare to fire, famine, or the loss of a loved one.
But they do constitute a major life change.
When you are diagnosed with food allergies or intolerances past infancy, they become a learning process. Life as you know it has changed, and favorite comfort foods may be lost. There is a grieving process to be gone through.
Few studies have been undertaken to truly study this process. And most professionals are still struggling to separate the emotional complications of medically restricted diets from those of eating disorders. Although the fundamental fear of food is the same, one side has a rational reason and the other (theoretically) has a somewhat irrational fear.
A few publications have dared to publish the deepest, darkest fears of food allergy sufferers. Most stick to the safe surface area. Wow, what do you eat? Wow, how would you survive? And of course, the heartfelt "Hurray, my life is different but it rocks, just the same."
But support groups know the truth. Newbies join online forums and dare to ask, in the safety of anonymity, 'Is this normal?'


The stages of grief, as identified by grief counselors are as follows:

1. Shock and Denial. In the world of food allergies, this may mean not wanting to admit that the identified food really is the cause of reactions. Or that the reactions aren't "that bad". Or "Oh, well, at least I can take tomorrow off," and then take a risk. After all they "aren't as bad as some have it..."

2. Pain and Guilt. When the reality of a new style of eating starts to set in, there is a moment (or repeated moments) of panic. We think of pizza, ice cream, coffee creamer, doughnuts and other treats as necessities. How will we live without our favorite comfort foods? What will we do when we "have to" eat out?
For parents, the guilt sets in. What did we do wrong? Surely we should have been able to protect our beloved kids from the pain of exclusion. They deserve a "normal" life. At this stage, we aren't ready to reevaluate the meaning of normal. That process comes with acceptance.

3. Anger and Bargaining. We get angry at ourselves, our doctors, our bodies, even mother nature. Why should we have to suffer? Maybe we make bargains with ourselves. "If we let ourselves/our child cheat just this once, next time we'll be good." The consequences are usually enough to keep that phase from lasting very long. But if allergies are lie threatening, it can be a dangerous phase. And when it overlaps with the denial phase, or different caregivers hit different phases at the same time, it can be dangerous.

Some parents and siblings may also feel anger towards a child whose restrictions make a major impact on family life. While these feelings are normal, they should be short lived and should not cause any backlash against the child. Spouses, likewise, may feel anger towards the afflicted spouse. Again, the feelings are normal, but if they cause any retalliation against the afflicted one, outside help is needed.

4. Depression/loneliness. This phase tends to represent acceptance of the restrictions. It can be overwhelming. This is the phase where a patient, or an allergy patient's family, may withdraw. Its easier. It's safer. It's also when they need the most support.

5. The Upward Turn. At this point, there is some small success. A cake that tastes good, a compliment on some potluck dish, or the end of a successful evening out. I'll list it as separate, although it often is looped with the next two phases, and for many the first 5 appear to be relived repeatedly.

6. Reconstructing and Working Through: Depending on the food restriction,

7. Acceptance and Hope. This phase never ends. Although there will be backsliding, and occasional slips back to stages 3 and 4, on occasion as far as 2 or even back to denial (especially after feeling really well for a long period of time), once one has reached a point of acceptance, reachieving this stage seems easier and quicker each time.

Using and accepting these phases is vital to reaching a healthy balance in living with food restrictions, not just for the person affected by the restriction personally but for their close family members. There are separations and even incidents of divorce when one family member has trouble getting past feelings of denial or anger. Of course, this can increase feelings of guilt (especially for children) and depression or isolation (especially for parents dealing with nontraditional allergies and delayed reactions). A support system is vital.

Symptoms are not caused by stress. And simply eliminating a single offending food or group of foods is not always enough to alleviate all symptoms. There are remaining physical ailments (from digestive damage and malnutrion caused by years of eating the wrong foods) and there will be a variety of emotional stages. Acknowledging the grieving process is part of the road to complete healing. A wide variety of emotional feelings are normal in the course of diagnosis and learning to live with an allergy. And setbacks are normal, too.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Beauty is...

Every year, our school participates in the National PTA contest called "Reflections". Each child is encouraged to create a work of art; literary, visual, or photographic; share it with their classroom and submit it for judging.
We're always on the lookout for inspiration and excuses to get creative. So we eagerly anticipate the theme's unveiling, and then we spend September brainstorming ideas.
This year, we started working as soon as the signs proclaiming "Beauty is..." went up at the school. And by we, I mean that Ms. Bumblebee sat down to color and I tried not to complain about the crayons left on the floor, or the scraps of paper strewn across the living room for a week.

Then she said she wanted to take a picture.
Wonderful, I said, and took her to a park.
She frowned and said she meant a picture of the sign at the gas station.

Not just the sign, the hinge that holds the sign.

It makes a letter, she told me, it's awesome.
My thoughts were along the lines of a rusty hinge not being the epitome of beauty. However, out loud I told her that was fine. But, maybe we could just look around the park and see if maybe there was something beautiful there.
You might be inspired. You don't even have to plan it, I told her. Play with the camera settings, lets see if you can do black and white, or that cool color swap thing. Penguin wished out loud that her school was participating.
Bumblebee just rolled her eyes at me. And then she found an "R" hidden in tree roots.
Okay. I want to be encouraging, tree roots are definitely a step up from a rusty hinge. Penguin pointed out a knot hole "o". I mentioned that the gorgeous fountains formed an "i".
She took a picture of a crack in the sidewalk.
And a single, fallen leaf.
That was laying on a litter-strewn ground.
With a piece torn off.
Beauty is?
"We need to go to the gas station," she grumbled.
Shall we say I was a bit disconcerted and more than a bit frustrated?

But this was her project. So I encouraged her to keep snapping pictures. I didn't let her see me shudder when she tried a close up of our trash can. "The theme is 'beauty is'" I reminded her.
"I know," she calmly stated, playing with the focus as she trained the camera on the bricks of our fireplace.
"Um, at least use an uncracked brick," I said unhelpfully. She just shook her head then cocked it to the side, grinned and clicked the button.
I quietly thanked the powers that be for digital cameras and (almost) limitless exposures.

Dutifully, I helped her hook up the camera to the computer and upload (download?) photos. I opened adobe for her. I helped her figure out how to open whichever picture she wanted to for editing. And then I stepped back and tried not to think about the trash can photo.

At any rate, I consoled myself, it's unique.

She carefully edited each photo, playing with tools I didn't know we had. She smudged up backgrounds until I could hardly recognize them. She used funky cutters to trim the photos down and focus on the letter she saw.

Her vision began to manifest.In the end, she had an alphabet of hidden letters. Including the rusty hinge of the local gas station sign, her friend's leg in flamingo-pose, a variety of rocks and tree branches and bushes. Not to mention that sidewalk crack. All lovely, viewed in the right perspective.

I discovered that beauty isn't confined to the big picture. Beauty is letting go. It's a 7 year old creating her personal vision. Beauty is listening to laughter and plotting and 'Yes!' as she discovers a letter hidden in an unexpected place. Beauty isn't simply found in the things poets write of. It isn't bigger or better. Sometimes its smaller, subtler. (Sometimes, much subtler.)

As Bumblebee said as we filled out the paperwork together, "With your imagination you can see anything, anywhere."

As I look at the images she created from the bits of real life most of us overlook, either intentionally or unintentionally, I also realize that like the old adage says, beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder.
Beauty is everywhere, if you look through a child's eyes.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lessons from corn

Although I'd like to say that corn is pure evil, my sensible side keeps intervening.
It isn't corn that's inherently evil. It's what we're doing with corn, nature and everything else.

To paraphrase St. someone: The love of money is the root of all evil. And hence, the quest for money is at the root of all corn. That's what it all boils down to. Money talks.
Right now, money appears to grow in cornfields across the United States.

I've learned more than I wanted to about our food system. I've discovered that the FDA is a business, much like any other. And it's run by humans.

FAAN may have made a difference for thousands, but with all their knowledge and power, they still have an awful lot to learn. I'm only one of many learning from their mistakes.

Safety nets are often made of red tape.

I've learned that there are things I don't want to know or learn. Food was supposed to be easy. You browse the grocery store, you choose new items. It doesn't bite back. You don't worry about what it's doing to your child's hormones or brain development. That's what the FDA is there for...right? Right? RIGHT???

I've learned that experts have tunnel vision. Not only do they have tunnel vision, but it's rewarded with money. And they want to stay in the dark as desperately as I do.

I've learned that women are slightly more prone to food intolerance...or maybe they just admit it more readily than men do.

And I've learned how easy, and satisfying, it is to live outside the box.

Friday, October 09, 2009

As Halloween approaches, a reason to be Thankful...

Halloween is always tough around here.
For oldest, no dye, no dairy, no gluten. Not much sense in trick or treating!
For youngest, it used to be no nuts, but this year it's no dye (and she passed the peanut challenge! Yay! Although she claims they still smell disgusting.)
Really, there aren't all THAT many options out there.

Of course, the kids made do. And adore our yearly ritual of sorting out the candy into safe piles, and then into piles by type. Then we trade in the junk for safe candy and cheap part favors. This year, they even want to use it in experiments. (As in, how long does it take a skittle to dissolve? An M&M? Jolly Rancher?)

We even have a yearly outing to a local zoo, where various local businesses set up stations and give out non-candy items. (Flower seeds are always a big hit, and they actively seek out the Apple Juice booth. No candy, please, just the juice!)

Anyways, despite the fun it's still hard to go to school and see kids gorge on multicolored confections on the beloved sugar fest we call "Halloween". We know in our heads that junk food tastes good to your tongue, and real food tastes good to your tummy, but in practice, it's hard to pass up sprinkles and gummies and frosting. (even if you have your own delicious treat waiting.)

My oldest even watched a woman bribing her son with skittles in the library, "Just be good. Here, what color? Any color. Good boy. Now be good. Fine, another color. Any color. Come on, yummy. Choose a color. Now be good, stay with...No, come back, fine. Look. Candy! Yummy!" And thanked me for not being that kind of mom. (Thankfully, not many of us are. The kid wasn't even misbehaving, just looking at the books on the shelf.)

But when 'everyone else' is eating something that looks good, smells good, and you know tastes good; and they keep tempting you to just take a tiny taste; it's hard to say no. And it's hard to watch your kids struggle with that self control. Self control that many adults have failed to master. (Just ask anyone whose ever tried a fad diet how often they cheated.)

However, there is a reason to be grateful for forced moderation. British studies show that kids who eat an excess of sugar in their formative years actually may be at increased risk for arrest due to violent crimes. Of course, the next question is why those kids ate so many sweets to begin with. Was it a parenting issue? A chemical imbalance? Were the sweets a cause or a symptom? And was it sugar itself or the rise in the use of petrochemicals in sweets over the past 20 or 30 years? (This is purely my speculation, but clearly an avenue investigators will have to explore further, as you can see in the article.)

At any rate, maybe it will be easier to ignore those naysayers who 'tsk, tsk" and tell me that my poor kids are so terribly deprived. Not only are they missing out on sugar highs, migraines, stomach aches and mood swings, their risk of acquiring a violent criminal record is dropping.

Maybe we should celebrate.
Candy, anyone?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Sick (?) Kids

The day started out like any other. The kids grumbling after staying up late reading and giggling. Mom and Dad grumbling because we stayed up late saying "Okay, girls, get some rest."
Penguin has missed a few days of school, and was feeling better. The plan was to push her to just give it a try. She hasn't been running a fever, which is the gold standard, you're-a-bad-parent-who-is-spreading-pandemic-flu criteria for staying home.
"I know, I can make it, I think I'm okay. I just don't really feel good."
"Fine. We can take your temperature,"
"That sounds fair,"
"...and then you are getting up from under that blanket, brushing your hair and putting socks on. Got it? Good."
3 minutes later, I'm staring a silver line that hits 102*
"Really? Really? But I don't feel that...but I'm so cold!"
Right. Cold. Fever. Go back to bed, kiddo. And Bumblebee, get UP! You're going to be late!
"Why is my sister laying down? Isn't she going to be late?"
She's running a fever. Now for the last time, get up! Get dressed! No more dilly dallying, how many times did I have to come in and tell you to settle down and sleep last night?
"But, she doesn't have to go to school? That's not fair! She always stays home. My head hurts, my throat hurts a lot and I still have to go to school this week. It's not fair!"
I hesitate, blanket still in my hand. She did mention a headache yesterday. And her eyes are a little glassy.
"Um, wait a second. Your head still hurts? Your throat hurts?"
She's getting dressed, now.
"Yes, and you still make me go to school! You don't love me, you only love Penguin!"
I have a sinking feeling something isn't quite right here.
"Should we take your temperature?"
"Okay." Shrug. "But it won't be a fever and you're still going to make me go to school and it isn't fair!" She flops resignedly on the bed, dramatically throwing an arm over her eyes as she waits for the thermometer to do it's stuff.
A few minutes later I'm wondering if there's something wrong with our thermometer. It reads 100*
"Really? Really, really? I have a fever?" She takes a moment to process. Then breaks out in a huge grin.
And sits straight up in bed. "No school!" she squeals.

"Hey, hon," dh says from the doorway, as he tries to hide a smile, "I think I'm going to go ahead and just head in to work now. Um, have fun." Thanks.
He better not be working too late tonight.

2 hours later, both kids are up, and I hear the violin being practiced for the first time in...oh, ages. A year, I think. It probably needs to be tuned. And I don't even want to know what they did to all the stuff that used to be piled on top of it. (Wasn't it at the back of the hall closet?) But for now, I'm going back to bed. I've got a bit of a cold.
I just hope the house is still here when I wake up.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Pot of Gold...the Leprechauns can Keep it!

Here's a pot of gold that I'd rather skip.

But it does give a good picture of what we're up against. Those of us who are uncorny by choice, or necessity. Can it really be safe to depend on one crop for such a diversity of things? Sure, it's great that we *can* use it for a variety of options. But really, there needs to be a variety of sources. And they need to be disclosed.

No wonder the dietician took a look at my list, and told me to give up. Some days I'm tempted, but I have 2 amazing kids to raise. And I just can't do it from bed, nor do I want anyone else doing it. There's already too much that I forgo for the sake of the damage corn and gluten have wreaked on my body.

"Life is Like a Box of Chocolates". Full of corn.

Luckily, I'm selective with my chocolates. :P

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Overheard from the yard:

"I'm tired of playing at your house. We can only play outside. Your mom spies on us. The snails crawl on us. The sun shines on us. I want to play at my house. Where we can go anywhere and do anything we want. And nobody will even care."

Any guesses as to why they're in MY yard?
Penguin: "Mommy, where's the Taj Mahal?"
Me "Um, India, I'm pretty sure."
Penguin: "Yeah, that sounds right. It's where they bury people, right?"
Me "I thought it was more of a Cathedral."
Penguin: "Whatever. It's one of those grave thingys."

Apparently she was trying to describe the Sistene Chapel to her sister. It's like the Taj Mahal. You know, a Grave Thingy.

We don't get out enough.