Monday, February 18, 2013

gluten free trial month: the outcome

So we're done with our gluten free trial month and have started back eating gluten again. We had really high hopes that this was going to fix the major tantrums that Tyler was having, we didn't expect them to do much for the every day type of three year old tantrums, just the big big ones that caused major screaming and distress for everyone. We'd also hoped it would help some minor health issues.

We cut out every bit of gluten for a month, minimized cross contamination by not eating out at many restaurants, I think we ordered in once and went out to Hu Hot once, pretty good for a family that tends to pop in to Culvers way too often. But in the end we didn't know what to think, the health issues were all still there so they're not caused by gluten, that's fine, they're all minor. In the whole month we didn't have any notable outburst tantrums, was that gluten or was that the million parenting blogs I took ideas from to try to help him with the tantrums or was it just him finally outgrowing some of the major-est tantrums? So we added the gluten back in to see if they came back.

Now we've been back eating gluten, we've been back to our "regular" diet for about a week. We've not noticed any major changes, except that it's easier and cheaper to go grocery shopping and easier to share meals with friends and family that do eat gluten.

I went in to the GF month not sure what I wanted the outcome to be. It would be really nice to solve the major tantrums by being GF but it's a diet that we'd need to stick to and it'd be difficult to eat out at restaurants or friends houses. I guess we ended our trial with the best of both worlds...for now, Tyler tantrums have calmed quite a bit and we're back to eating a regular diet.

Anyone do a GF trial? How did yours turn out? I know some don't have a choice because of Celiac but since our trial was just something that we chose to do, not a health necessity, we are lucky to be able to see the outcome like this.

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Monday, February 4, 2013

babywearing: using woven wraps

So I'm kind of terrible at keeping up with this blog. I swear I have a list of things to write about but something always comes up, kids, housework, paying taxes, sleeping, you But a few friends have been asking about wrapping their babies so I figured I'd write something up here.

Woven wraps are long pieces of fabric specifically designed for babywearing, they come in various sizes measured in meters (typically from 2.7m to 5.2m). The length of wrap depends not only on the size of both the adult and baby but on what carry you'd like to do. There are so many carries that can be done with each size depending if you want a front or back carry, a one or two shoulder carry, a reinforced carry (multiple layers of fabric over baby for support), or if you need a super secure carry for a baby that likes to pop out of the "seat" of the wrap.

When I first started wrapping I was way overwhelmed. I remember having someone over to show them a few things about other carriers and I took out a DIY stretchy wrap. I had no idea what to do with it and there was so much fabric to deal with. To be fair, the reason it seemed like there was so much was because it was way longer than 5.2m! My "base" size of wrap is about 4.6m now, which is a size 6 in wrap sizes. A size 6 is a size that many people feel comfortable starting with, you can do front and back carries for newborns through preschoolers.

Wraps are made with different weaves and different fibers, both of these things determine how supportive a wrap is. The more supportive a wrap is the more weight you will be able to comfortably hold (and the longer you'll be able to hold that weight).

Here's a photo of my current wrap stash:

This will mean very little to some of you but I'll give you a run down of what I have. On the left is the mei tai carrier that I made, it has a ring waist and wrap straps made out of Dolcino Mauritius. Then from top to bottom is a Dolcino Mauritius ring sling, Girasol Amitola size 2 (2.7m, 100% cotton, twill weave), dyed Didymos Marigold size 3 (3.2m, 50% linen/50% cotton), Didymos Caribe size 4 (3.7m, 50% linen/50% cotton), Girasol Snow Diamond (4.6m, 100% cotton, diamond weave), Natibaby Milky Way size 6 (4.6m, 100% cotton).

I think if a new parent (or caregiver) was to buy one carrier from birth to toddlerhood a woven wrap would be the best thing to get. There's a learning curve but there's lots of help online (and in our area there are many local groups so check around) and YouTube has so many good videos if you need help with specific carries. And I'd love to answer specific questions if you have them so ask away!

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

gluten free trial month

So last week we started a gluten free trial month. There are many reasons that we're trying this but we're hoping for good results all around. It's not been bad so far but I'm sure there will be some tough days. I need to figure out a couple restaurants that are okay in case we are out and hungry. It's been busy trying to find our way in the gluten free world (I've been to the store to pick up things almost daily) but I think it'll get easier with time. It's more expensive to buy gluten free mixes but once I know more about different flours I can cook a bit more myself and things will get easier. I'll be curious to see what our food budget looks like once things settle out and the major stock-up type buying slows, but we're going out to eat much less not at all yet so that should help the budget.

When I tell people we're trying a gluten free diet the first thing they ask is, "Why?" Well that's a loaded question...there's a couple hundred symptoms that could be caused by gluten and our family happens to have many of them. They seem like nothing major as a day to day thing but when you list them out it seems to add up to quite a bit. Migraines, allergies, asthma, skin conditions, dark circles under the eyes, etc. But what started to get us thinking about it originally was for behavior reasons. Tyler sometimes has a really tough time, not like normal three year old tantrums, big huge screaming fits. In talking to some friends and some people in a group I'm part of we decided to give the gluten free thing a try. Most everyone who recommends a gluten free diet for behavior says to try it for a month, and then re-introduce gluten to see if the symptoms come back. So we'll see what happens.

As for what we're eating, all kinds of things! Breakfast favorites are scrambled eggs, ham and cheese or GF oatmeal. Lunch favorites are meats, chopped fruit and veggies, maybe some potato chips or tortilla wraps with meat and veggies. Dinners are pretty much the same as we were eating except without the bread/croutons/etc. We've done tacos & fajitas (corn tortillas), spaghetti (rice noodles), crock pot roast, burgers (GF buns), sautéed chicken, and more. Snacks are granola, fruit and nut bars, dried fruit, fresh fruit and veggies, rice cakes (I've never bought rice cakes before but the kids love them!).

For us the change hasn't been too hard at home so far. We got rid of what we can't eat and explained it to Tyler. If he asks for something we tell him if it has gluten in it and he says okay and moves on. Luckily it's been easy with him. He's asked to go to his absolute favorite place, Culvers, and we've told him it would be hard to eat there because nearly everything has gluten in it, he seemed a bit disappointed but he accepted it so we're doing okay. I'm hoping this can really help his behavior issues but I'm sure he'll still get a treat from Culvers every so often.

Anyone else gluten free? Any good recipes out there? I've started stocking up on flours that are okay but it's a lot of re-learning how to bake so there will be lots of trial and error!

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

i'm back!

Life's crazy busy but now that we're through with the holidays I think I'll start writing again. While I was away we had a great summer, took a trip to Portland, sold our only tv, and are now starting a gluten free trial month. Lots to write about! But I'm not going to set schedules or only write about certain things; you'll get a little bit of the "tips and resources" that I started writing about on the blog but you'll also get some fun tidbits from life.

So this post was started a week or two after I said I was taking a break but I didn't hit publish for some reason.

Every parent has come up against judgement from friends, family, or even strangers for some decision they made for their family. I feel like parenting is full of judgement and we're just teaching our kids to judge others the way we judge each other. The debates are endless; breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, "working moms" vs. stay at home moms, co-sleeping vs. sleeping in a crib, etcetera, etcetera. Can't we all just be happy that we made the best decision for OUR family. We're all different, we come from different places, we value different things, yet we're made to feel guilty because we made a different choice than someone else.

I don't care whether you breastfeed or formula feed your baby, birth at a hospital, birth center, home, barn, or car, circumcise or not, put your baby to sleep in a crib or in your bed, carry your baby or use a stroller, use disposable, cloth, or even go without diapers. Obviously I have opinions on what is best for MY family. I share them openly on this blog, but I will not harass you or make you feel guilty for the decisions you and your family make, please do the same for me and my family.

We need to join together as mothers, and as families, so that our children can all get along when they grow up! Let's teach our children that there is more than one right answer, it may be obvious what the right answer for YOU is but if that was everyone's answer there would be no choices. And I value choices.

Respect. It's as easy as that.

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

i need a break...

I've had fun writing for the past 9 months but it's time for a break. The summer is a busy time for everyone so I'm going to take a break and work on some things around our house, play with the boys, and maybe even go to bed early on a Friday night! (That's when I usually write!)

Before I go, I'll give you a little recap of my favorite posts!

•what you really need for your newborn baby: part 1 & part 2
breastfeeding: the early days
choosing, installing, and using your car seat
best car seat for your baby/toddler
why i carry my babies
which type of baby carrier is best?
starting solid foods with your baby
cloth diapering babies & toddlers
potty time!
holiday gifts for the little ones
how we came to be a co-sleeping family
use less, have less, want less

I hope you've enjoyed the posts so far, I'll be back with more in the fall!
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