Sunday, July 24, 2011

Label Readers UNITE!

Posted by She Said

Every now and again, you need to have a serious post from us, right? RIGHT!? So, I’m going to give in to your need for something snark-free today.

Greg and I have been worried about Emily for a while now. She has had tummy troubles since…well, forever. And what has really worried me over the last couple of years was her level of energy. I’m not even talking about comparing her to Braedyn, ‘cuz let’s face it, not many CAN keep up with that fireball. I’m talking about her choosing to not have a play date because she’s tired. Or lying down on a couch during a play date and simply not playing. Or during a play date, getting up, going to her room, shutting the door, and falling asleep on her bed. I had every reason to believe that her tonsillectomy last December would remedy this, but it didn’t. In fact, it slowly seemed to be getting worse.

And you know me, I worry. I try not to, believe you me! But this time, I couldn’t help it. I had taken her to the doctor several times for her tummy issues and separately several times for her lethargy. A couple of weeks ago, I took her in again. This time, I pulled her doctor out of the room so Emily couldn’t hear, and I laid it all out. All my worries. And he understood and took action. I took her immediately after the appointment for some blood work to test for celiacs, crohns, iron levels, infection, and lastly, food allergies. She was such a sweetheart as the lab tech prepped her for the blood draw. She didn’t struggle in my lap, and she didn’t cry; she just looked up at me and whispered, “Mommy, I’m scared.” And let me tell you, my brave little girl was spoiled rotten after that! I’m talking chocolate from the candy store, two new dresses, and a new bathing suit. Girlfriend, we shopped!

And then I waited. And just to let you know, waiting patiently is not one of my strong suits.

After a little over a week of waiting for results, I finally heard the news. Thankfully, Emily does NOT have celiacs or crohns, nor does she have any infections. I can honestly say I was relieved to hear that Emily “only” has some food allergies. She is allergic to wheat, cow’s milk, egg, and banana.

Then I let all of that sink in. Um, do you remember all of those food stories involving our children while we were in China? And do you remember how picky they are? Especially Emily? Yeah, it hit me that everything Emily eats she is now allergic to.

  • macaroni and cheese, Emily’s staple – contains wheat and milk
  • cheese – contains milk
  • goldfish crackers – contain wheat and milk
  • chocolate milk! – um, yeah
  • banana – one of the only fruits I could ever get Emily to eat

Thankfully, she’s not allergic to broccoli - the ONLY green thing she’ll eat.


I am lucky enough to have a dear friend that works at Whole Foods, so the day after learning of Emily’s allergies, we went shopping, and she shared with me all of her knowledge. I bought three different types of vegan cheeses, including one parmesan alternative. I bought goat cheddar cheese because her allergies don’t include goat milk. I bought coconut milk and almond milk. I actually found a “macaroni and cheese” that was wheat-free AND dairy-free. Yeah, it actually tasted good, but nothing, nuh-thing, like Kraft.

And I have to give it to Emily, she has been a trooper and has tried it all.

That’s right. My picky little eater has started a whole new culinary adventure at our house, and she’s the captain of the ship. She’s being honest about what she likes and doesn’t like. She’s never been one to complain about being sick (unlike her brother and her dad, ahem), so her willingness to venture into this new culinary world really makes me feel like she is excited about feeling better. I have a lot to learn and many questions to get answered still, but at least we know what we are dealing with.

We should see a difference in about three weeks, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Backpack? Check. Teeth Brushed? Check.

Posted by She Said

Emily started Kindergarten this week, and she has loved it. She loves the special cubby where her new Hello Kitty backpack goes. She loves her teacher, adoringly known among the parents as “The Kindergartener Whisperer”. And boy, does Emily love the special playground that is just for Kindergarteners.

Even with this excitement for school, getting ready in the morning and out the door has not become any easier on me. Any particular chore in the morning makes me sound like a broken record:

Me: Emily, Braedyn, get your shoes on please. It’s time to go. <me running around collecting backpacks>

Me: Emily. Braedyn. Time to go. Please get your shoes on. <me brushing my own teeth>

Me: It’s time to go!! Get your shoes on! <me making sure lunch and snacks are appropriately packed>

Me: Emily! Braedyn! Get your shoes on! NOW! <me watching my children blow bubbles in the backyard WITHOUT SHOES>


Good times.

So, once we are at school, Emily picks out the “Kindergarten only” swing with the least amount of bird poop on it, sits, and begs me to push her. I oblige, knowing the time will come when the pumping of legs will render me useless in this task. There I am, lovingly pushing my daughter on the swing on her second day of Kindergarten, and I start to run through the checklist in my head, hoping that I remembered everything in the mad dash out the door.

Backpack? Check.

Teeth brushed? Check.

Snack packed? Check.

Hair done? Check.

I continue to push Emily. She is happy. I am happy. And then as her dress flows up in the breeze…

Underwear on? Oh. Dear. God. Say. It. Isn’t. So. CRAP.

That’s right. My daughter went to school in a dress. Commando.

I let out a mumbled, yet loud, “ohmygodwhatamIgoingtodo?” intermingled with a gasp of epic magnitude. Thankfully, my friend, Emma, came to the rescue. Her oldest of three is in Emily’s class, but the poor middle child, who is only about a year younger than Emily, had her “knickers” taken from her and given to Emily for the day. Crisis averted.

We always knew that Emily had a soft spot in her heart for the Playa, so I blame myself for not double checking her “knicker” status. Trust me, it’s now at the top of my daily checklist.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Age Of Innocence

Posted by He Said

Young children can have a closeness in their sibling relationships that is innocent and closer than many adults can comprehend. This relationship changes, it can be strained with age and even vanish at the hands of the emerging adulthood of the teenage years.

Emily and Braedyn on many occasions express this love for each other and a closeness that can be seen as disturbing when viewed through the eyes of maturity. Those would be She Said's eyes by the way. We all know I am far from mature.

Our trip to China created a bond between them that I never had with my sister or brother and I don't think they would argue that statement. Since returning Emily and Braedyn have shared a room. In China they had to share a bed. They have not slept in separate rooms since returning, trust me, we tried. I figure if I can get Susanne to let them sleep in our room we will be weeks away from ordering a yurt. Who needs a three bedroom house when you all share room.

If you are new to this blog, don't be creeped out, the kids are 5 & 7 and hell no they aren't moving into our room.

I would however move into a yurt if my wife would let me.

So the adoration they share for each other is really quite cute and yet creepy when seen through the eyes of an adult. On more than one occasion Braedyn and I have had this conversation.

Braedyn: "When I grow up I am going to marry Emily."
(remember, this is his sister.....)
Me: "um.. No, no you are not"
Braedyn: "Why not?"
Me trying to be gentle, but keepin it real: "Because brothers and sisters don't marry each other."
Braedyn: "Why not?"
(because we all know the same question asked again deserves a different answer)
Me (having no urge to discuss birth defects, incest, or EEEEEWWWWW factors): "Because there are laws that say you can't."

Now it's important to note I have no idea if there are actually laws on the books against this. In fact, in the state of Nevada there probably are laws defining it as best practice and recommending a Colt handgun and a Remington shotgun as a dowry, but it was the best I could come up with.

Braedyn: "That's silly."

Now, yes there is a yuck factor here that is sometime hard to get past, but remember he is 7 and it's cute when you can keep the banjo music from Deliverance from playing in your head.

This week we are watching the Star Wars movies (Episodes 4, 5, 6 first, because it's just good parenting) when they realize that Leia and Luke are sister and brother.

Braedyn: "So they can't get married can they," he says matter of factly.
(remember, we ALL saw that awkward kiss in Episode 5)
Me: "No they can't."
Braedyn: "Because of those silly laws that say they can't."
Me: "Yes, because brothers and sisters love is different. Someday you will find someone who you love so much more in a different way than you love your sister, you will want to marry her"
Braedyn: "Well, I would rather marry Emily, but I can't because of those silly laws."

I couldn't help but smile and say "Yes Braedyn, because of those silly laws."

It would be easy to see this as a gross and creepy thing, and mock it, because that's what I do, but I can't, because I hope that he continues to treasure and care for his sister as he grows older.

I just hope he never kisses her like Leia kissed Luke.

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