Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Learning Winter

Earlier this fall I learned that I can, in fact, be consistent in things.  And so, I have been striving for more consistency every day (though it has not made its way into blogging, yet, really).  I always thought that I could never really keep a house, and so I never have.  I always thought that any new venture I began had to fizzle out after only a few tries.  And the five month long lapse in blogging might seem to confirm, that, except...

I have been learning to keep my house, really be consistent in menu planning, and get beyond the kick-off in the things I am doing; it just has not left me a lot of time to blog, as of yet.  I am learning that, after 29 years of believing myself to be a flibbertygibbit, the only way to kick that habit is in layers.

My sil and I are keeping a rotating schedule w/the kitchen chores (we share a kitchen). One of us empties the dishwasher, and the other sweeps.  This has proven really instrumental in keeping a kitchen, and the rest has kind of revolved around that.  So for the past several months I have been consistently keeping the kitchen clean.  I really think starting with a shared space was the way to go.  A few months back I added in the dining room (you know how when you are clutter prone everything seems to land on the dining room table?). On top of my heavily junk-magnetized table, we also have my dear Joshua, who gets a little too enthusiastic at meal times (i.e. some food ends up on the floor).  So now I am keeping two rooms, and working on the living room next.  I almost had that one down, but Christmas happened.  Since there are no room-rearranging holidays between now and next Christmas, I plan to be so solid in my routine that it does not take me a month to recover my living room.

Now, this may not seem like very much to accomplish in several months time, but here is the other side of the story.  Food Allergies.

This summer we discovered that Jeff was intolerant to gluten, and rearranging our lives around that was challenging, but not impossible.  We also knew that Joshua was allergic to milk and eggs.  So Trying to keep a consistent meal plan and eat around everyone's allergies was getting a little trickier.  Well, Joshua turned one in November, and with that came an allergy test.  It turns out that he is actually allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, corn, oranges, and coconut, and is sensitive to wheat and raw tomatoes.  It looks like he is intolerant to gluten in general, as well.  While the soy allergy really does not interfere with anything, all of the others do, and so in the last couple months our diet was pushed over the edge from mildly primal (not-as-strict paleo) to almost full-on paleo.  We still eat (raw) dairy, we just do not let Joshua.  In the midst of all of this, we are looking at going on GAPS to reverse Jeff's food allergies and gluten intolerance.  This is going to be a two-year project, though Jeff is going to be the only one who is exclusively GAPS for now (I want to see how it goes with Jeff before trying it with Joshua, also we want to make sure there is a nutritionist/dietician we can include to make sure Joshua is getting everything he needs if we DO put him on GAPS).

It is my desire to chronicle this journey on the blog, and also post as many allergy-friendly recipes as I can to help other parents of children with multiple food allergies.  That said, I have learned that some days it is more important to make sure I have everything prepped to make the meal than it is to blog about the meal.  I am learning about (and striving for) balance, and such sudden and drastic dietary changes can be overwhelming, so we are taking this one step at a time and just trying to be as content and healthy as we can where we have found ourselves.

A word to other new "allergy moms:"

It is so incredibly easy to stress out about food.  Especially when your allergic to everything child wanders into his cousins' room and you find him with a ring of "chocolate animals" around his mouth.  The other day Joshua had some "digestive issues" and I was racking my brain, recounting every minute of the few days prior, sure that he did not have exposure to any of the allergens we know about, when it suddenly hit me: Maybe he is just teething, or has a bug, or has been having large helpings of fruits and veggies in those few days (which, he had).  If you have found yourself in this position, you have also heard the (seemingly) hollow advice of others (who are not in your shoes) to relax, take a breath, do not stress out.  As difficult as it might seem, or as silly as it sounds coming from the mouth of someone who you (I) feel is unqualified to speak into your situation, it must be done.  You have to find a way to calm down, take a deep breath, and then take a look at where you are and what the next steps should be.  This is going to be a long road, and it will be very challenging at times, but you are not alone.

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