Tag Archives: allergies

In Joss News…

12 Apr

It has been awhile since I posted here.  I felt a little burnt out with blog-a-day March and needed a rest.  But after some well timed nagging from my husband (and others- you know who you are), and some practical “you can do it tonight while I am at my meeting; the kids will be sleeping (they’re not); Nicole is away tonight (so I can’t talk all night to her instead!); nothing is on tv (true, but unexpected company means that it is 9pm and I am only starting this post now); you’re not doing anything else (insert eye roll HERE)”.  But, point taken.  Time to update the old blog…

Josselyn has been thriving on her new diet.  She is gaining weight, she rarely wakes in the night screaming anymore.  She eats more variety at the table, and she is better able to control herself during the daytime.  She still fights with her sisters, and makes the most adorable sulky face you have ever seen.  It is so cute that Bruce cannot help but laugh when she does it, and that nearly always sends her into a R-A-G-E.  Which, truthfully, is also funny.  But we have learned to put on a serious face when her face turns purple.

I have successfully reintroduced gluten.  There have been no changes to her bowel habits for nearly 3 weeks now, so I am confident that gluten is not the culprit.  This week I am pushing soy in the form of soy beverages, soybeans, and tofu.  So far, no change.  In the next few weeks I am going to start experimenting with dairy products to see if there are any she can tolerate.  She definitely cannot handle even a small amount of hard cheese, or butter.  So we will stick to the Vegan Margarine spread that Becel makes.  It doesn’t taste like butter at all, but she doesn’t know the difference.  And, for the few times I use it, it lasts a long time.

This year, for Easter, Bruce and I are in agreement that we won’t be giving the kids any chocolate.  This will save the difficulty explaining to a 2 year old that she can’t have something her sisters have, while also eliminating the excess of chocolate that characterizes the holiday.  Instead we will hide plastic eggs with tokens in them that they can redeem for bigger prizes (and, sorry girls when you read this in a few years… but all the prizes are going to be things I planned on getting you anyway!) like new sand toys etc.  Plus, I won’t have to worry about Josselyn finding a stray egg and eating it when I am not looking.

Josselyn is starting to copy words that we say.  It is pretty cute.  Today she ran around church yelling “Nanielle!  NANIELLE!!!!!!!”.  Danielle was her favourite person today and they both thought they were  so important to be allowed to walk holding hands to the car (Danielle is 4 going 17!).

Today at the dinner table, I was trying to get her to say “Danielle” for Bruce with no luck.  When I say she copies our words, I mean their words.  I understand her pseudo-talk so she doesn’t feel the need to use words around me, only other, lesser humans who aren’t bilingual in Curious George speak.

She was too intent on her (dairy-free) Shepherd’s Pie (best I’ve ever made said Bruce) to pay any attention to me until…

Bruce: “say boobies”

Holly: “say POOP”

Bronwyn: “say diaper hahahahahahaha”


It is a Universal Truth that all children and Daddies think that bathroom talk is hilarious.  My nearly 2 year old un-excepted – she repeated every single word…


A Tip on Dealing with Nurses… from a Nurse

24 Mar

We had Josselyn’s regularly scheduled check-up with the nurse today to dip her urine and take her blood pressure.  We are into this routine by now, and it barely phases me.  I am aware that the nurses on staff at the health clinic good-naturedly joke about whose turn it is to take Joss’ blood pressure.  I understand.  She screams like a banshee and fights with every ounce of strength in her body.  No one has fun, least of all me.  But we endure it because we have to.

Anyway, today there is a new nurse in the room.  She introduces herself and I ask if she is new.  She reveals she is actually a student and tomorrow is her last day (score one against her for not disclosing her identity as a student immediately).  I have taken off Joss’ sweater and am sitting with her on my lap (like usual).  She turns and asks me to take off my sweater (score two against for not bothering to check the age of her patient).  I patiently inform her that the blood pressure will be taken on the Baby.  She sighs and declares she’ll need to find a smaller cuff (score three against… are you getting the idea?).  She returns and Josselyn is struggling even before she places the cuff on her arm.  I need to interrupt my description of our visit for a minute to explain how much better she has been since being on her diet.  She cried, yes, but there was no arching of her back, slapping me in the face, or otherwise going limp and boneless to the point where I can’t even hold her.  Not to mention the glaring.  Seriously the worst part.  So, when Miss Student Nurse announces that her reading would be artificially high due to her excessive reaction to the blood pressure cuff, I wanted to cuff her.  She is a BABY.  If you’d had any experience with children at all, you’d realize that unless the child is extremely ill or something, they will all have the same reaction to having their arm squeezed really hard by a stranger.  You sort of have to account for it.  Not repeat it 6 times to get a more accurate reading.  Because, believe you me, repeating the test will only serve to increase the falsely high reading not, somehow, calm the child down… sheesh!  I, politely, explained that we do this every month and no one has ever had the balls to try more than once insisted on trying to take her blood pressure reading more than necessary!  Especially since the initial reading was fine, despite the crying.  She shuffled out the door muttering about asking the other nurse.

When she returned she looked a little like she’d been thrown under the bus, and I don’t blame her, but I wasn’t through yet.  I asked her if she planned on dipping her urine before we left so we could make sure it was clean.  She wanted to know what she was looking for.  She wanted to know why we didn’t just send it to the lab.  I wanted to know why she hadn’t read the chart before she walked in here (score 274 against… game, set, match!).

The girl couldn’t help herself by this point.

“But why are you doing all this?”

So I explained all the symptoms, and the diagnosis etc.

“I’ve never even heard of that before” she whispered.

I did not roll my eyes.

Later when we were making our one hundredth next appointment our regular nurse came out.  I was a little ticked that she had sent in a student to work on Josselyn.  I know that students need to learn, and I am all for learning on real patients etc, but Joss is kind of a difficult case at the best of times.  We chatted a bit and she asked all the right questions.  And she asked about Joss’ diet, and she remembered Holly’s name, and I remembered why I like it there so much.  Besides, maybe Miss Know-Everything Student learned something that day.

I know when I was there, I made mistakes too.  I hope I learned from them.  I hope I am still learning.


19 Mar

I know that this is a poor excuse for a blog posting, and some might have noticed that I went 2 days in a row without posting.  Thank you for not inundating my inbox with complaints.  I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be to keep this blog-a-day thing going while on vacation.  So… I’m sorry.

But today is our final day.  We are going to stop in Oakville to visit Aunt Jan, Uncle John, and this place.  We are also going to visit quickly with Joan and then HOME!

So, this is a cop-out blog because I am busy packing, and eating crepes.  But there is a finale!!

The Big reveal from this post!

That is a picture of Bronwyn, taken March 2008.  And to all of you who made the comment that you can tell by the eyes are absolutely right.  I almost didn’t post the picture because I thought the eyes were a dead give-away.  But there you have it, TWINS!


9 Mar

It has been a long day…

And it is only 1pm.

Josselyn was up for several hours last night with her, what I now call, stomachache scream.  She finally settled after I handed her a sippy of (chocolate) almond milk and left.

She has been doing really well.  She doesn’t seem to be missing out on the foods she used to eat.  She no longer asks for yogurt, or cheese, and is content to eat applesauce instead.

At church, on Sunday, she brought the nursery worker an old goldfish cracker instead of eating it herself.  And, I was told, she also brought a plastic Ritz cracker which she was given permission to “eat”!

Last night at Pioneer’s I had to bring the girls since it was Bruce’s monthly night meeting.  Usually I would skip, but it was Talent Night, and I really wanted to see my group perform the play they’ve been working on, and spectators were also more than welcome.

Holly just joined in Bronwyn’s group, even getting up on the stage and singing along and trying to follow the actions!  Too adorable for words, really.  Josselyn sat with me and amused herself by clapping after every act.

Following some advice from the ladies at my Bible Study, I taped a sign to Josselyn saying:


Despite the sign, and the fact that I never let her out of my sight once the food was put out, I still witnessed several people trying to give her food!  They weren’t trying to be malicious, it is just second nature to push your plate closer when a small child tries to dip her carrot in your creamy ranch sauce.

I’ll have to be more vigilant than I thought this weekend.

I also think I will make her a button!

So, I don’t know what she could have eaten yesterday that sent her into such a tizzy.  She was unsupervised (by me- the workers are excellent, but are no match for the dedication born of knowledge of the consequences!) for the morning during Bible Study, surrounded by food in the evening, and ate a few chocolate chips that had soy lecithin in them.

This is harder than I thought.

On the plus side, Melanie (for those of you who read this and know who I am talking about) is stopping by Ulrich’s this afternoon to buy me some wheat-free, dairy-free hot dogs!


Shrove Tuesday

8 Mar

Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday (and the first day of Lent).  It is also called Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday.  All these names come from essentially the same practice of using up all your perishable and luxury ingredients (like milk, eggs, and oil) before you were required to abstain from them for the 40 days of Lent.  Pancakes became a popular choice of food to eat because it used all those things in one go.

As one member of our Bible Study this morning pointed out though, you could always make an omelette!

Often this last day of feasting would turn into a celebration or “carnival” which is where Mardi Gras came from, as well as similar festivals throughout the world.

Even if you don’t observe Lent, you can still indulge in some pancakes today, and I am here to reveal my totally awesome, best-ever, protein-packed pancakes.  You will never go back to boxed mixes again.

Side note:  I bought a box of gluten-free pancake mix especially for today and spruced it up with blueberries.  They were edible, but not great.  When I asked Bruce about them though, he pronounced them “not bad”!  I think I am so spoiled with my own pancake recipe that I forgot what regular pancakes taste like!

Julie’s Pancakes*

In a blender, combine:

5 eggs

1 C cottage cheese

1/2 C flour (whole wheat or white)

2 T oil

2 T milk

Blend until smooth and pour onto a heated griddle or frying pan.  Flip when bubbles form.  They will be slightly runny and resemble a thick crepe.


Notes:  Even if you are using a non-stick pan, spray cooking spray over the surface the first time to prevent sticking.  Will yield around a dozen regular sized pancakes.  The extra batter can be refrigerated for 1-2 days and re-blended before use.  If you plan to do this though, I don’t suggest using the whole wheat flour as it gets gelatinous when it sits for too long.

* Original, unmodified recipe can be found in the cookbook, Company’s Coming: Breakfast and Brunch

Cookie Connoiseur

7 Mar

Ok, I have to say it:  MEN!

Ladies, are you with me?

*I apologize in advance to any men who are reading this (it has come to my attention, that although I have a faithful readership, this rarely includes husbands, so I am not really worried about alienating anyone).*

Anyway, Bruce is CRAZY!

Anybody following my random Facebook postings today might have noticed that I was going to attempt to make gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate chip cookies.  I used this recipe (replacing the almond flour with rice flour, the agave syrup with brown sugar, and the grapeseed oil with vegan margarine, and adding 1 c almond milk because the texture was too crumbly).  You might reason, that since I took the time to write all that, I would now proceed to tell you how great they were!

Not quite.

The batter was delicious, the cookies not so much.

It tasted… healthy.  Even though it wasn’t.

And when they finished baking, they crumbled.  Not the texture you are looking for in a cookie for a 21 month old.

On a side note, I think I will try again with an egg, and see how that works out.  Also, I might try the almond flour, as I heard rice flour tends to crumble in baking.  This learning curve is a steep one, friends.

So back to MEN!

After devouring a delicious stew (mostly meat) Bruce flips a cookie off the tray and pops it in his mouth.  He chews for a bit and pops a second.  Having not tried the finished product yet, I calmly ask, “how are they?”

“Well, I ate two”.



So, does that mean you like them, or…. not?

I mean, normally, Bruce would eat half a dozen chocolate chip cookies in one sitting.  Chocolate chip is his favourite cookie (it should be everyone’s, but that is just my opinion), and I don’t make them enough (he says).  His 40 year old waistline will thank me…

But, if they weren’t that good, why did he eat TWO of them?!?!

NB  Normally I let Bruce read any post that is going to be about him before I publish it.  But tonight he has gone to “meat-fest”.  For those of you who are not men, and don’t have a husband, brother, son etc that partakes in this sort of event, it is a get-together that includes food made of meat.  Vegetables are not allowed.  I have been told that onions used for seasoning are tolerated… barely.

Who said gluten-free was healthy?

4 Mar

I think we think of wheat as the enemy.  Pastries and processed foods get a bad rap, and for good reason.  So, when we decided to remove wheat from Joss’ diet, these were the things I was thinking of:

No Kraft Dinner- no problem.  Everything Bagels- can live without.  Whole wheat goldfish crackers- yummy, but good for you?

But now that I am knee deep in this mess, and reading labels like a spy looking for clues, it isn’t pretty.

In an attempt to remove dairy, soy and wheat from her diet, I am replacing these ingredients with sugar, oil, and more sugar.

I can understand why.  No one eats food that taste like cardboard (except babies who actually eat cardboard- why?  WHY?!?).  So, the answer is sugar.  And lots of it.  For example: I bought a box of gluten-free chocolate-y chip cookies.  No reason she can’t have a little treat in the midst of all the meat and veggies she has to consume, right?  I quickly read the ingredients when I bought it, but I am learning- quick is for people who care about the general calories and fiber of a portion, not for super-sleuths on the hunt for modified milk ingredients.  First ingredient: cornstarch.  Second ingredient: brown sugar.  Third (and fourth and fifth) ingredient?  Oil products.

It may have had none of her taboo foods, but I am starting to think it would be healthier to feed her jelly beans.  At least they won’t fill her up with useless calories.