Celiac, Celiac, all around.

Just a quick note here…..Jon comes home from school today and tells me that in his advisory class (home room in the “old” days), his teacher has Celiac and is gluten-free, as is another girl in the class!! OMG! Talk about a small world! Both he and I wonder if they put the 2 kids in the same class on purpose or if it is just a coincidence?? I did know that there were several other kids in his middle school that had Celiac, but never thought that he would find out who. The school is pretty big.

Well, at least now if they have parties involving food, things will be a little easier. Maybe I can get with the teacher and this other childs Mom to set stuff up.

You need this by when????

Jon comes to me this morning at 7:16 AM and shoves a piece of paper in front of me to sign. It was from his math class. It basically went over policies and how assignments would work. As I got to the bottom, I see that he needs a TI-83 calculator (they run about $80). Yikes! He informs me that he needs it today. WHAT? Do you want me to pull it out of my butt?? Seeing that Staples wasn’t opened yet, and even if it was, I wasn’t rushing right over there for a calculator. Why didn’t he tell me he needed this the other day when he mentioned the form he wanted me to sign? Yes, he was gone all weekend, but we have been over stuff like this in the past with posterboard being requested at 9:00 PM at night for a project due the next day. I told him that he would have to use his old TI calculator today and just let his teacher know that my broom doesn’t work on such short notice, making sure to let the teacher know that the short notice was not her fault, but his. Reluctantly, I went over to Staples later this AM and bought the beloved TI-84 calculator (not the TI-83, b/c it was sold out, of course). According to the GM of Staples, they will need the TI-84 by the time they are juniors in high school (like my son is going to hold onto and not break this in the next 3 years…yeah!). Also, with the rebate offered, it was the same price. That is really the only reason I bought it. He would have had to wait otherwise. Then the checkout girl said the funniest thing to me. She asked if I wished to purchase the extended warranty plan on the calculator. I told her only if it covered the calculator being lost. Obviously, it doesn’t. ;)

So when Jon came home today I gave him his new “toy”. I told him that we bought the first one, but if he lost it or broke it, he would be buying any future TI 83 or TI 84 calculators that he was required to have. He seemed fine with it. Let’s see how long he can keep it. I hope that I never have to post about it here again. :D

The First Day of School!!!!

12 hours and counting until the 2 children who live in this house are back at school! Hannah is so stinkin’ excited she can barely contain herself. Jon, not so much. He is dreading it and will probably fight going to bed tonight like we have never seen before. Like he can postpone school by not going to bed. I really don’t know what he is trying to accomplish by acting out at bedtime. I mean, come on, he is 12 and knows the program. What, are we all of a sudden going to say “Fine, stay up and skip school!”?

So, being the nice mother that I am, I am going to make sure that my kids start the day off right with a nice, warm breakfast. I made a huge batch of gluten-free pancakes on Monday from Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix. I used milk instead of the water it called for. I let them cool and then froze them in individual serving packets (Jon eats 3 at a sitting). He can then heat them up in the microwave all by himself. Hannah likes these pancakes too, but isn’t a huge breakfast eater. I see her eating a few bites of cereal, drinking some milk and going on her merry way.

Pancakes:

Now, I will probably have some of my newfound love, Lara’s GF Oatmeal. I wasn’t a huge oatmeal fan before going gluten-free. In fact, I don’t recall ever eating oatmeal, except for my Mom telling me I ate it as a baby. Well, in my quest to eat healthy, I thought I would give it a try. At the very least I could make granola out of the oats or use them in cookies if I hated the oatmeal in hot cereal form. So, I tried them the other day…WOW…I was impressed. I used 1/4 cup of oats, 1/3 cup of water, 1/3 cup low-fat milk, 1 tsp brown sugar, dash of vanilla and topped with 1/3 cup blueberries and a sprinkle of walnuts. YUM!! Here is a nice picture to show you what I will be doing again for breakfast tomorrow!

Lara’s GF Oatmeal:

All dressed up with my goodies:

I do need to add that not all people with Celiac disease can tolerate oats. So far I don’t seem to have any issues with it, surprisingly since my stomach is very sensitive. Jon won’t try them, so I don’t know how he would react, as he is the super sensitive one.

So as I drift off to sleep tonight, I will be dreaming of my nice hot breakfast together with my kids on their first day of 1st grade and 7th grade. Sniff, sniff.

School is so close, I can smell it!

Today was schedule pick-up for my soon-to-be 7th grade son. I received a bunch of paperwork last week in the mail. I sat and took the time to fill out all this paperwork, including the medical release form that I was required to turn in in order to receive his schedule. I completed picture forms and every other kind of form you can imagine. So this morning I am rushing around getting things ready, making bottles for sweet baby E (my best friend’s little girl that I watch during the day), brushing hair and sucking down some coffee because I stayed up too late watching the US Women’s gymnastic team miss their chance to win the gold. Talk about heartbreak, but that is another story. Anyway, in all the madness, guess who forgot all the carefully filled out paperwork? That’s right. Me. UGH. If you could have only seen the look of frustration on my face, as the nice gentleman manning the schedule station asked me for the emergency medical form, I realized in all my caffeine induced craziness that I didn’t have it. That is okay, you can go over to that round table over there (pointing across the gym) and fill out one. So, I had to fill out all his paperwork again. So much for being on top of things.

So, off to the food service station we go next. I fill out a form for depositing money onto a debit card that will allow my child to purchase lunch, drinks or snacks without carrying cash with him. Now, being gluten-free, there is not much he can eat in the way of lunch in the school cafeteria. Yes, they said last year that they would be happy to make accommodations for him and serve him a gluten-free meal, but I am not sure I trust that. It really isn’t that hard for me to pack him lunch, he just gets tired of it and wants to have what his friends are having. Anyway, they have “gluten-free” marked on his card/account so that when he checks out and uses his debit card, an allergy allert comes up. I am not really sure what this does. Does someone come check to make sure his food is GF? I highly doubt it. Maybe it just prompts the cashier to remind the student to check their food? Who knows. Anyway, he just uses the debit card to purchase fruit (yeah, right) or drinks or yogurt on occasion.

So, the smell of school. The smell of school is the aroma of home baked bread coming from my Zo (my Zojirushi Breadmaker). This is one of my first purchases when I learned I had to eat gluten-free. I had never made homemade bread before in my life, though I used to watch my Grandmother make Challah bread years ago. Something told me that first time I made bread in my new machine that it wouldn’t taste anything like what Grandma used to make. Glad I didn’t set my hopes too high b/c I believe I threw away the first loaf that I made. Many mixes later I came to love Pamela’s Amazing Wheat Free bread and that is the smell I know and love! This is the bread that we make our sandwiches with. It is not necessary to toast this bread, like a lot of gluten-free bread out there, but Jon prefers it toasted. I keep it in the fridge after the first day to keep it fresh, so toasting warms it up and lets me add PB or deli meat & cheese and then pack for him to have for lunch. So when I walked in the house from picking up Jon’s schedule, I was met with the wonderful aroma of bread waiting for me. I had to slice some and have a sandwich for lunch. Yum!

While I am here and blogging, I might as well share what Jon likes to take for lunch. He has been packing lunch now for 2 school years straight. He used to buy lunch a couple days a week before he was diagnosed with Celiac. One of the first things I did was buy him a thermos that could keep his food warm until lunch time. I found it at Wal-Mart for under $10. I fill it with hot water about a half-hour before I put the warm food in and it will keep the food warm for approximately 5 hours. The only thing that stinks about this (literally) is that when your child forgets to bring it home and it sits in his locker all weekend, it is tough to clean. You can only hand wash these and it is close to impossible to get the smell and stains from chili or spaghetti out of white plastic that has been hiding out in a locker for a few days. Here are some of the things I pack for Jon on a rotating basis:

~Deli Roll-ups – meat with American cheese rolled up inside. You could use cream cheese too, Jon is not a fan.
~Tacos in a bag – Taco meat in the thermos. Bag of Fritos or GF Doritos (we use Cool Ranch) and shredded cheese on the side. I also pack a small container of taco sauce (Ortega Mild).
~ PB Sandwich – Simple..PB on Pamela’s bread. Jelly makes the bread soggy, so I either put PB on both sides and then add jelly or pack it for him to add.
~ Macaroni & Cheese – Tinkyada pasta made with the Kraft cheese powder (comes in a can…whoever thought that up is SUPER clever!). I have also made Mac & Cheese with Velveeta cheese. Jon likes it either way.
~ Chili – He likes Hormel chili with beans. (Not all Hormel Chilis are GF, so make sure to check Hormel’s list or only buy the regular with beans). I pack tortilla chips, cheese and taco sauce on the side.
~ Cold pizza – I make homemade pizza out of Pamela’s Wheat Free bread mix and then he will take it cold for lunch the next day. He loves this!
~ Pepperoni & cheese – Hormel Pepperoni and American cheese. He will make little meat sandwiches out of these. Fun and easy, too!
~ Spaghetti & Meat Sauce – Usually left over from the night before. Tinkyada pasta and Prego 3-Cheese sauce with ground turkey or beef.

I alternate side items for him. I do fresh fruit in season. He is picky about fruit, so I have to pack something I know won’t end up in the trash. Bananas or apples, forget it. In the trash can. He will eat cantaloupe or grapes. In the winter I will do Mott’s Natural Applesauce with cinnamon on top for him. He seems to enjoy that. He usually gets Cool Ranch Doritos with sandwiches. He won’t eat raw veggies, so that is out. I will sometimes put in baby carrots with Italian dressing to dip in, but I have to wonder how often he really eats that. He used to tell on himself when he didn’t eat something, now I am not so sure. He may have wisened up in his old years. Desserts are either homebaked cookies or brownies. I do buy Trader Joe’s Gingersnaps (very good) or the occasional box of Enjoy Life cookies (he really likes the Snickerdoodle flavor).

So the summer is coming to an end. It is bittersweet. I really enjoyed spending the summer with my kids, but it is time for them to go back and join their friends.

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