My daughter is blissfully sleeping and still alive after day #1 of our (at least) 3 month gluten-free treatment. :) You laugh, but as of last night I wasn't quite so sure that would be the case... :)
I, on the other hand, am a bit frazzled and incredibly overwhelmed.
I love Caroline, and I know we'll get through this somehow, but right now, the learning curve is just SO steep! I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. There is SO much to learn and SO much to do with no time to prepare-- we've just been thrown into the mix and have to learn to swim NOW. I'm literally looking at everything in my refrigerator going "is that okay?" "is that gluten-free?" Learning how to read ingredient labels and figuring out what, indeed, is free of gluten is initially oh-so time consuming.
God must have a sense of humor, because for those of you who know me well, you know that I am NOT a chef by nature. I CAN cook well, but honestly, if given the choice between cooking and eating out, I'd probably pick eating out way more than cooking at home. (Sorry, I know that's despicable to all you out there who love to bake and cook. But it's just not in my DNA.) And now eating out is going to be incredibly tough. I'm in NO way, shape, or form a good meal planner by nature, and this has to be the biggest challenge ever. And I've probably only been IN a health foods store once or twice in my LIFE, and now I'm having to stock my pantry with the stuff?! Suddenly I'm purchasing things like flax seed, coconut oil, probiotics, rice cakes, and a bunch of other "natural" things that just aren't ME, you know? I mean, where can I get the gluten-free pizza, people?! (and by that, I don't mean the powdered mix that I'm supposed to mix, stir, & whip up into a crust myself... but thanks to someone's help today, I heard of a local italian place that potentially serves gluten free pizza!!! 'Twill be our new favorite place, I'm sure.)
But mixed in with God's sense of humor is always His provision. And I am thankful. Who knew when we bought this house that there would be a 100% GLUTEN-FREE STORE less than 5 minutes from me?! Grace. Grace. And last year, Marc's brother was diagnosed with celiac, so we have a family who understands. Grace. Grace. And my parents (who we haven't seen since Thanksgiving) already had plane tickets to fly in from Texas tomorrow!! Grace. Grace.
Yes, it was quite the day. My whole day today was centered around food and gluten. Woohoo. That's a reason to get up in the morning, ain't it?! :)
- I cleaned the kitchen and put away the GF groceries we bought yesterday to get us started.
- I served Caroline a gluten-free breakfast of an egg, gluten-free cereal, milk, and some fruit. (no problem there!)
- I took all of the gluten stuff OUT of the snack cabinet (goldfish crackers, cereal bars, crackers, oatmeal, etc.) and made way for the GF stuff (GF cereal bars, GF mac n' cheese, etc.)
- I put away all of our play-dough and washed all of the plastic accessories (yep, play-dough has gluten! I need a gluten-free play-dough recipe PRONTO or I'll have one mad toddler on my hands!)
- I tried to research online about GF diets and recipes, but ugh. It's just too much.
- I took Caroline to the grocery store to get some more gluten-free groceries (upon entering ANY grocery store now, she is sure to belt out singing "Jesus Loves Me" as loudly as possible! And dare I tell her to be quiet?! No way! She's not ashamed of the Gospel, so why would I want to stop it? So there I go, pushing her down the aisles, letting my "little evangelist" do all the work for me! ha ha!)
- I put away all the GF groceries, and then sort the ones that I have to return because I came home & looked some of them up online to see that they are made in factories that also produce wheat products... ugh!
- I served Caroline a gluten-free lunch of milk, GF bread with peanut butter on it, and applesauce.
This was her reaction to the GF bread. Maybe I wasn't the only one who thought it was really gross. :) She ate a bite or two and stopped, but didn't complain.
Tonight I made all of us a gluten-free dinner of a salad, baked salmon, and rice. (although now I'm wondering if I screwed things up by putting cashews on top of the salad in lieu of croutons... anyone know??)
Caroline thought it'd be fun to put the rice & fish on TOP of the GF bread & eat it that way. At least for a couple of bites. :)
And then she finished off her dinner with a big bowl of strawberries! Yummm.....
I don't think this gal is going to have too many problems with these changes. WE on the other hand... :) I definitely need the Lord to sustain us now, because apparently I've been sustaining myself with alot of GLUTEN! :) (not to mention, after today, I'm STARVING!!!!) ha!
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! I've heard from many of you yesterday & today in facebook messages, comments, phone calls, emails, etc. and I just want to say how much we appreciate all of your encouraging comments, words, prayers, help with gluten-free stuff, and advice. We need all the quick & easy help we can get. (although it is very overwhelming at first...)
Even though this is going to be WAY harder on us than it is on her...
I think she's worth it. :)