Just as he is

Isaac has been eating some gluten.  Mostly because I've been lazy, and weak.  I give in.  Packaged things are so easy - and he eats them!  BUT, I also introduced it again on purpose...to see how it would go.

It has been a few weeks and things were going ok.  I lie to myself and say that gluten doesn't change him.  It doesn't change Isaac's behavior, sleeping, mood, asthma, anything.  He's fine, right?  My gut is telling me another story, "it's not good for him."

And since I'm mom, and with him 90% of my day, I am able to watch him, observe, investigate.  And this is what I've noticed:

gluten and sugar are not good for him.

There.  I said it.  Maybe because I said it to the 2 of you who faithfully read my blog, it'll be easier not to give it to him.  You'll be my accountability.

No, it'll be hard.  It's hard.  It's SO hard.  It's so hard that I've cried.  There are days when I don't want to get out of bed, because it's like pulling teeth to get my son to eat anything that's not pizza or chicken nuggets.  People tell me that kids are adaptable.  Those people haven't met Isaac.

I'm working on loving him just as he is.  He's sweet.  He's intelligent.  He's cute and hilarious.  But he's also very stubborn, impatient, emotional, and he is a truly picky eater.  I need to take the good with the bad, be a good example, and change MYSELF to be more compassionate, have more patience, put more work into it, and pray a lot more.  


In My Life

Some things seem impossible.  Like, "that could never happen to me." Or, "that would never work!"  I get my hopes up about things and then I catch myself, almost certain that getting my hopes up only means they will soon be dashed.

Shame on me!  Do I not serve a God who can make the impossible reality?  I'm so forgetful, like those Israelites I was just reading about it Leviticus.  They were there to see, with their own eyes, God's wonders in Egypt.  Then, after he set them free from slavery by incredible means, they saw his wonders and felt his provision for them in the desert.  They were hungry, so God made it RAIN BREAD from the sky.  They were sick of bread and wanted meat, so God gave them quail that was not only abundant, it was actually piled up many feet high all around them and extending out in all directions.  They were thirsty, so God gave them water from a rock.

And still.  They complained.  They doubted.  They down right disobeyed.

All the while I'm reading about them, shaking my head.  Scoffing.  Thinking, "they are so stupid!  Did they not just see the freaking RED SEA part and walk across to safety on dry land??!  Did they not watch the ground open up and swallow those men (and all of their family members) who disobeyed God?!  I would have listened!  I would have been in awe!  I would have NEVER done that!"
Val Kilmer is definitely my favorite Moses. (Prince of Egypt!)

Riiiiight.  As if I don't do that EVERY day!  I see God's hand in my life, his blessings, his miracles.  Sure, I'm not looking up at the sky to follow a pillar of fire in the direction I'm supposed to go, but God works in my life in ways that I am able to see, feel, and hold.  And when those miracles happen, those prayers are answered (even if differently than I prayed for!), when illness is healed, when bills are paid....I still disobey.  I forget.  I complain.  I don't read my Bible or pray.  I don't give thanks.  And I definitely don't do what I'm supposed to.

Reading about the Israelites sinning again and again, I found that Moses always begged God to forgive the people who sinned.  And God did.  Many times he didn't smite them, even though he wanted to.  (if you think that makes God mean, please read through Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy to see how many time he actually spared them.)  Now, it's Jesus going to bat for me.  He paid the cost of my sin so that I would be forgiven for all these times I forget the amazing things God has done for me and turn away.

The next time I feel like something is impossible, I'll open up my Bible and read the story of Moses, and how God used him to deliver the Israelites from slavery.  


It smells in here! (if poo grosses you out, don't read!)

I've been trying to potty train Isaac.  Oh, excuse me.  We're not supposed to say "train."  It's potty "learning."  Ahem.

Sometimes reading books and websites for parenting advice can be wonderful.  There are lots of things I would never have thought of if I haven't read about them in a book.  But sometimes, I think I read too much.  Sometimes I just need to go with my instincts.  I read (hahaha, yes read) in a magazine that often times dads make better stay-at-homers, because they go with their guts, don't ask others for parenting advice, allow the kids to do riskier things than mom would, and have a lot more fun doing it all.  Maybe I could take a lesson from the dads of the world.

Isaac is having a tough time learning to be diaper free.  I wonder what I'm doing wrong.  I have this book that I got at a yard sale for 0.25 that is all about potty learning.  I read the first 30 pages or so, and then looked in the glossary for quick answers to the "problems" we're having.  Constipation.  Down right refusal to poo in the potty.

We've been at it for about 3 weeks now.  He does great when it comes to peeing in the potty.  Sometimes he'll even wake up from a nap with a completely dry diaper.  He's getting it.  But when it comes to poo....it's like he's afraid.  He's done it twice, but won't anymore.  He even held it for 4 days!  At that point he was constipated, it hurt, I had to use a suppository, he was traumatized....

....all things kind of negative around an area that already seems sensitive for him: pooing in the potty.  

I've looked at the potty learning book sitting on my kitchen counter 100 times.  I can't, however, bring myself to pick it up.  This feels different.  This feels like something I need to slow down, observe, and understand for myself.  I actually believe that the PhD who wrote the book knows what she's talking about, and maybe after I've tried a few things on my own I'll be able to go back to the book for tips, but this particular PhD doesn't know my particular child, who happens to be particularly picky, sensitive, and stubborn.  So, I think I'll do my own investigative parenting for now.

I think that I need to start over.  I think that he needs to wear diapers for a little while longer.  He needs to get back into the habit of regular pooing, and then we can start over.  Try and introduce it another way.  Because, at this point, even the promise of ice cream, fresh baked cookies, and a remote control car that is sitting on top of the refrigerator hasn't even persuaded him to go.


And Paige too!

Since most of my readers are my friends, it's probably known that not only do I have a little boy, I have a little girl, too.  Paige.  And when I say little, I don't mean just little in age.  They are both little in size.  Isaac has always been low on the growth charts, right now he's in the 2% category for his height and weight.  And although I've always adored my little petite girl, it seems that she's not just petite in my eyes, she's also petite when compared to the nation's little girls her age.  She's in the 1% for height and weight.

I don't worry about their size on a day to day basis.  I feed them CONSTANTLY.  Sometimes I feel like that's all I ever do.  I am a Mama bird, always planning their next meal.  Isaac is picky, as my faithful readers know, but what he does eat, he eats in decent amounts.  He can put down many slices of bacon in a single sitting.  And Paige, she's an extraordinary eater.  I've found that she's not super fond of avocados, and that's it.  Everything else I've given her, she's eaten.  Amazing!  I've felt so blessed to have a good eater.  Green beans, carrots, broccoli, artichokes, chili, corn, beans....she'll eat it all!  Only lately I've noticed that the mozarella cheese she once loved, she has been pushing away and pursing her lips at.  That should have been my first clue.  It is true (as was told to me by a doctor) that sometimes when a kid doesn't like something, it's because they're body doesn't like it, which I've recently discovered is probably the case for Paige and milk products.

I only start to worry about their weight when I take them to the doctor.  I started her on whole milk after I took her to the doctor for her 9 month well baby visit.  The nurse weighed her and then measured her height.  She looked puzzled, left the room for a minute, and then came back with "the board."  The board is used for a more accurate height measurement on little ones.  I laid Paige on the board, and the number was the same as when the nurse has measured her the usual way.  When the doctor came in he told me that he didn't believe the nurse at first, because Paige was measuring so small.

Small.  Here we go again. Isaac has been "small" his whole life.  I have been questioned thoroughly about what he eats, referred to a nutritionist, urged to try whole milk, whole yogurt, things slathered with butter and cream cheese and anything loaded with calories to try and get his weight up.  He has had blood drawn and allergy tests done.  Even now they look at his growth chart and then look at me, slightly sideways, with a furrowed brow.  Nothing like a visit to the doctor with my "small" children to make me feel like crap.

If the doctor followed me home and observed my day to day with my kids, he would see that I'm constantly in the kitchen making them food.  When we go to the park I make sure I pack enough food.  With Isaac, although he's 3 now, I sometimes still spoon feed him when he's too distracted to eat.  I beg, plead, play, try eating outside and inside, make games out of it....do whatever I can to get my kids to eat.  And so they do.

I feel guilty about nothing, essentially, when I hear that Paige is small and that I need to try to get her weight up. I feel guilty when they tell me she needs to come in for a weight check in 4 weeks.  I like my doctor, I do.  But is there another chart he can show me that measures how content, how cared for, how loved, how doted upon a child is?  Because when I look at the height and weight chart, I just feel guilty.  And I feel like a bad mom.  

But I know I'm not.  I'm trying my best.  Paige and Isaac eat LOTS of food.  They are just not as big as the rest of the kids in this country.  I wonder how they would measure up to kids in other countries?  And I just wish, for once, the doctor would tell me that because my kids are otherwise healthy - even with Isaac's asthma, at least it's under control now! - it's not such a big deal that they are "small."

So I gave Paige whole milk thinking that maybe it would help plump her up.  She's still breast feeding multiple times a day and once at night.  I gave her the whole milk for probably 3 days in a row.  She didn't drink much of it, as she's still just learning how to drink from a sippy cup, I'd say maybe 6 ounces total, over the course of 3 days.  During that time I noticed that she was constipated, and that her eyes were puffy.  I was stumped about the puffy eyes until I realized that the only thing I had changed was giving her milk.  I looked it up, and every article I found said that puffy eyes could be the sign of a milk sensitivity.  Sigh. I stopped the milk.

I'm not surprised, really.  Her dad is lactose and gluten intolerant.  Isaac, as you know, has lots of food issues, and I've been told before that gluten isn't the best thing for me.  There it is.  Another kid with a possible food sensitivity.  At least I found out early, and at least the reaction wasn't hideous.  That might explain why she's been refusing cheese.  Maybe she just knows, "it makes my tummy hurt!"
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