Stuffing my Pockets with Gluten Free Treats: What it means to support your Celiac child

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May is Celiac Awareness Month. Celiac Disease is defined by the Canadian Celiac Association as:

a common disorder that is estimated to affect about one percent of the population. It is a condition in which the absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged by a substance called gluten. Gluten is a group of proteins present in wheat, rye and barley and their cross bred grains. The damage to the intestine can lead to a variety of symptoms and result in an inability of the body to absorb nutrients such as protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for good health.

Our 6 year old daughter was diagnosed 2 years ago and although they say it’s the only disease that is treated by diet alone, it’s not always easy. The diet is very strict, and it’s lifelong: even a crumb of gluten can affect someone with Celiac disease. Sometimes it can feel very stressful and overwhelming.

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Get your toddler to bed in these 25 simple steps

Baby E turned two a few months ago, and it seems to be true what they say about two year olds. As my husband says, she’s become a “two-nager”!!

One of the biggest changes I’ve noticed is the recent battle for bedtime. We are anxious for a little bit of toddler-free time to unwind from the day, and she is anxious … well, anxious not to sleep!!

Two months into the “two-nager” years, I think I have gathered some useful tips for other parents who are in the trenches of the bedtime battle. Here are my 25 “simple” steps for getting your toddler to bed:

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An Extreme Tale: Was Charles Dickens a father?

*This post was written in response to today’s prompt: An Extreme Tale
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” — Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
When was the last time that sentence accurately described your life?

Was Charles Dickens a father? I’ll have to google that. Because I’m pretty sure this quote was written about the first few months of parenthood.

For me, the first few months were truly the best of times and the worst of times. Starting with the delivery. The delivery was the most painful yet amazing experience of my entire life. From start to finish it lasted just over 24 hours. During the labour I experienced the most excruciating pain I’ve ever known, and then when Baby E was placed on my chest I experienced the most intense joy and love of my life. It was a roller coaster ride of emotions.

Actually, it began even before that day, with the pregnancy. I wouldn’t say that I had an incredibly difficult pregnancy, but I did have some challenges. After Baby E was born, a very good friend of mine became pregnant. We were chatting one day, and she noticed the nostalgic look in my eyes and asked me how I could seem to be blissfully daydreaming about my pregnancy, when it was such a difficult time for me in terms of health? It’s true! I was daydreaming about what a lovely period of time it was! Despite the health issues, I loved every minute of being pregnant. I loved the knowledge that I was carrying another human being inside my belly. I remember how excited I was the first time that I felt her move inside me, and how I smiled every time I felt a little kick or nudge. I loved the smiles and comments that I would receive when people noticed my belly – it opened the door to conversations with strangers everywhere I went. I loved that I was growing a life inside me, and that every day was shared with our little girl. Continue reading