Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gluten free

Hi everyone,

We hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving. Josh, Willow and I went over to my parents house for a low-key meal after delivering a few meals for Little Brothers.

Willow's doctor has decided she should go gluten-free for a trial period of two months to see if it helps her grow. She's always been tiny, of course, but her growth has leveled off in recent months and she is no longer even on the growth charts, even for her corrected age (she used to be at about the 5th percentile). At her last doctor's appointment she was just under 19 pounds...18 and 12 ounces, I think it was. That was about 6 weeks ago. At that time they did a bunch of tests on Willow to rule out some causes of her small-ness. They checked her growth hormone, her thyroid, checked for celiac disease, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Everything came back normal except one of her liver enzymes which was slightly elevated. The normal range was up to 36 and Willow's was 40. At that time the doctor said it may be caused by an intolerance to gluten (not celiac, which as I mentioned they tested for). If she had an intolerance it could cause the liver thing, and also cause her to not absorb some nutrients which would cause her to not grow very well. But it was such a slight elevation, we sort of pushed back and said let's give it another 6 weeks and re-test and then decide from there to do the gluten-free trial. Well, 6 weeks later and the liver number was up to 44. So we're doing 2 months of a gluten-free diet to see if it helps the liver thing and her growth. Since I'm still nursing, I have to avoid gluten as well (no, I'm not weaning her so I can eat gluten, as people keep suggesting).'s been a few days now, and it's going OK. Of course my mom went out the day we found out and bought us a ton of gluten-free stuff - thanks Mom!. That has helped the transition. The ready-made and convenience type gluten free food is really expensive, so I guess we'll have to learn how to make our own bread and stuff, and definitely need to add a few good, quick recipes to our weeknight repertoire. Maybe it will be for a couple months, hopefully it won't be forever...but I have a feeling it might. So many people nowadays have gluten intolerances and celiac disease. Every single person I've told about this has said someone close to them is gluten-free. My friend Andi's 2-year-old son Lewis (their blog is linked to mine) was diagnosed last summer with celiac; she's talked a lot about it on her blog.

Anyway, enough about that. Winter has arrived full force here in the UP, and we are excited! We haven't been out skiing or anything yet but have been on some wintery walks around the 'hood. Here's Willow in her snowsuit. She hasn't really been able to enjoy the snow much...she just can't really move in that getup! I'm not sure how to get around that. It is pretty bulky. We have a snowpants and jacket set for her that is less bulky but it is still way too big. Maybe after 2 months of being gluten-free she will fit into it!

The last couple months Willow has really gotten into stuffed animals and dolls. She carries them around, talks to them and puts them "ni-ni" with a blankie over them. It is pretty damn cute. She has really become partial to Elmo. I was sort of surprised she picked him because she's never even seen Sesame Street. But she has an Elmo doll and two books, and she loves him. She carries him around, sleeps with him and showers him with hugs and kisses. I bet when they came up with Elmo, a lot of research was put into what he should look like, sound like, even what his name should be, to be most appealing to small children. I bet the word "Elmo" is very easy for little kids to say. Willow calls him "Melmo". Does anyone else remember Telly? When I was a kid, he was the red muppet on Sesame Street. I am pretty sure he isn't around anymore, and Elmo replaced him. Maybe he's still there, I guess I don't know. But you sure hear a lot about Elmo and I haven't heard anything about Telly.

Here's Willow this morning with Elmo and also hugging him.

Willow is still very much is the climbing stage (did you notice her in the last post climbing the sawhorse I was standing on to paint?). When she is hungry she will try climbing her high chair:

Speaking of painting, our painting project is finally done. What a relief to have that room back. I don't have the "after" pictures yet though. Those will come once we get the new fireplace and mantel in. I hope it will be done before the baby shower I am hosting at my house next weekend for my friend Ruth. Josh is in the basement right now working on the mantel while Willow naps.

Here are a few other photos from the past week.

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