Thursday, August 28

Getting Nerdier By The Minute

After teaching first grade for eleven years, I accepted another teaching position at another school. I will be teaching computers this fall to kindergarten through eighth grade. I am very excited and nervous at the same time. Getting into the computer/technology end of education has been something I have worked toward for a long time. I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing people. I was part of a group who spoke at a large Education/Technology conference (MACUL) in Detroit a few years ago. Twice I have the honor of having my students present classroom technology projects at the Student Technology Showcase in Lansing. I landed a dream job six years ago at a school which pioneered much of the educational technology that is now used throughout our whole district. Soooo... this has been a long time coming. This job won't be without it's challenges. I am working at a school that is basically starting from scratch. They are looking to me for what to purchase... which is a HUGE SCARY responsibility but very exciting at the same time.

I went into my previous school yesterday. They were having their open house. It was really funny to hear the stories of why I wasn't at the school anymore. Some I heard were....

* I was fired

* I got married.... one husband is enough, thank you very much :)

* I was moved into a portable classroom outside the building

and my personal favorite...

* I died. No, I am not kidding. One of the teachers told another teacher that I was "gone" and she thought that I had died.

In other news....

We completed all of the paperwork for our homestudy update and I171 extension for our adoption. We are just waiting for our social worker to approve the final draft of the update so we can mail it out. Things continue to move slowly with the adoption referrals each month. Our adoption continues to become less and less of a focus for me. Self preservation I assume. I am really glad that I have this new job to keep my mind really busy for a while... less time to think and feel. There are times when I am overwhelmed with feelings of frustration and sadness. The other night Ron and Adrian were talking about how they were going to take some fishing trips together this fall and all the fun they would be having. Instead of feeling happy, I felt so sad and jealous. Things have to pick up, right???

Saturday, August 23

Diet Update

Luca's gluten, casein, and egg free diet has been going very well... much better than I had anticipated. He has been great about trying new versions of his old favorites. He really likes tofu cheese, rice and soy pizza, and rice milk. He is great about asking if he can eat something before just grabbing it and taking a bite. He announced to my mom that he is "allergic to food" which I thought was so funny and sad at the same time. Sometimes it really must feel like he is allergic to food. A couple of other funnies...

"Am I allergic of this?" This is what he asks me before eating.

"Is it gluten three?" Meaning gluten FREE.

We went to Cold Stone Creamery. I brought along some Rice Dream ice cream for Luca and allergy free chocolate chips. I talked to one of the girls behind the counter and told her that my son has food allergies. I asked if she would mind scooping and mixing the ice cream and chips I brought. They couldn't have been nicer! He got to go in and order his ice cream and eat it just like he always does.

Monday, August 18

16 Months

Wow. This is the first time in 16 months that I have forgotten about our log in day anniversary. Seems fitting as I have been trying NOT to focus so much of my time/energy/emotions on our adoption. It's just too depressing right now. Things are moving slow and only seem to move slower each month.

16 months down and no end in sight.

Friday, August 15

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage

A big congratulations to my brother Tommy and his beautiful WIFE Niki! They were married August 9th. It was one of the most beautiful and FUN weddings I have ever been to. Here is a recap of last week's events....

We had a great time at the bachelorette party. We had a limo bus take us to some hot spots downtown. Lots of laughs!

My sister and I trying to look serious while sipping from a "special" straw.

I have not figured out why exactly my brother doesn't have a shirt on in this photo. Very strange.

After we all recovered from our nights out on the town (man I am getting OLD). It was on to the rehearsal dinner. We had perfect weather and the golf course was gorgeous. We had dinner at my brother and Niki's favorite restaurant after the ceremony rehearsal. Everything went off without a hitch... except for the fact that Luca refused to go down the isle.

Tommy and his two best men.

The Bridesmaids

I can't believe they are making me do this!


After some coaxing and bribing from mom.

Saturday was the wedding and all of the girls met to get their hair done. We then went to Niki's for pictures and off to the golf course for the ceremony and reception. There were some tense moments with the weather but the rain held off long enough for the ceremony. It sure was pretty! Luca surprised us all walking down the isle... with a smile no less! Check out the photo of Tommy and Niki with the rainbow. That wasn't photo shopped! We had a great time!!!!!

Mother Son Dance

As the bridal party was announced we carried Adrian in on our sholders.

Jay giving one of his signature dance moves.
A video and more pictures can be seen at the band's web site:

Friday, August 8

Ten Years

Today is our ten year wedding anniversary!

Monday, August 4

GFCF... What the F?

I received medical results this weekend that showed that my Luca has some "very high" food allergies. We will be eliminating wheat (gluten), dairy (casein), and eggs from his diet. Although he shown many of the signs of food allergies, I have to admit that I was stunned and had a range of emotions upon reading the results. GUILT... I have been feeding my baby these foods for the past three years! So many of his illnesses could have been easily prevented! MORE GUILT... Oh no! His favorite foods are over. No more Sunchips, Cheerios, Fiber One Bars, our homemade cookies we bake together! He is so little and won't understand! Hope... maybe this new diet will help with some of the health and behavioral issues we have been dealing with over the past three plus years. Confusion... What am I going to feed this child??? In case you don't know.... GLUTEN, CASEIN, AND EGGS ARE IN JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING.

Unless otherwise noted gluten, casein and eggs are found in... just to name a few....

* all baked goods... cookies, cakes
* all chips, pretzels, crackers
* all breads, bagels, muffins, doughnuts, tortillas
* all cereals, oatmeal, breakfast bars, waffles, pancakes, syrup
* many lunch meats
* pastas
* most condiments, seasonings, spice mixes and breading
* candy, artificial colors, artificial flavors, cake decorations and frosting, CHOCOLATE
* cheeses, yogurts, butter, milk, pudding, marshmallow cream, chewing gum

It is even used in play-doh, glue, and on envelopes and stamps!

Soooooo, being that I have no GFCF (Gluten Free Casein Free... cool new lingo I am learning) food in my home, I fed him a nice big bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios and we left for the grocery store. I am somewhat familiar with the GFCF diet because my amazingly adorable, beautiful, funny, nephew Carson (Curing Carson) IS ALSO ALLERGIC TO WHEAT, DAIRY, AND EGGS. He is on the diet. What exactly was in the water when my sister and I were pregnant??????

Our first stop was a Trader Joe's. They had a good selection of GFCF crackers and chips as well as some brownie and pancakes mixes. It was a bit confusing though because although the Gluten free foods were well labeled they were not clearly labeled "Casein Free" or "Egg Free" which meant I had to take some time reading many packages. I easily found GFCF lunch meats and pastas though. The price there were GREAT! Although the packages were smaller, the prices were less than I would pay for our usual brand. I couldn't find GFCF ice-cream, butter, "Rice Dream" brand milk, any cereal, or bread that looked edible so we checked out Vince & Joe's. I was able to find all of these items and more at this store but they were VERY expensive.

$5.99 for 1/2 loaf of GFCF bread... the pieces are also about 1/2 the size of a 'normal' piece of bread
$6.59 for GFCF Apple Granola bars
$5.79 for GFCF cereal
$3.79 for a very small bag of Tapioca flour
$3.99 for "Rice Dream" milk.... 32 oz!!!!!
$4.49 for GFCF butter

Holy Moly. This sucks.