Seek These Things

a blog discussing Celiac Disease, & the Gluten Free Diet, Books, Parenting, Politics, Religion, Pets, Product Reviews, and whatever else catches my interest

TV Tots September 1, 2009

Filed under: Parenting — seekthesethings @ 10:45 pm
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I started a new page on my blog today. It is called KIDS & Parents. My daughter loves to play in the computer, but she gets frustrated when it doesn’t do anything. I’ll be listing websites that help toddlers learn to love to play with computers. For instance, I remember seeing somewhere where an object grows 10 times in size when it is scrolled over. I think something like this would be excellent for my curious toddler.

Now I want to talk about a sensitive topic: Toddlers and TV. I’m just going to be sharing my views here, and I’d love to hear yours too, whether you agree or disagree. I think it is okay for kids of any age to watch tv, so long as the programs are age appropriate, the parents are watching the programing with them, and viewing time is limited.

It should be obvious at this point in my post that I let my daughter watch TV. We find the following programs very educational: Super Why, Word Girl, Blue’s Clues (only with Steve, not with Joe because I didn’t want to confuse her), Word World, Thomas the Tank Engine, Theodore the Tugboat, Between the Lions, Zula Patrol, and Veggie Tales. These shows focus on teaching language skills (abc’s, phonics, vocabulary), science concepts, and social skills. They teach these concepts though trial and error, practice and repetition, music and movement. And they don’t drive me crazy yet.

I’ve think that the above programs can teach my tot things I cannot, by showing her situations that are outside of our everyday experiences. It can be argued that books can do the same thing, but my active and independent toddler won’t sit still through an entire book unless she is the one in control of the pages. It is very difficult to read to a tot who likes to be in charge. However, she cannot hold the TV upside down  or turn the page before I finished reading the first few words to her. If she changes the TV channel, she gets something like CSPAN and brings the remote to me to turn her program back on. Through TV, she is learning to read, even though she does not have the emotional maturity to let me read an entire book to her. Like many TV tots, she has a large vocabulary, that is growing every day. She can also recognize about 5-6 (capital) letters, most all of which are printed on my favorite T-shirts. I cannot credit TV for this. We play a game where she will point at a letter on my shirt and I will say the name of the letter out loud. The next time she points at the letter, I am quiet and she will tell me the name of the letter. But I see that her learning is reinforced by TV shows that review letters with her.

My daughter only has 2 musical books. She loves them both, but I am happy that many of the shows I mentioned earlier include music. She started singing at about 14 months. Now when she is happy she will sing to me and when she is fussy, I sing to her. Music definitely calms her down. I like to include the Alpha Pig version of the ABC song (from Super Why) in addition to the Twinkle, Twinkle standby.

My husband will watch different programs with her, because he is the fun one. They watch parts of Dinsey’s Hercules and Tarzan, and even High School Musical (this caught me by surprise, but the music held my tot’s attention). They will also watch The Amazing Spider-man and Chaotic. These shows are are rare treat for them both. I think non-educational programing should always be an occasional treat. Limits are always up to parents. But there should be limits on all activities, not just tv.

We probably watch more TV than we should, but I am very proud that when one of her shows is on the tube, she can ignore it, choosing to play instead. I’ve always felt sorry for kids who can’t focus on anything but the TV if it is on when they walk into a room. And I guess when we get right down to it, that is why I let my daughter watch TV. She is growing up in a society where she will be bombarded with the next generation of cyber-networking. She will hear me say things like Twitter, Facebook, webcams, cell phones, Bluetooth, blogging, World of Warcraft, chatting, e-mail, distance learning and surfing the information superhighway and think, “Mom, you are so old!” I want to give her the ability to tune it all out, turn it all off, and curl up on a cold night with a book and a blanket and relax. I cannot wait until she is old enough to think of TV as a kid thing and realize reading is the doorway to unlocking her dreams.

May every child be so fortunate.


Finally a Stay at Home Mom July 31, 2009

Filed under: About the Author — seekthesethings @ 12:48 am
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Due to my husband’s crazy hard work and only slightly less crazy school schedule, I turned in my notice to my employer and am now a blissfully happy full-time mom.

For me, nothing really has changed except I no longer feel an ounce of stress about work anymore. I also think I change a lot more messy diapers than I did when I was working, but maybe its in my head.

Speaking of something in my head, my doc changed my depression medication because I was having sleeping issues. It works, but it makes me fuzzy and some days (like today) I feel like the side effects are not worth it.


Second Generation Celiac Risk – Update March 12, 2009

I have updated my article Second Generation Celiac Risk with sources from Living Gluten Free for Dummies (2006) and Kids with Celiac Disease (2001), both by Danna Korn. You can read the updated article by clicking here.


Second Generation Celiac Risk February 7, 2009

My husband C. was diagnosed with Celiac Disease when I was 3 months pregnant. Because the disposition for this illness runs in families, we wanted to do everything we could to keep our new baby healthy.

We learned 1 in 3 girls with a parent with CD is likely to develop the disease. Boys have a lower risk, for reasons unexplained in our research, only a 1 in 8 chance. ***

At-risk infants are 5 times more likely to develop CD if they are exposed to gluten before the first 4-6 months of life; however, if a child is not exposed to gluten before the end of 6 months of life, their risk increases again. (Danna Korn, Gluten Free for Dummies,  p.55, (2006))

A woman without CD does not need to follow a Gluten Free Diet during gestation to protect her fetus. Women with CD who do not follow a gluten free diet have a higher rate of infertility, miscarriage, and birth defects. (Danna Korn, Kids with Celiac Disease: A Family guide to raising Happy, Healty Gluten Free Kids, p. 156, (2001))

Mothers nursing an at-risk infant should follow the Gluten Free Diet. My pediatrician explained if a nursing mother is accidentally exposed to a small amount gluten, it should not pose a risk to a nursing infant. Gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, is coated before it is excreted in the breast milk. This coating should protect the nursing infant. Also, gluten is a large protein that normally cannot get from the intestine to the blood stream. A protein called zonulin, found in higher levels in people with CD, binds to key receptors in the intestine and opens the passage extra wide for the gluten to get through. (Danna Korn, Kids with Celiac Disease: A Family guide to raising Happy, Healthy Gluten Free Kids, p. 157, (2001))

If your baby eats formula, exclusively or in addition to breast milk, at this time both the Similac and Enfamil formulas are gluten-free. The Walmart brand formula is not GF. If you have questions, always call the number on the packaging from your cell phone.

Better education leads to a better life. Good luck raising your at-risk child.

*** I still have not been able to find the exact reference to this statistic yet. Here is what I have found:

  • If one of your children has Celiac Disease, the likelihood of another child having it is 30%. (Danna Korn, Kids with Celiac Disease: A Family guide to raising Happy, Healthy Gluten Free Kids, p. 143, (2001))
  • Up to 30% of people with the genes for CD, do not have CD; the other 70% do, whether they are diagnosed or not. (Danna Korn, Kids with Celiac Disease: A Family guide to raising Happy, Healthy Gluten Free Kids, p. 148, (2001))
  • Up to 30% of first degree relatives (parent, sibling, child) of a person with CD have CD. Although they may be asymptomatic, the damage is still being done. It is very common that they will resist if not flat out refuse to be tested. (Danna Korn, Kids with Celiac Disease: A Family guide to raising Happy, Healthy Gluten Free Kids, p. 152, (2001))
  • CD affects females about 3 times more often than males. ((Danna Korn, Kids with Celiac Disease: A Family guide to raising Happy, Healthy Gluten Free Kids, p. 7, (2001))

A Puppy Saves A Life January 28, 2009

Filed under: Pets,Religion — seekthesethings @ 1:13 am
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I read the coolest story yesterday. It goes:

A woman at church told of her experience with their first dog. They got this puppy and when it was a few months old, they brought it in for its shots. They took the dog home, and it was whining and acting funny. Finally, they realized it was having an allergic reaction to the vaccination. They rushed it to the vet where it almost died.

Well, they still had more shots in the series, and their apartment manager said they had to have the dog fully vaccinated or it had to go. In the end they got the rest of the shots, and as a precaution the vet gave them a handful of epi-pens just in case. At the time their dog weighed 13 pounds.

The woman said she often felt like it was so unfair. Millions of people own dogs without having so many problems. She felt like it was a horrible trial until the next year when she had her first baby. As she started introducing new foods, she fed her young daughter mac and cheese. The baby started rubbing her eyes and acting fussy so she thought she was tired and put her down for a nap. Soon after she realized it was too quiet and ran in to check on the baby. Her little girl was swollen and having difficulty breathing….

Read the rest at A Puppy Saves A Life.


Accidental Gluten Exposure January 8, 2009

Filed under: the Gluten Free Diet — seekthesethings @ 6:23 am
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Once again, we are dealing with an accidental gluten exposure at our house. I believe this is the third time in two weeks. We cannot figure out where the gluten is coming from. I look forward to having a gluten free kitchen again.

Looking for others experiences dealing with accidental gluten exposure (I wanted someone to commiserate with) I found a nifty link that details Celiac Disease and most of the necessary precautions educators can to make to protect a GF child’s environment:

Model Section 504 Plan

I hope you find this information useful for your GF situation.


Introduction October 22, 2008

Filed under: About the Author — seekthesethings @ 1:14 am
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I’d like to introduce myself, the talent here at Seek These Things. In the tradition of Jane Austin, I’ll be going by A.K. I fiercely value my privacy, and anonymity. I also value my first amendment right to free speech and my responsibility to stand behind what I publish.

This blog will focus on things of interest to me, mainly celiac disease and the gluten free diet; also my comments and insights on religion, politics, parenting, and pet ownership. I’ll also add product reviews from time to time because I like to award excellent products and service.

I’d like to welcome you to my site, and thank you for reading my blog. If you like, you can contact me personally at seekthesethings at