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

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Mixes September 29, 2009

We tried the new Betty Crocker GF Brownie mix. It was pretty good. It’s mostly sugar. I’m sure my hubby will want to make it again.

 

TV Tots September 1, 2009

Filed under: Parenting — seekthesethings @ 10:45 pm
Tags: , ,

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.

 

Restaurant Review – Red Rooster Waffle Company August 28, 2009

Red Rooster Waffle Company

7742 Campus View Dr West Jordan, UT 84084-5838 – (801) 280-4074

GLUTEN FREE WAFFLES!!!

They are so good. Kind of a cornbread flavor.

 

Disjointed August 13, 2009

It’s been so long since I added a new post I feel like I am going to explode. I’ll try not to trip over myself as I jump from item to item.

Sleep Apnea, Insomnia, and Narcolepsy, Oh-my!

First, that lack of energy I’ve been feeling for a while that makes me sleep more hours than my baby; well it turns out it might be some kind of sleep disorder. I’ve worn the Oxygen monitor and slept in the just-try-and-sleep-with-all-these-wires-glued-to-your-head bed and waited a week and called my doctor and they “just got the test results this morning and we haven’t had time to review them.” Okay, I said, call me as soon as you review them. That was days ago, and in the meantime I’m supposed to take an anti-depressant that makes me super sick just so I don’t fall asleep in the afternoon. I’m a bit frustrated.

Disaster at the Outback Steakhouse

Second, C. and I went to the Outback restaurant to celebrate a special occasion. Let me warn you that if it is not on their GF menu, it is NOT Gluten Free. Our waiter made the mistake of telling us that because the Thunder Brownie is on the GF menu, the Thunder Brownie Drink was also GF. That was a big fat LIE of ignorance. It must be cross-contaminated the way it is made because it made C. sick. Also, despite the fact that C. ordered a GF meal, without the sauce (as specified on the GF menu), and the waiter claims to have punched in GF twice when he put in our order, the gluten-sauce still came out on C.’s plate, spilling over the sides of the cup onto his meat. And the waiter, to my astonishment, just picked up the sauce cup like that made it all better. He must have admitted the mistake to his manager when we started trying to clean the sauce off C.’s plate with one of their good napkins. The manager was very nice. She had her staff prepare another entree for C. But by the time it came out, I had finished my meal, which would have been cold if C. hadn’t insisted I eat it.

Read Any Good Books Lately?

As a matter of fact, yes I have. I am just finishing the Enola Holmes series. It’s considered teen fiction. I consider it grown-up without being vulgar. It has a definite feminist undercurrent, not to the detriment of the novels. All preaching regarding a woman’s place is done in character by the characters themselves.

I’ve also read How to Write a D*** Good Mystery Novel by James N. Frey (rhymes with guy). In it he talks about writing a journal entry in the voice of your character to understand their motivations better. His workbook heroine was sentenced to hard time for a crime she didn’t commit, on the testimony of her boyfriend who got a plea deal for his testimony against her. In prison she found a higher power, and is trying to live a peaceful life. In the journal entry she tell us what she would do if she ever ran into her x-boyfriend again. She answered honestly that she didn’t know what would happen and she hopes to never find out. I was amazed by how well Frey knew his characters limitations and I plan to use many of his techniques in my own writing.

Another Personal Note

This time about living arrangements. I am still with the in-laws, but there is an end in site. Recently we took our house off the market. We are in the middle of a refinance. And once we do, we should be financially capable of paying for food again instead of spending all our money on credit card debt. I admit I have mixed feelings about this. I’m going to miss living with my Mother-in-law. Unlike the stereotype, she and my husband have very similar personalities so we get along swell. And it’s nice to have her offer to spend 10-20 minutes with the baby while I fold laundry or take a shower.

Pro Term Limits

Also, I heard someone, I’m almost positive it was Dave Ramsey, on the radio say that the only way to get the Fair Tax Passed is to get Term Limits passed first. I am so ready for tax reform. I hate April 15th. So now I’m pro Term Limits. I hope you will be too. We so badly need tax reform.

Social Poverty & My 22-cents on Nationalized Health Care

So we got a letter from the Social Security office letting us know that for every $1.00 we are contributing to Social Security, we can expect to get $0.78 back. How about I let the govm’t just take the $0.22 cents now and let me invest my $0.78 in my Savings Account at 0.5% interest and at least I’ll have made my 22 cents back in 50 years. I could use that money when I am 80.

My grandmother attended a centenarian celebration at the state capitol and I plan to attend one there, too. Hopefully without Nationalized Helath Care, because if I cannot trust the government with a $1 for 30-odd years, how can I trust them with my health?

 

We Love Chex – a Gluten-Free romance July 4, 2009

As of June 1, there are now 6 Gluten-Free Chex cereals. Rice Chex, Corn Chex, Cinnamon Chex(my daughter’s favorite) Honey Nut Chex (my mother’s favorite), Chocolate Chex, and Strawberry Chex.

I cannot wait to try them all. Sadly, my Wal-mart does not carry Chocolate or Strawberry yet. But it is only a matter of time until I track them down. In the meantime, there are a ton more recipes (a total of 20) for Gluten Free Chex Mix. Check out this link.

http://www.chex.com/Recipes/GlutenFree.aspx

 

Gluten Free Ice Cream – Updated April 14, 2009

I have updated the GF Ice Cream Article with more Ice Cream Brands, read it here.

 

Product Review: Amber Lyn Fine Imported Chocolates March 21, 2009

Amber Lyn Fine Imported Chocolates are labeled Gluten Free. But are they really? The first ingredient, maltitol, is derived from wheat.

But first, a tangent about labeling. These chocolates are not imported, they are made in St George, Utah. Maltitol manufactured in the US is supposedly made from corn, so we can assume this maltitol was manufactured overseas. But that doesn’ make the chocolate “imported”. Last time I checked, no duties or tariffs were charged between St. George and Salt Lake. If we cannot trust that these chocolates are “imported” can we trust that they are gluten free?

According to their website we can. It reads, “All of our chocolate bars are gluten free. Although our Maltitol is derived from wheat, the gluten is extracted through the process of washing out the starch in the wheat. We use specific procedures of cleanliness to ensure there is no cross contamination between our truffles and the chocolate bars.”

That being said, I noticed on the celiac.com website that persons having trouble with gluten often have trouble with sugar alcohol as well. If you decide to try this chocolate, proceed with caution until you know how your body will react to the laxative effect the maltitol may have on your system.

Because my system had a severe reaction to the maltitol, I have sworn off this stuff. But C. –he’s the one with celiac in our family– continues to eat it without any of the reactions I had to it. He told me he gets only  a little gurgle in his stomach, presumably from the maltitol.

Have you had a reaction to maltitol derived from wheat? Leave a comment and tell me about your experience.