"A" for Effort

So my sweet, wonderful, amazing, perfect husband has a mental block about our son's food allergy. For all intensive purposes we'll call it D-E-N-I-A-L. I caught him sneaking Joshua some saltine crackers the other day and when I calmly and sweetly reminded him that "Joshua can't eat those!" he sighed deeply and confessed that he had forgotten - again.

Flash forward a few days - my hubby was being a real angel to me (see my 3 Angels Blog about our Fireproof experience) and offered to go to Sam's Club to pick up a few things. He called me on the way home to tell me about his exciting find - he had gotten our dog (Samson, the 2 year old yellow lab) some canned dog food to mix-in with the dry food and it was GLUTEN-FREE! Can you believe it...gluten free dog food. It was so cute...he was so proud of himself for buying something gluten free - just because he recognized the term. I thought - well, at least I won't have to worry if I find him eating the dog food again!


How a 3 year old dresses himself...

I am not complaining that his pajama pants are on inside out and backwards...at least he put them on! He usually comes out of the bathroom butt-naked with his underwear and shorts in hand, expecting me to dress him. This is at least a step in the right direction!


Surgery and all...

Sorry we have been away for a while, things have been hectic around here. Between the end of summer illness, the beginning of the fall routine, a teething baby and a surgery for Joshua...I am not quite sure which end is up! We are finally starting to pull things back together. Joshua had his circumcision revision on Friday at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego. Dr Holmes performed the surgery and we really liked him. As much as I hate to write about this (I am sure that Joshua will hate me for it one day too), I'd like to share the experience in case anyone else out there has to go through it too.

Joshua had a build up of scar tissue at the base of his urethra that caused a serious direction of flow issue. We had no idea until he started potty training and only then did we realized that he couldn't pee into the potty....it went straight up in the air! The urologist said it was a must fix and actually got us into surgery in about 4 weeks; which is unheard of at any children's hospital. Daddy took the day off work and took him to the surgery (guy bonding, I guess). That was a tough one for me because I have always been there for the surgeries. They have actually let me go back and hold them while they sedated him - which is because I was a nurse and promised them I wouldn't freak out when he actually went under. Anyway, I stayed home w/ the girls and taxied to ballet class.

Anyway, the surgery itself lasted about 20 minutes. The doctor cut back the scar tissue, realigned the opening and put in a few stitches. Joshua was in recovery for about 3 hours because he wanted to fully appreciate the effects of anesthesia and kept napping the day away. Daddy said he left relatively happy and never complained of any pain. They picked up a prescription for Tylenol w/ Codeine (thank you Dr Holmes) and drove an hour and a half home. Joshua was doing so well that daddy even considered stopping at the climbing store for some gear, but decided that wouldn't be very nice.

Meanwhile, the girls and I drove all over town looking for a special present for Joshua for being so brave. We finally found a big plush "Red Car" (Lightning McQueen) for him to cuddle w/ when he got home. Daddy and Josh got home around 5pm and by 6:30pm he had pee'd for the first time. He did not complain about it hurting at all. Our biggest challenge that night, and still, is keeping him from playing too rough. We gave him one dose of the tylenol w/ codeine, but it seemed to wear off before we could give him another dose. So I gave him some Ibuprophen and that did the trick. He slept through the night and has only complained a few times since then. I have been continuing the Ibuprophen about 3 times per day just to ward off any potential pain. He is still a bit swollen and bruised, which looks worse than it seems to feel. I have to gently encourage him to use the potty and when he goes he tells me -"Wow Mom, it doesn't hurt." as if he is expecting it to hurt and is suprised when it doesn't.

I write all of this because I am amazed at the recovery we are seeing. I really expected the worst, especially based on some other blog entries that I read. Joshua has been very brave and I am really proud of him. Most of all, I am praising God for getting us through this one pretty smoothly so far!

Follow up appointment is in 3 weeks, we'll be hoping that it was successful and that our little man will have a happy life of being able to pee into the urinal instead of all over his shirt!

Yummy Risotto Rice Entree

I recently saw this item on sale at the grocery store (Vons, to be exact) and thought we should give it a try. Joshua is a rice fiend and I am always looking for new varieties to keep things exciting. Fortunately, this one way great! Lundberg Family Farms Creamy Parmesan Risotto is gluten free and tastes great. It was creamy and comforting and everyone (except my hubby) loved it. My hubby, who drinks pickled jalapeno juice from the jar, thought it was a little bland. Add some tobasco and Ta-Da! He liked it too.


Wordless Wednesday - Cooking Josh

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More News...

Joshua had a long week. We saw the Urologist to discuss his circumcision revision (poor kid, how much worse does it get than that) and the Speech Pathologist all in one week. In a very interesting twist of the straight and narrow, we discovered that Joshua has Childhood Apraxia of Speech. We had long thought that he had a normal speech delay related to the Acid Reflux, but apparently this is not the case. The Speech Pathologist tested him quite extensively and asked if anyone had ever mentioned apraxia to us. I said no and asked what it was...she explained that apraxia is a neurological disconnect between hearing and speaking. He hears normally, but he cannot translate what he hears into what comes out of his mouth. Hence the speaking in vowel sounds and grunts (and we just thought he'd make a perfect Marine).

Joshua had a special sedated hearing test in the Spring showed some neurologic abnormality in the auditory brainstem, but the SLP (Speech & Language Pathologist) could not identify the significance of that result. Now that Joshua is 3 and could have more extensive testing done (under a new SLP), they were able to pinpoint the abnormality as Apraxia.

I have to admit I am a little bummed, although glad to have an idea of the challenges we will be facing in the coming years. I am thankful that God has convicted me to homeschool, as I do not want him "labeled" by the school or his peers. His potential for learning is just as high as everyone else, he'll just need to learn things in a different way. I also cling to the fact that God has a plan and a purpose for Joshua's life and He is going to use Joshua is mighty ways.

For more information about Apraxia of Speech:


WF/GF Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki chicken is by far Joshua's favorite food. We learned this while completing a food trial before a GI scope. Unfortunately, it gives him terrible hives (because of the wheat in the soy sauce). I feel terrible depriving him of one of the few foods he devours, so I went in search of GF Teriyaki Sauce. I was hoping that San-J would make one in a bottle, similar to their wheat free soy sauce, but they don't. What I did find was a great recipe using the San-J WF soy sauce.

WF/ GF Teriyaki Sauce

1/2 cup GF soy sauce (San-J Tamari sauce)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp oil
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/2 clove garlic
1 tsp dry ginger

Mix well and let set for 20-30 minutes. Refrigerate and store unused portion.

(I found this recipe here)

I made this for his Birthday dinner last night and he LOVED it. So did my 4 year old and my husband. I will definitely be keeping this one on hand!!!


A Neat Trick

Wheat Free/ Gluten Free Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches

Joshua is not too fond of Wheat Free/Gluten Free Bread...at least not the ones we have tried so far. (And I can't say that I blame him, I didn't care for them either). But out of desperation I came up with a great trick. I use gluten free pancakes to make him peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.

When I make pancakes, I always double the recipe and freeze the leftovers. When I need to make a sandwich (like today, because we are meeting friends at the park for a picnic), I just grab 2 pancakes and use them for bread.

I use Pamela's Wheat-Free & Gluten Free Ultimate Baking & Pancake Mix for my pancakes. I have tried many recipes for making them from scratch, but the wheat free flours are expensive and there is no guarantee that he will like or eat them. Trust me - I have bags of flours I will never touch again in my pantry because of this experiment! Anyhow, I finally settled on Pamela's mix and even my wheat-eating 4 year old will eat these pancakes. They are easy to make (just add water and egg) and they are moist and tasty. The mix does contain almond meal, so there are little brown flakes in it, but my kids don't seem to mind.

So that's is...
2 Pancakes + Peanut Butter + Jelly =
One Happy 3 year old boy!


A work in Progress

Welcome all to my blog for Joshua. If you have spent any time over at 2 (and now 3) Angels to Grow Me you already know how special Joshua is to us. He has suffered an array of ailments since shortly after birth and I have spent most of my brainpower and energy trying to figure out how to help him. After more doctor's visits than you can count, more $$$ than you would ever want to spend, and far too much pain and suffering for a toddler...we think we finally have it figured out. Of course, the docs don't necessarily agree because it just doesn't make sense to them - he doesn't fit into a textbook definition and they aren't willing to read between the lines. That being said, we give our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, all the glory for his current health and happiness. He (the Lord) gave us such strong convictions and led us (once we were finally willing to follow) with a clear sense of direction in treating him.
Joshua will be turning 3 in about 2 weeks. He is so much happier today than he was a year ago. He still has a significant speech delay and has episodes of acid reflux that leave him unable to eat (sometimes for several days in a row), but 98% of the time he is just great!! The only thing that helps - his wheat free diet. We finally figured out that whole grain wheat was causing his acid reflux/ stomach ulcers, and chronic hives. He has never tested positive for a wheat allergy (he has been tested 3 times), and by no means is he anaphylactic...but he does have a delayed response/ GI aggravating wheat allergy. About a year ago, it was confused with Celiac's Disease, which is actually what started us in the right direction. The doctors are now convinced it is not Celiac's Disease (praise God)...and that there is a slight chance he will outgrow this type of sensitivity.
The purpose of this blog is to share our experiences, encouragement, frustrations, and LOTS of recipes with anyone who is interested. I will be back in a day or two to share some recently discovered recipes that my whole family loved - not just my picky (almost) 3 year old son. Thanks for stopping by the blog and thanks for being patient while I get started!