Just Heather

During her bath the other day, I realized Brenia has indeed been listening. She no longer refers to “it” as her “front butt.”

“I have to wash my china now.”

Yes, please take care in washing the china.

dressing up so as not to embarrass your brother on his wedding day:


I love Chris’s Love Thursday contribution every week. She always has some adorable sibling love story to share and an eloquent way to do so. I don’t have that (if only…), but I do have a picture of me all dressed up! I was very concerned about looking like the frumpy big sister with “all those kids.” I fell in love with this dress as soon as I saw it—enough to pay $62 for the amazing boobie bra that completes the look!

Also, I may or may not have gotten very, very drunk and fallen off my heels. (If I did, it was because someone even drunker than I pushed me down. I would probably have a very sober witness to this fact.)

If you have ever seen me eat, you would be hard pressed to picture me shopping in an organics food store. The recent discovery of my littlest one’s wheat intolerance has found me there quite regularly. I’ve been buying gluten-free toddler puffs and cereal to replace the Gerber puffs and Cheerios she was previously eating. It’s slightly more expensive, but mostly just annoying having to add 1 more store to my weekly errands.

Yesterday I found a new Gerber food that she can eat! I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was to discover the new Mini Fruits freeze-dried foods where just that—freeze-dried fruit with no additives. As long as we steer clear of the poisonberry flavor, we’ll be okay. I can add yet another mainstream food to the short list of Lorelai-safe treats. Plus, I had a coupon! And we all know how I feel about that.

I’m putting together a list for family in case they want her to actually be able to eat her first Halloween goodies as they will need to be both wheat-free and dairy-free. It started out pretty short—banana chips and fruit cups were all I could come up with—but it’s growing by leaps and bounds as I have researched brand names and ingredients.

  • banana chips
  • fruit cups
  • Fritos or Ruffles chips (She should be able to bite into these soon!)
  • potato sticks
  • Gerber mini fruits
  • Newman’s Own organic dark chocolate bars (Actually, a lot of candy is gluten free, but most chocolate is made with milk and most other candy is too hard for little ones.)
  • apple cinnamon rice cakes

Since beginning the gluten free diet, Lorelai has had more energy than ever before. I had forgotten what “normal” babies were like, and I am exhausted from learning it so quickly! She had the ability and the development to do the things she should be doing at this age, but not the proper nutrition to actually put it into action.

While most babies step slowly into everything, she has started practically overnight! There was no getting used to her crawling around on her tummy, then her knees, and then learning to stand. She has done it all in one week. Two weeks ago she couldn’t even crawl. Now she can whip her way around the couch, stand up to the bookcase, and yank Mommy’s cookbooks out one by one.

It’s all I can do to stay one step behind her just to put everything away again.

Today is a Disney-only day. We’re having a Charlie and Lola marathon (is it too embarrassing to admit I love that show as much as her?) rather than allow any other channels to broadcast on my television. I don’t need the reminders. I don’t need the memorial tributes.

I definitely don’t need to see those planes fly into the towers yet again to see it clearly in my head. I remember it all vividly. But what I choose to remember most is how everyone came together. I remember the initial shock that it was anything other than a terribly tragic accident.

I remember the feeling of helplessness, wishing there were something—anything—I could do. I remember dashing around the house, emptying pantries, filling boxes, and stuffing bags once I found out a location nearby was collecting items for affected families.

I remember the tears in my little one’s eyes when we were done unloading the car—because she wasn’t done helping. I remember the elation she felt when I told her she could gather up any money in the car and donate it too.

I remember the normally intense homecoming float competition at my high school being abandoned. I remember the United We Stand float the classes created together, donating the remaining funds to the 9/11 families.

I am sad today, like everyone else. I am sad for the thousands of lives that were lost and the thousands more that were changed that day. For the lost feeling of safety since we all realized it was intentional. For the exploitation of the victims and the feelings of 9/11 that some continue daily. For the fear-mongering, hatred, and vast separation those events created. For the last united stand.

For the end of freedom as we know it.

…and finally growing!
I couldn’t get smiles this time around, but I love the first picture so much because it showcases those gorgeous eyes! We can’t go anywhere without someone commenting on her beautiful blue eyes, and this is the best they’ve ever been captured.

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Things are going well for Lorelai’s gluten free diet experiment. She has great energy, takes only 1 good nap each day, and just in general seems like a healthier, happier baby. I took her to the doctor on Thursday to be sure her cold wouldn’t become an ear infection while we were out of town. It included a weight check and she has gained 4 ounces in her first gluten free week!

It looks like gluten free will stick around for awhile. Her 1-year checkup will include a referral to an allergist, who will tell us what else she may be allergic to. I’m already guessing strawberries, after the rash she got when the girls ate them. Yesterday, my sister accidentally gave her a poisonous strawberry kiss. A rash appeared a few minutes later.

This week I’ll be experimenting with some gluten free cooking. Ordinarily, I would have been starting a baby on some table foods by now. Lactose intolerance, and now a wheat allergy, have delayed that. I am looking for a good flour substitute for breading and thickening. That really should eliminate gluten in most of our meals. Anything on bread or buns would be off limits anyway until she’s much older. Then I can purchase gluten free breads at Wild Oats. It helps that I cook with a lot of fresh foods already.

Food allergies are a new experience for me, but I’m great at research. While challenging, it’s going to be just fine. She’s young enough to make it easy—she’ll never know what the “real” stuff tastes like. On the other hand, her sisters do know the difference so it will be hard when she wants what they have. We’re learning as we go.