Sunday, February 13, 2011


I didn't know that bumbershoot was another word for umbrella, did you? Thanks, Mom, for informing me. That would explain the hundred or so umbrellas that hung from the ceiling.

Yesterday, Alyssa competed in the Charity Choice Bumbershoot Invitational. With over 1500 athletes in 24 different sessions, it was by far the largest meet I'd ever attended.

My team competed on Friday. They did fairly well but with some big name competitors and super tough judges, I was a bit worried for Alyssa's session on Saturday. But I didn't tell her that.

She came out and did her thing. She placed 10th on vault, 5th on floor, 2nd on bars and 1st on beam! She ended up 3rd All-around. She did an amazing bar routine that actually ended up scoring the 2nd highest score of the whole session (58 total girls), regardless of age group. And the gymnast that scored the highest edged her out by a mere .025!

Grandma got this footage for us:
(Aside from the great acrobatics, I have two favorite moments in this short clip. First, I love the way the chalk dust flies as she grips the bars and second, her hard-to-impress Chinese coach actually claps MID routine! Yeah, that baby giant was THAT good!)

Way to go, Alyssa!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

One Week Down--A Lifetime to Go!

It hasn't been without its moments of mourning, but overall, I'm going to give myself (and most especially Alyssa) a hearty pat-on-the-back for our first week in a gluten-free world.

I wasn't looking for a new hobby. And even if I was, researching, studying, shopping and experimenting in celiac-friendly cooking would not have even made my top 100. I already know how to cook, I don't want to start all over and learn an entirely new way, but sometimes we just don't get to choose our circumstances.

A lot has changed in just one week. Like the flour in my pantry.

We got a new toaster, too.

I tried making bread. Gluten-free bread is disappointing. It was moist and tasted fine, but it's hard to imagine eating a sandwich on this stuff.

So I turned it into bread crumbs instead. I used some of them to do some baked chicken and plan to use some more for meatloaf muffins tonight.

The kids really liked Betty Crocker's cookies. It's nice that she's come up with this option. But this is SO not me. I don't make cookies out of a box. Ever. Well, until now, I guess. I did buy another box to keep on hand but I plan to experiment with my favorite recipe soon.

I did banana bread and it was a big hit. This may become a staple at our house.

Because we come home late from the gym many nights, we need some fast options. We found some GF chicken nuggets, which Alyssa enjoyed, but at $6.99 for 18 miniscule nuggets, I decided to try and make my own.

They were quite good so I'm thinking I'll make a big batch and freeze them for those nights that we need to feed our girl in a hurry.

Rice Krispies are out (darn that malt flavoring), so we tried the same recipe made with Rice Chex. I'd read that the resulting taste was the same and that proved to be true. Even Caleb decided they tasted great once he got past their different appearance.

We followed up with our GI nurse practioner this morning. She gave me a copy of the pathologist's report and emphasized in no uncertain terms that Alyssa definitely has celiac disease. We have an appointment with the dietician on Thursday.

Alyssa continues to delight me with her positive attitude. I've not heard even the slightest complaint. Imagine having to completely change your diet and resist tempting gluten-filled foods of the past even though she doesn't exhibit a single digestive symptom! She says she doesn't feel any different, she's just as strong as ever. Just yesterday, she set a new school push-up record for 4th grade girls. She did 53! What will those biceps be capable of once her small intestine's healed and absorbing nutrients like it should?

As for me, I'm really trying. But I have complained a time or two. Or maybe even three. :) I'm trying to embrace this new hobby even it's one I never wanted.