Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ten Things I Learned in 2012

This week Stasha at The Good Life has tasked us with pondering 10 things we learned in 2012. So here's my eclectic list of self-introspection...it's gonna be a gluten heavy list, since it's our first year seriously gluten free, and it's made all the difference in the world.

1. I can get a lot of projects done in the middle of the night. I sketch during "spare" moments of the day, then once the boys are in bed (and responsibilities handled), I'm off to the Stamp Pad upstairs to get my craft on. Lately while I've been healing there's been a lot more sleeping, and less crafting, but the midnight crafter is back, and I am so glad to have my inky paws again!

2. We are not joking around about this gluten free thing. Even after we could see that it was doing good things for us I still kind of harbored an idea in the back of my head that I'm just not as sensitive to the gluten as my boys.  Eating in Dallas this summer cured me of that notion. Gluten free is not a phase. Sigh. Max is so sensitive that even licking the tables when we go out is enough to cause a gluten reaction now,  which for him is a very ugly eczema type rash all over his poor tiny body...that lasts for three weeks minimum...and causes people to ask if he's recovering from chicken pox.

3. It's almost impossible to get a two year old to stop licking tables, mouthing counters, and eating weird things from the floor in public without the use of a straight jacket. We may need to become shut-ins if we ever want the eczema to go away. All ideas to stop the madness accepted!

4. I am also not joking around about not being able to consume coffee. Apparently not only am I NOT less sensitive to gluten than my boys, I am not unable to tolerate coffee either. Even a tiny bit brings on an allergy attack of the like not seen since we first moved to Oregon in 2000. It is not pretty or pleasant. I mourn the loss of coffee more than the gluten.

5. Earl Grey tea is awesome...especially with an obscene amount of half and half. Not as good as coffee, but I'm getting this extra aged super strong Earl Grey now that totally rocks.

6. Hanging with my team (at Convention, Team Stamp, and even our monthly meetings) is guaranteed to be a rollicking good time. We laugh so much that I don't think it can be classified as work. Everyday I am grateful for my girls. They motivate me, inspire me, and make me laugh until my face hurts. They bring me Starbucks, and apples (for the teacher, lol), and so much joy. My team is the BEST part of this business.

7. Parent Teaching at Ben's coop preschool is so much fun. At first I was worried that the coop required too much time (keeping me from really important things, like blogging, right?). But while I'm there working with all those 4 year olds, there are no distractions or multi-tasking, no to-do lists or laundry piles. Ok, there is a laundry pile, but it's not my job there. So parent teaching is like a vacation from Crazy-town.

8. It is not necessary to recreate every gluten food in a GF version. At first I went nutty trying to make GF goldfish and GF waffles, etc... Life is much simpler when lunch consists of leftover chicken from last night's dinner, a bit of cheese and some veg or fruit. Boys don't care about fancy or variety. GF mac n cheese once a week is enough. Honey sweetened plain greek yogurt is enough. A simple apple is enough. (But here's the GF cheese cracker recipe that we use for special occasions when I feel like baking. These are amazingly tasty and not too tough to make.)

9. Pack GF food with you everywhere you go. Even if you don't think you'll need a snack. Pack extra. It is guaranteed to either be super expensive or nigh on impossible to buy a snack on the run....and the boys will be ready-to-tantrum-type starving if you leave the house without enough food to feed an entire preschool class. And the only thing you can buy will be a $2 Kind Bar which they will scarf in 3 seconds flat and ask for seconds...and thirds...times three boys. So much for the college fund!

10. Photo collages rock! How did I not know how to make these before this year? Now I can make the awesome BIG photo scrapbook sketches and fill in that big space with all the photos I LOVE so easily. Win-win, baby!

Finally, a bonus lesson from 2012. Blogging is awesome. People actually read what you write. And crafty blog followers are super nice, like when I met two friendly blog readers and fellow CTMH sisters at a craft fair this weekend (Hi!).  Blogging has completely changed my business. If you'd asked me a year ago, I'd never have guessed that I'd be where I am today, happily creating consultant kits and crafting midnight cards for my next blog post. When I hit my little health snag this fall, I really MISSED stamping and and blogging. It is so good to be back!

Thanks for reading, for your kind comments, for sharing your art with me on Friday Favorite Things (coming back soon!).

Happy Thanksgiving, Stampin' Friends!


Casandra Bennett said...

Hope you feel better soon, Miss Wendy. One of my friend's has Celiac's, and another friend's dad and father-in-law have it. It seems like more people are having issues with gluten, these days. My little boy has allergies that cause eczema, so I feel your pain on that one. Even though he's six now, I still see him put toys in his mouth when he's not thinking about it. And I, too, have discovered so much love and friendship out in blogger land. Sorry about the coffee thing. Best wishes to you and your family for a healthy 2013! :)

Wendy Coffman said...

Thanks so much, Casandra! I'm already doing much, much better. I found a new chiro and am on a new treatment plan and I'm almost back to where I was before things went haywire! What do you use for the eczema? We've been focusing on clean diet and using a Borage oil based GF cream when it's bad, which it is right now. Nothing seems to touch it! BTW, I love your blog! Hope you have a fabulous and safe Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Have you heard of emeals.com they have GF menus n shopping list.

Happy Thanksgiving

Created by Kathi said...


Thanks for such an upbeat post... love the idea of 10 things I have learned this year! Maybe I will try something like that once we get moved :) In the meantime congrats on being GF and keep up the blogging... also glad you are feeling better :) Kathi

Jill said...

I'm so confused about this gluten free thing. Is everyone more or less allergic? What is gluten in? How did you find out you were allergic? Sorry for the 20 (or 3) questions!

Wendy Coffman said...

It can be very confusing, Jill, so ask as many questions as you like. Feel free to email me or message me on FB - I'm glad to chat with you about what we've learned. The biggest problem with GF is that there isn't enough research done to understand the problem, and there's lots of conflicting info. So I read and read, then read some more to come to our conclusions. It used to be only celiac was recognized, but now they are discovering there are lots a varied levels of gluten sensitivity and allergies, which are also not the same thing. We believe that our family has a very strong gluten sensitivity, which means that when we consume gluten, it makes our tummies hurt (sometimes a lot) and cause other digestive distress. For my two youngest it also causes severe eczema type reactions. For me it also exacerbates a shoulder injury that I got in a car accident a long long time ago. We found out by doing a gluten challenge. A year ago I wouldn't have dreamed that I was having a problem with gluten - but after being GF for so long it is VERY apparent when I accidentally consume gluten, and the reaction we're having gets stronger the longer we eat clean and avoid gluten. Feel free to email me or message me if you want to chat more- I'm glad to chat!

Stasha said...

Clearly we are both night owls! You must try #55 from smith's tea maker in Portland. The best earl gray I have ever had! They ship ;)


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