Welcome to the family celiac genes, we are not pleased to have you!!

I have been quiet lately. I have my reasons. Those of you following the Facebook page will know why….

I have been UBER busy coming to terms with the reality of celiac genetics. The reality is, that me and my son, both have the genes. Yes, genes! We both have BOTH the celiac genes. Congratulations to us.

Its funny how after 4 years of joking with my celiac buddies that I am probably a “closet celiac’, and 2 of my favourite doctors agreeing its safe to assume I am celiac too, now that I have this paper, I am in TOTAL denial. And I mean total. I haven’t eaten gluten for over 4 years, but now that I have this result, all I want to do is run out and eat gluten…!

After over 4 years of being pretty sure that I have the gene (and not doing the test because I wasn’t emotionally ready – read chicken) I am now in total shock and denial. I keep re checking the paper to see if its really true, if I really have the bloody gene, I read it and re read it, and I keep laughing (rather hysterically mind) because this is us, and of course I have the gene!

(Did you watch Friends? The episode where Chandler and Monica are in bed and they are talking about who the father of the baby they are about to adopt may be, and Chandler says, this is us, ofcourse its the ax murderer. Well thats a bit like me and my family, and a constant joke between me and hubby.)

I keep saying to myself that fine, its just a gene, and obviously I don’t have celiac. Obviously right??? Never mind the bone pain, the migraines, the fact that until I cut gluten I was the skinniest girl in the world and that Ive had stomach issues pretty much my entire life…… All of a sudden in my head all this… – not gluten related at all! (Im in denial, didn’t I tell you?)

Never mind the fact that we just spent 11 days in Greece and that I ate gluten free but not contamination free and a week after getting back my tummy is still in absolute bits and I can hardly move its hurting so bad. Stress you know…. (told you I was in denial).

For my son, we stuffed him with as much gluten as we possibly could during holiday and did another celiac profile. His profile that was done at the same time as the genetic test was negative…. Im not sure why… the previous was inconclusive. I know he has a rash that is gluten connected and he himself says he feels confused and forgetful at times (when eating gluten) – could it be he is describing brain fog?

Clever 8 year old that he is though we have talked to him about the options, and he wants a positive test before cutting gluten, just so he can know for sure and be careful. I hope the next profile is positive so we can just be done with it, if not I will speak to our celiac professor and see if they can do a biopsy on him. If he had no symptoms I would just keep doing the profiles I guess, but there are symptoms, mild, but still symptoms. Some may argue we should just cut it and be done with it, but without a diagnosis I fear he will not be strict and continue to eat gluten at parties and play dates. This is not an option if he has celiac, so I do feel in his case its important to pursue a complete diagnosis. He agrees, and not because I talked him in to it. we listed his options and he picked “knowing for sure” and having a biopsy if needed. I am so so proud of him. SUPER proud.

For those of you who have no idea what Im talking about, heres the deal. There are two genes connected to celiac, one of them is pretty common and the other rare. You can have one or both genes and never ever develop celiac disease. However, if you do have one (or both) of the genes, its important to remember celiac can develop at any time – statistically its more likely that it wont though.

Usually a genetic test is used to rule out celiac, it is not used to diagnose, as it only tells you if you have the genes necessary to develop celiac, not if you actually have the disease. A positive celiac blood test (which looks for antibodies to gluten) and a positive biopsy of the small intestine is still the go to method for a celiac diagnosis. 

In other cases, the genetic profile may be done to gather information when you cant do the celiac profile, like my case. I am not eating gluten, so the celiac blood test would show a negative. You need to be eating gluten for a celiac blood test to be accurate. 6-8 weeks of daily gluten, minimum! Going back on gluten is usually called a gluten challenge or a gluten force. 

In some countries they say to test first degree relatives for celiac every 1-2 years, others say if there are symptoms only. Of course, if you have a negative genetic result, further testing would be unnecessary. I wish more countries would make genetic testing easier to get. Here in Poland its relatively cheap and we just walk in to a private lab and request it. 

Ho hum, so thats us all up to date. This closet celiac is still in the closet and now also in denial. I cant do a gluten challenge as it would make me to ill.

I also dragged hubby to the lab and had him do the genetic profile, he already has his DH diagnosis and a positive blood result under his belt, but he too is in denial, for a long time now, haha, what can you do.

I guess the name for the blog, Gluten Free & ME, is just so much more fitting now.

-Linda

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On a pancake mission – day 1

Gluten free was easy. Gluten free pancakes taste amazing and I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t love them (they are better then gluten ones, trust me!). But then you go almost completely lactose free and egg free and you sort of sit and wonder, if pancakes are lactose free, egg free and gluten free, are they still pancakes?

Well, after almost a year of being pancake less I decided to go on a pancake mission.

Pancake 1

This is a combination of several recipes I found online, the base recipe(s) had more milk and fancy flavours, they also had gluten. So, this is what I did.

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1,1/2 dl gf flour (I used a cake one rather then a bread one, but whichever should be fine)
  • 3dl milk (lactose free or whatever tickles your fancy)
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • a squirt of evoo (or melted butter is fine if that works for you), a bit in the batter and some more for frying

Mash the banana in a bowl and add other ingredients, whisk well so its not to lumpy. Fry as you would a “normal’ pancake.

Verdict: Well, there is one thing in the world I will not eat or try ever, and its banana. I apparently didn’t like it even as a baby. My mum forced me to eat one in childhood at some point and I promptly puked. I cant even stand the smell. So, I almost died having to mash the thing. Honest. But almost dying is worth it for my kids, so mash I did, with my head turned away and running to the hallway for breathing breaks. I cant tell you what it tastes like. But Celiac kid ate almost all of them! She was screaming and jumping up and down from being so happy about pancakes, she says they are the best everrrrrr! I guess thats a pretty good verdict 🙂 From a cooking point of view Id say they burn pretty easily, I had to keep the temp lower then “normal” pancakes. They were also a bit runny, so a bit bigger then what we usually make, but maybe more flour would have fixed this. Anyhow, daughter gives these a 5/5. I wont rate them as I didnt try, and big brother is in school so missed out on these.

Pancake number 2 tomorrow!

-Linda

EDIT TO ADD: I managed to save 1 little pancake which big brother ate cold after school, he gave it a 6/5 and drew me a “best pancake maker in the world” certificate. I think we are on to a winner!

Dont forget to “like” GlutenFree & Me on Facebook!

Myths and facts and insensitive bas***ds (FAQ about Celiac)

Why is your house gluten free? I mean common, its just gluten right? 

Because Celiac disease kills. Yup, it kills. Only it does it slowly without huge obvious signs. Would you keep nut dust around in a nut allergy home?

Oh common, just one bite wont hurt? 

Hell yes it will. It will hurt, ALOT. In some you cant see it, in some the effects are felt and heard, for a long time. The last contamination we had the effects lasted almost 3 months (and that wasn’t a bite, it was contamination!)

Oh yeah, Im allergic to gluten too.

No you are not. You either have Celiac disease, gluten sensitivity (NCGS) or Celiac disease. Celiac disease is not an allergy, its an autoimmune disease.

You are just being difficult / embarrassing. 

HELL YES, Im trying to save my kids life here. Did you know Celiacs who are not gluten free or are repeatedly exposed to gluten have a much larger chance of premature death then the general population? There is also a higher chance of developing another autoimmune disease, as well as the risk of malnourishment and everything that comes with it, to name just a few of reasons I am being difficult / embarrassing.

Do you really have to wipe the darn table when we go out for coffee (insert eye-roll)

Yup, I do, if you cant deal with it you cant be my friend. An 8th of a breadcrumb can be enough for a reaction, thats my kid touching the table all over and then forgetting about it and popping a finger in her mouth or touching her lip then accidentally licking it. If you are my friend, you will help me wipe and give evil looks to anyone that stares!

Its Christmas, let her have one, it wont hurt her

Sorry, Celiac disease doesn’t take holidays.

Gluten is killed off / burnt off in high temperatures

If this logic was correct we would be able to eat a loaf of bread, its baked in the oven…. or an onion ring thats deep fried…? No… not so much? Didn’t think so.

So if you can write a list of what she can and can’t eat….

Yes, because that would be so easy, why didn’t I think of that earlier! THANK YOU!

If you leave bread out overnight the gluten will evaporate.

You really must have had a really special kind of education….. like …. say what?

Don’t worry, she will grow out of it.

What part of THIS. IS. NOT. AN. ALLERGY. Did you not understand? Autoimmune diseases are like very special gifts, they are for life.

Cant you just scrape the filling out of the bread and eat that? / PEEL the KFC chicken? /Pick the croutons out / Scrape the breading off?

Yeah, sure, lets sprinkle nuts all over this donut and then scrape it off a bit with a spoon and feed it to your nut allergy anaphylactic kid! No? Didn’t think so.

Oh gluten? Thats only in pasta and bread, not that hard.

hahahahahahaha. Thats is all. Really, hahahahaha.

Its SOUP, there is no gluten in SOUP!!

SO glad you told me, so AWESOME to have met an expert on this. THANKS! Assume you checked the thickener and the stock cubes? Oh yes, those can have gluten too. Never mind the small bits of pasta / croutons / barley / whatever floating in it…..

If I threw a crumb in her mouth what would happen?

You may very well end up dead thats what would happen

I got this for me and the kids – I couldn’t find anything you/she/he could eat

Yes, because picking up some sliced melon, bananas, fruit, plain yogurt, berries, cheese slices or anything cleverly labelled (!!) gluten free would have been too difficult. I understand.

You really are fussy aren’t you.

Yes, extra specially fussy in a very special kind of way 🙂

But, she’s not going to EAT glue / playdough / waterpaint 

No, but she’s 5. How many 5 year olds do you know who are impeccably clean after playing with stuff like that? Actually, scrap that. YES, she might eat it.


Might have to edit this one and add more later. Thanks to the awesome gluten free people in the Facebook group called Gluten Free and Me (not mine) for helping some with some of theirs. The lady who was told she was only Celiac because of her pregnancy must have been the best one. Or the gluten evaporates one. Heck, some of the stuff some of these people have been told, often by close friends and relatives ASTOUND me. Surely people who know someone with Celiac would take their time to do a quick google on actual facts?

I actually meant to put proper answers explaining very carefully, until I realised just how much bottled up gluten rage I held inside! Go ahead, add yours in the comments below or on my facebook page!

For those of you with a sense of humour failure, this kind of stuff is the stuff families like ours hears on an almost daily basis, while we smile sweetly and answer politely for the 5th time at the same dinner party, these are the answers in our heads. Or at least mine.

-Linda

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Being in a gluten free cult……?

Its been a while since I blogged about our journey. I feel like there is nothing new, just more of the same….

Christmas came, we were all sick. Celiac kid had another pneumonia, older brother had a virus with high fever for a week, and I had a bad throat infection. Merry Christmas to us!

I finally got around to open our letter from Karpacz and make the next set of appointments, I just wasn’t emotionally ready until now. We already went and saw the celiac specialist, and he is convinced her Celiac is WELL under control and all her vitamin levels etc point to us doing a great job in not exposing her. He is putting the not growing down to long term use of steroids, and he agrees with the Karpacz specialists that there is probably something wrong with her immune system. We are now booked in to go to yet another hospital and run a series of tests there. If they come up with nothing there, there is one last specialist in warsaw that may be able to help us…. my stomach  my stomach is in knots just saying this. After being told about the next hospital stay I felt like I couldn’t breathe for two days, I was walking around my house just trying to remain sane…. the stuff in my mind, the pressure, the thoughts whirling around… its unbelievable. How the hell do you stay normal through all this… how do people cope? 

Needless to say the whole family is under a huge amount of stress right now. Lost it with some idiot online the other day who called people who eat gluten free “part of the gluten free cult”. People really need to think before they speak. Such stupid, idiot remarks are totally unnecessary. Im pretty sure no one would say “insulin cult” about diabetics or “chemo cult” about cancer patients… nooo, because that would be offensive. Joking about Celiac and glutenfree should be no different.

My family have been through so much, we don’t need belittling by total strangers (or assholes!).

Im tired beyond belief. Not the kind of tired that can be fixed by sleep, but the kind of tired that leaves you spending a whole day just sitting and staring and doing nothing because you cant get your head together.

What else? Oh yes…. big brothers Celiac test came back. Inconclusive.

I mean, hello!!???

I actually had to laugh, its like some great big joke.

Big brother will now eat gluten for one more month with more added in as he may not have been eating enough of it, then we will do the bloods again and also the genetics and if needed the biopsy. He’s being brave, but he wants to stop eating gluten now because he says he feels confused. Im guessing he’s trying to describe brain fog? (A common symptom in celiacs). Either way, its all good, we just need to know for sure so we can do the right thing for him. Usually he eats 98% gluten free anyway, only has gluten at friends houses. Obviously if he’s celiac that cant continue.

So, thats my update.

Happy New Year!

-Linda

Ooooh, and we had snow and made snow angels!! 😀

Having to eat gluten…..

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So my son is the only one in my family who was never tested for celiac. We were given some pretty bad advice when Celiac kid was first diagnosed and told that it was highly unlikely to have a second child with Celiac. This is obviously not true. If Celiac is in the family there is a 20% chance (or more) of first degree relatives also having it.

Hubby tested positive, I tested negative but had already been gluten free for some time (and I have pretty obvious reactions to gluten should I try to eat some now), so of course my son needs to be tested! Only, in order to do the test you need to be eating a normal gluten containing diet. By the time we realised son should be tested our house was already totally gluten free. Eating gluten at a friends house once a week is not enough for the test results to be accurate.

We tried a few times to do the gluten challenge, but it just didn’t work and we gave up on the second or third day every time. Now here in Poland he has been eating school lunches provided at school instead of a packed lunch. Its probably not been as high in gluten as he needs but he’s been going for over 2 months (a gluten challenge / gluten force is usually recommended to be 6-8 weeks).

So today is the day, after school off we go for that needle prick! Son himself is convinced he has “it”. I don’t think he does, but I have noticed he has been more restless and very forgetful (more then usual) during his challenge. Says a lot about the gluten / brain connection. Perhaps brain fog is not just something that affects celiacs? I sure as hell cant wait to get him back on my food, and neither can he!

I know many kids with autism, ADD or ADHD do tons better without gluten in their diet. Maybe we would all be better off without gluten? I sure think so.

If it turns out son has celiac then I guess in his case its pretty silent, so wont really make much difference to his life as it is now. I obviously hope he doesn’t have it, but either way it doesn’t really matter. Then its only my genetic test to go! 3 years now Ive had the sample pot and not done it. Im too chicken! Although my Dr is convinced I am a closet celiac and Im pretty sure I have the gene, its almost to final to actually get it on black and white! Some celiac campaigner I am huh? 😛

Son first then me. Nag me, ok?

Linda

Playdough Contamination.

I had a discussion with a lady who runs a big (gluten free) blog here in Poland about Playdough. She said its ok for her (celiac) kids to play with as long as they wash after, Ive always said no way Jose. Playdough residue sticks to your hands, under your nails and gets everywhere. Any classroom with gluten free kids should (in my opinion) be a gluten playdough free zone. If other kids play with it little bits will get everywhere, on the floor, on their shoes etc, the risk of contamination is just to large, and one that is easy enough to eliminate.

Our school uses playdough, but Celiac kids class all use gluten free playdough. I bought enough for the whole class and I have extra at home that can be brought in any time. You can also easily make it, but Im lazy 😉

We are on week 3 now after contamination. Something went wrong in art class and celiac kid got given a piece of playdough to stick something on to something with. She wiped her hands after, but with play dough, wiping is just not enough. There should be nail brushing and plenty of hot soapy water all supervised by an adult and even then its just not a great idea as residue may still remain on the hands or in the environment.

I picked her up that day and her tummy was huge. Imagine a 5 year old girl about 7 months pregnant. Thats how her tummy looked.  Of course at that point I didn’t know why, I just knew there had been contamination. I also knew it must have been little, because she was not in extreme pain.

Celiac kid was home then for a couple of days, I cant actually remember why, but for the following two weeks she had diarrhea and also a few occasions of vomiting. Horrendous stomach cramps, mainly in the evenings or after eating.  Of course all this has its own issues, fear of using the toilet, having small accidents in school and being embarrassed, ashamed and insecure. Fear of eating because after eating there is more stomach pain. Tearful, cranky, very very tired etc. I obviously don’t know all the symptoms, because many of them she would be to young to explain to me.

It took a week or so to get to the bottom of what contaminated her. I am not angry that it happened, its all a learning curve, for all of us. The art teacher had not received the same paper work as the other teachers and was not aware playdough had gluten in it. I blame myself for this, although some may argue its the schools job. I say its all our jobs. And now me, the teacher and support staff will be sure to remind / point out an extra time that playdough has gluten and where the gluten free one is kept. Celiac kid herself is also old enough to ask and has been told that asking is a good idea.

My point here is, that gluten playdough is not really safe. There is a risk involved. If you have Celiac kids, please do not allow them to use gluten playdough in school. Make gluten free one (I have a ton of pins on pinterest), or buy it. Below is a gluten free brand widely available in many countries.

So we continue on with week 3 after contamination, we continue being dairy free while she heals, and give extra cuddles and probiotics. For some playdough, all this, is definitely not worth it.

Remember also, that not everyone will have a clear reaction, damage on the inside still occurs! 

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-Linda

Lipgloss, nail polish and other stuff girls want.

When your little girl comes to you and says, ‘mummy, I want nail polish, just like you’, do you feel proud or all mushy inside or does your heart sink?

Things are not so straight forward when you have a gluten free kid. Nail polish, like a gazillion other things, can contain gluten. Nails, are on your hands, and you use your hands when you eat bla bla etc, so nail polish must be gluten free. You cant just go out and buy a nail polish and hope for the best. You can google obviously, and you will find TONS of lists online saying which brands are ok, but if those results are over 6 months old you have to consider the fact that the recipes may have changed. I tend to google for companies that have proper gluten policies, rather then just one product thats gluten free. You could also go for one of those companies that specialise in making only gluten free products, but the truth is that they are expensive, and do other girls and women want to have just 1-2 companies to choose from? Obviously not.

So we went shopping, for lipgloss and nail polish. I already knew I would go for essie with the nail polish and I was hoping to find a lipgloss once there. Armed with my google results and my smart phone we found 2 awesome people in the makeup shop who helped us with the lipgloss, we ended up with a Loreal one that cost well over 100dhs/zloty. No cheap barbie stuff for this little girl! haha.

As a parent its important to me that my kid doesn’t feel super different, in the case of makeup (which she will absolutely not wear fully until she is in her teens thank you very much) it means mummy has to help, that she cant have one of those beauty pouches from the toy shop full of glitter and raspberry flavoured stuff. Thats ok. Putting on some lipgloss and wearing nail polish every now and then is part of growing up, so I will buy the right stuff and thats that.

In our family everything is ‘the right stuff’. All our soaps, shampoos etc are gluten free. Always.

People are always asking me to make lists of the stuff we use. The truth is Im not so comfortable with this, because information can change so fast, and if someone used something because I said its safe I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night! So just remember when you check something, don’t trust just one source and make sure the info you are getting is current. If you have questions pop them on the blogs facebook page and ask, or ask here 🙂 I also pin LOADS of body and house stuff on my pinterest boards.

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-Linda

 

 

Does fun = Junk?

obesity-snapshotSo, I have gotten rather heavily involved in the PTA this school year. Yesterday we all had a meeting to plan the events for the rest of the year. Not the first meeting, there have been a few, and in the events department the thing that keeps popping up is FOOD.

As one of those mums, any event involving food is just another opportunity for my child to feel singled out, lonely and different. As a mum, this ties my stomach in to knots. Big ones.

Food – in my opinion – has no place in school unless its eaten at lunch or snack time, and then it should be the child’s own food thats consumed, and no junk.

Having a Fun food Friday or a similar event is ok, but only if the food can be enjoyed by all and is healthy!  Try telling that to the PTA! haha. Apparently, food is only fun if its junk. Apparently, it has to be mc Donald’s or Pizza or there is no point. Now, Im sorry, Im not trying to be a party pooper here, but hasn’t society ‘got it’ yet? That obesity is an epidemic? That we are raising a generation of kids that eat as much sugar in a day that kids a century ago may not have eaten in a year or even in their lives? That heart disease in the young is on the rise, as is diagnosis’s such as ADD and ADHD and concentration issues etc are also sky high? That giving the kids a meal of Mc Donals’d is not FUN at all, but in fact teaching them that rewards = food, fun = junk and sending the wrong message entirely? Couldn’t Fun food friday be fun in the park friday, or fun fruit salad making day? Or just fun food friday involving something other then high starch high sugar high toxin foods that I as a parent don’t want to feed my kid like ever – gluten or not!?

My celiac kid, she know she is different. She knows she has to eat only her food. She knows junk is bad. We go to extreme lengths to make sure her food is highly nourishing, packed with vitamins, and mainly sugar free, organic etc. We think 11 pneumonias is enough and we do what we can to strengthen her system, her body. So what message does it send when school wants to serve junk and on top of that they choose to call it fun!

Don’t even get me started on birthday cake celebrations. WHY? I am sending my kids to a private school to be educated, I never asked for them to be served cake. Again, its just another time my child gets to feel different, not just my child, many children. I am paying for my children to be educated….. not to sit and be made to feel different. Hate what I say all you like, this was my opinion before our Celiac diagnosis also. We actually chose our last school (before diagnosis) partly because of their food policy! Their policy allowed no junk, fizzy drinks, cakes, donuts, chocolates etc in lunch boxes, no nuts, no food sharing, and no birthday cakes. No birthday parties during school hours (woohoo). For childrens birthdays, parents were allowed to bring in a small sealed bag with a treat or toy for each child, it was given at the end of the day and any food items were not allowed to be eaten in school. The school soon had half of Dubai’s allergy kids in it, because the policy is fantastic, and guess what, no one ever complained! Those were the rules and thats that!

We couldn’t choose a school here in Wroclaw based on food policy because the schools we visited did not have a policy. I asked about food policies and birthday (cake) policies and was met with shrugs and question marks.

Its 2014! Aren’t we, parents, teachers and educators more aware then this? Shouldn’t every school have a healthy eating policy? Should we not stop giving kids unhealthy foods as treats? From the PTA meetings it seems that I am in the wrong and Im just alienating myself talking about it….. even more reason to have a policy set by a school, because this way you are taking away my choice of what to feed my child. Because obviously if the other kids eat junk I will replicate that junk best as I can, and she will still feel different and it is just so not ok.

Just one last thing, my children are not deprived. They eat nice food, they eat good food, sometimes its even fun. But its not junk, so shoot me!

-Linda

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Don’t forget to join in the fun on the Facebook page!

You win some you loose some….. (allergies!)

So we are back from the hospital in the mountains. It was amazing, gorgeous, and calm and everything you could possibly ever ask for in a hospital, the scenery in Karpacz is amazing. Oh, and they could FEED her! First hospital stay where she ate the food!!

Results? Well, not all test results are in yet, but it looks like CF is more or less ruled out. Celiac kiddos lungs are healthy with no damage! If anything she has strong lungs that have been able to cope with so many pneumonias. The doctor almost got himself a big slobbery kiss when he told me this. Then I remembered Im married (although the news was so amazing Im sure hubby would have forgiven me, heck, even done the kissing himself!).

We left with a couple of handfuls of more allergies diagnosed, but egg was not giving a reaction this time!! We had an egg challenge which went well so we are now able to introduce limited egg to the diet!

So what remains now? The liver, kidneys, lungs, heart, spleen etc have all been looked at! So, now the immune system. Her blood is fine, but part of the immune system has something to do with the cells, so thats next on the list. We are also being reffered to the paediatric gastros here in Wroclaw to speak about her growth (which is not really happening) and follow up in regards to her Celiac.

Now fingers crossed the genetic test and last sweat test comes back clear, but the doctor wouldn’t even consider that it may not as her lungs are GOOD! Woop woop!

I leave you with some images from Karpacz, all iPhone pictures, so just imagine if I’d had my proper camera!

-Linda

The meaning of life…..

Pretty deep right…? I am not very religious, I don’t really pray or go to church, but I believe that good things happen to good people, I believe there is a reason for everything, I believe that what happens to us has some kind of meaning, reason. I have to believe this, because thats the only way I can really accept it. It is very clear to me why Celiac kiddo, MY kid was diagnosed with celiac…. because the UAE needed us. Look at the massive change and impact my campaigning has made to the lives of thousands in the UAE. Blatant obvious reason. It was meant to be, it had a higher purpose.

But now…? WHAT THE HELL is the meaning of this? Have I not done enough? Can I just please rest now? I cant make sense of any of this. Its not fair (<- said in the voice of a grumpy 3 year old child). Im tired now, I need a break….. we all need a break.

Not a holiday break kindof break, but a go to school every day and nothing crappy happens for ages kindof break. Its not really to much to ask is it? I keep paying stuff in to the karma bank and I do whatever I can for others, charities etc….and still now…. Im just so tired.

So much for opening wordpress to try to give you all an upbeat happy post….

Really, Im not an ungrateful cow, I know I have so much to be grateful for – even in all this. I am grateful every day that we are together, that I can spend every second on my day on focusing on my children, that we have awesome doggies, that we have a nice house to live in and can afford to buy the best foods the shops have to offer. That my kids go to a great private school with small class sizes, etc etc etc. But now, please, I just want normal. for a bit…..

-Linda