Riding bikes- done! Lung – done!

So we are back, a week ago actually. And guess what? Hubby did ALL the laundry while we were away so now I can do none and get away with it for probably another 2 weeks! Woohoo!

Both kids learned to ride a bike. First big brother (9), who said “its time, take my support wheels off” and later the same day went on a 3km bike ride, then the day after, zebra kid who simply couldnt stand that her big brother knew how and demanded her support wheels came off too and later that evening did it, all on her own!

This obviously is very late for a 7 and 9 year old, but for kids who were in Dubai until very recently its pretty darned good. We never rode bikes around our sandy roads in Al Waarqa….. We did however let the kids ride bikes in the majlis (formal living room), haha.

Then lungs, the stay was shorter then I expected, but they want us back in 2 months. Her eosinophil count was higher then they expected and the new meds had to be started at a higher dose then previously planned, so we have two months for the meds to do their thing, then back again for a bronchoscopy (her third). The steroid dosage she is on now will unfortunately affect her bones, so we just have to hope her bone pain doesn’t get worse again. Bone pain wise she’s been great for about 4 weeks now with hardly any complaints. I will start the daily bone broth again and continue with the vitamin D and Magnesium oil too. Fingers crossed.

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Eggs and dogs and underwear.

Its been a while. Ive been feeling very uninspired and lazy. Frankly, its been to hot to THINK. We have had days with 33 degrees, which is not so bad actually compared to Dubai, but in Dubai there is AC everywhere! Here, the closest I get to AC is standing in front of the open fridge looking for snacks. Me and the kids have all taken to wearing just underwear in the house.

(Funny that, apparently Polish people do a fair bit of walking around in just their underwear, lol,  Polish Housewifes facebook post , my friend Brooke has a whole blog post coming on the subject )

We had a ton of new medications given to us for Celiac kid, we are getting closer to answers. Seems her lungs, the bronchii (bhroncolii?) bits, are constantly inflamed, when it flares up and gets even a tiny bit worse, pneumonia or upper respiratory infection follows. We also now know that her bone pain is highly likely to be linked to her over use of steroids. Dr has her on a new medication and we are hoping to slowly faze out her other two steroids.

Her allergy test results are also back, and they say dogs and eggs. Both a total shock. Dogs, because although we have dogs, our dogs dont have the dander normal dogs have, they are a non shedding breed and most people with pet allergies tolerate them very well. Doctor also seems to think its wrong as nothing showed on dust, yet she reacts strongly to any amount of dust. More testing needed in that department. But EGG! It all makes sense once I start reading…. egg allergy can cause wheezing, respiratory issues etc etc etc. So on the one hand Im numb and a tad devastated that she can no longer eat eggs, but on the other hand, I feel a little like we just won the lottery, because maybe, just maybe this is the answer we needed, and maybe, just maybe, her lungs will finally be able to improve!

We have also consulted a naturopath, who also happens to be one of the ladies I met with just when I started GlutenFree UAE, her daughter is gluten intolerant. She gave us some great advice and I hope to share all this with Celiac kids Dr – who seems very open minded – and hopefully we can all work together to help make this awesome shining star of a girl feel a bit better.

Celiac Kid’s comment when we told her about the eggs was ‘but mum, thats so lucky, I don’t even like eggs!’ , its true, if she knows something has egg in it she wont eat it, the only hard blow here is ice cream and pancakes. Awesome kid that she is she is already getting stuff out of the drawer asking me if she can still eat them, ‘has it got egg inside mumma?’.

We still haven’t been on our holiday, but should be off soon, then school starts with all the work that comes along for us gluten free mums, new classroom, teacher etc. I never shared my school letter last year, I will be sure to do so this year. I edit it yearly to suit our needs so have a ton of versions already 🙂

Off to make glutenfree – eggfree cheese rolls now 🙂

Have a fab day!

Linda

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Please note, its the egg thats sad, not us! 😉

Celiac, Dubai, School and another Pneumonia!

Image Boy do I owe you all an update, its been a month! Admit it, you couldn’t sleep at night for missing me? 😉 Right, so we went to Dubai, had an awesome awesome holiday. Got a sunburn, went to Wild Wadi, splashed around on the beach. Celiac kid had a wheeze by day 3, so once again it just reconfirms how right our decision was! Being in Dubai was so ‘normal’, felt like we never left, so comfortable being around those people we have known for so many years. I miss having friends like that here. It will come, Im sure. Anyway, back to Wroclaw, picked up our puppy and then Big kid started school. 1 week in he says he loves it JUST AS MUCH AS HIS SCHOOL IN DUBAI!!! Woop Woop! RESULT! After the horrid experience in the last school he deserves the best school we can possibly give him. I need to know that my kids are happy and loved whilst in school. Fingers crossed and touch wood this school keeps on delivering 🙂 Celiac kid had her birthday! She’s 5, FIVE! How the hell did this happen? My baby is a big girl? Then yeah… the crappy news. Celiac kid coughed a few days ago, just one cough, but I looked at her and I just knew what was around the corner…. the day after I ended up taking her to our landlord’s clinic (our landlord is a gastro and knows Celiac well, what luck!?), he helped me find a good Dr who speaks English and works with kids. I must say, so far the Dr is wonderful. The same afternoon we saw her, and although Celiac kid just had a slight cough and no fever (yet) the Dr listened to me and believed me. Examination confirmed a bad right lung, and by evening her fever was reaching close to 40. Thank God we acted so fast. Saw the Dr again yesterday and the entire right lung is very bad, but luckily her left lung is clear and because of this her oxygen levels have managed to stay high enough for her not to be admitted. Obviously any other kid would be admitted, but again, the Dr has listened to me and agrees Celiac Kid is better of at home. We have remained in phone contact by texting every few hours. Best part though, this Dr is already sitting at home doing Celiac research and learning more then she knows now, and is finding us a string of expert so we can investigate every avenue there is and make some kind of plan. Its not fair to keep having these pneumonias. I am no longer able to tell you how many she had…. awful. Anyway, once she is better there will be testing for other allergies, lung scans etc, Im actually at this point thinking finding something may not be so bad, because at least then you can try to treat it! Im glad I decided to not let her start school til September, this time was meant to be spent growing and getting stronger, not having pneumonia number 6 or 7, but hey ho. Im feeling positive despite all. How can I not? A great landlord, a great house, a great and understanding Dr, ok oxygen levels, a puppy!  We choose our reactions to some extent, and I am truly grateful for what we have and that I haven’t lost the plot. Every time the sh**t hits the fan and Im able to stay with my feet firmly on the ground is a victory in it self. I have blog posts waiting to be written, Celiac Awareness one with some great links from lovely blogging friends, and also an Airplane food one. Soon, One day InshAllah! -Linda

Moving time! (again)

What a week!

Friday morning last week we were in Poznan, Friday evening we were in Wroclaw. By Sunday I had somehow magically managed to unpack everything! Then a frantic whizzing from place to place to sort out the school, kennels for dogs for our trip, food shopping, food shopping research (gluten free peeps know exactly what I mean!) etc etc.

We somehow managed to pick a great area for ourselves without ever having visited (thats how we roll, haha). Its great with tons of greenery, kids and barking dogs.

Im not sure what it is with barking dogs here…. if my dogs bark they get told off, but it seems here many people have dogs to deter from break-ins, and a quiet dog sleeping indoors obviously doesn’t deter much, so dogs are left stood in gardens barking. Drives me slightly bonkers, but it is what it is. At least I feel totally warranted to smile smugly at all these dog owners that MY dogs are so well trained and don’t bark.

We found a great little shop that sells organic produce and some freshly baked gluten free goods. I was to scared to get any of the baked stuff because even though the lady assured me it was baked in a gluten free kitchen you just never know. I need my hubby to go and ask her all the tough questions in Polish. But the produce! Gigantic organic apples that tasted like the apples from my childhood, I cant wait for summer when all the locally grown berries will come!

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The shop is called Awokado – delikatesy ekologiczne, they have a facebook page (opens in new window).

Slightly further up the same road there is yet another eko (organic) shop, a family farm and the produce is sold in someones garden! Eko eggs and veggies. Im in HEAVEN 😀

I have yet to find where the shops selling all the breads are hiding, so far its all schar. Im guessing I need to find another delikatessen. In Poznan we found most of the breads in normal supermarkets. Im sure I will find all what we need eventually.

Few more days now then its Dubai time! Cant wait. Also cant wait to come back and for kids to start their new international school where people speak only english. Happy happy happy! 😀

-Linda

 

Let the farm begin!

So much now to look forwards to. A new baby will be joining us in the end of April, he’s furry with 4 legs. I cant wait. Our dogs are not really ‘our dogs’, they are my dogs. This little guy will belong to the children as much as me, and I cant wait for us all to bond with him!

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He is a Havanese of course, its s small breed, non shedding, a breed that most people with pet allergies tolerate well. Celiac Kid wants a kitten, and big brother wants a budgie, and daddy said yes… (!!!!??!!). Lets see what happens with that. Big brother says ‘Let the farm begin’ and laughs. He must have heard one of us say it.

Before fur baby joins us there will be a trip to our beloved Dubai, and even before that another move!

On Friday we are off again, Im grateful that this time we are ‘only’ moving town, not country! Funnily enough Im not stressed in the slightest, just very very exited to go – get settled – make friends. And obviously, as with any new location… find all the best gluten free stores!

Wroclawians (can you say that?), if you have any good gluten free tips, please share with me!

So April will be busy to say the least, but good busy 🙂 Great busy!

-Linda

Ice Ice Baby! (had to be said!)

The frost has arrived in Poland.

Every morning we go out and scrape the car, I bought 3 scrapers. Every morning the kids go ‘ICE! MUMMA ICE! Look, its snow’. Every morning I have to tell them its not snow, only frost. They nod and say, ‘almost like snow mumma’. Im not sure who is more exited at this point, me or them! They are exited for the snow, I am exited to see their faces when it comes.

V was very offended the other day when I told his teacher he has never seen snow. ‘YES I HAVE! I saw it in Mall of Emirates! Ski Dubai!’, What he failed to mention is that ski Dubai is an indoor ski slope, in a mall, and that we were watching from the outside, through a thick window, while dressed in summer clothes.

My kids are in for a big surprise! So exiting!!

-Linda

Cabbage, Potato and ehm….. more cabbage..?

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Perhaps Im spoiled. Having lived in Dubai for 8 years Im used to seeing a huge variety of foods in the supermarkets. I remember shopping in Dubai after I had just arrived, seeing so many different fruits and vegetables, some I had never seen before. Spiky pink things, funny shaped oval yellow things etc etc. It was an adventure learning to cook with some and trying all the ones I was brave enough to try! Dubai supermarkets will have an abundance of things from America, Australia, Europe, Uk, Asia. Yes sure, we complain when things go out of stock, but bottom line, we are spoiled for choice in Dubai. Meat is flown in, great quality lamb, beef, fish, chicken, turkey and even pork in selected shops! The cereal aisle has so many brands you couldnt count them! Even in the smaller shops!

And now, here I am, in Poland. The first few supermarkets I went to I couldnt quiet put my finger on what it was, everything seems the same as anywhere else. Then after a few shops I realised what it was! Even though the shops might be big and the sections are big, its all a repeat of the same stuff over and over. In my local supermarket in Dubai there would be no less then 8 different brands of apples, all from different parts of the world, in my local supermarket here, the apple section may be almost the same size, but its all just one or two kinds of apple. Same thing in the veggie section. Where I used to have a great choice of onions, red, white, brown, organic brown, indian red, American red, shallots etc. Here. There is just one kind. Go to any section, and its similar. Rice section, a handful of brands, cereal section, again, a handful. The fruits and veg are very seasonal. Cabbage, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, onion, leek, potato. Apples, Bananas, clementines. The more high end places have more. You might even find avocado in some. 

Actually….. I started this post with ‘perhaps Im spoiled’, I realise now that I am. You get used to going to the supermarket and picking whatever you like based on what you like, not based on what they have. Meat here is chicken, chicken, more chicken, turkey, pork, pork, more pork, and then sausages and pates in every shape imaginable, most not ok for us as few are gluten free. Beef and lamb is around of course (although so far I have not seen any lamb), but I dont understand the labels and I dont recognise the cuts, obviously this is my problem, not the supermarkets fault.

I find myself not really knowing what to eat. Its strange, because of course there is plenty of food in the shops, but its just not at all what Im used to. I guess I need to try to cook more with whats there instead of walking around looking for what Im used to. Even gluten free is hard to come by, even though this is Europe.  Actually, I shouldn’t say hard, it was hard, for the first few weeks, now that I know the shops and I know where to go, its not so bad, but it wasn’t as readily available as I had expected. 

My week used to be so easy, meal plan wise lamb 1-2 times, seafood 1 time, beef once, pasta once, 1 leftover day and a veggie day. It was rare we had chicken. Now its all chicken. I need to be more prepared I guess. Buy the good stuff in advance and freeze, find myself a local butcher perhaps.

I hope this post doesn’t come across as whiny and depressing, I don’t mean for it to sound that way at all. Im more surprised then anything. Im embracing it, slowly, today we boiled cabbage in chicken stock as a side for dinner, kids loved it! And food here, is cheap! I mean, really really cheap. Tomatoes that we pay over 20dhs per kilo for in Dubai are sold here (same brand, from same country) for 1.80dhs per kilo. Im guessing my carbon footprint is also happy (ecstatic probably). I mean hello, it rained enough in the last week to turn the desert green 4 times over! 

Now, if you’ll all forgive me, I must go and google ‘leftover cabbage recipes’, perhaps you have one to share? Who knew 1dhs worth of cabbage would go that far??

-Linda

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