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Rilyn’s Diet/Weight Update – 15 Months

18 Dec

We had another check up with the GI earlier this week. Long story short, she’s actually lost weight since our appointment a month ago. While I’m trying to remind myself that it’s only been 10 days since she’s weaned from nursing, and that a drop in weight was expected, I’m worried. This is what I was afraid of happening before we weaned, why I was hesitant. She’s tiny already, incredibly picky about what she eats, and inconsistent in the foods she likes. All of those make for a difficult time in trying to get her to gain weight. Our plan right now is to continue on like normal for another 20 or so days, making it a full month since nursing last, and then we’ll re-evaluate her weight. Hopefully she’ll increase her food intake on her own. If she doesn’t, we’ll have to start her on a supplement called Elecare Jr. Dairy free stuff, but super high in calories.

I’m really hoping it won’t come down to that. Obviously. And I’m pretty sure we’ll have to take out a loan in order to afford it. (That’s only slightly exaggerated.)  I’ll be trying my hardest to get her to eat/drink more without just pouring sugar down her throat. So, I’m doing everything I can to add as many high calorie/high fat foods into her diet. I’m hiding avocados in smoothies, putting peanut butter on whatever I can, and using butter (dairy and soy free of course) on anything and everything. It’s incredibly difficult to give a toddler a high calorie diet without milk, real butter, cheese, etc, and it’s incredibly difficult to offer a variety of foods when you’re so limited in the first place. This dairy and soy intolerance sure has caused us a lot of trouble throughout the past year.

I have to say, though, all of this aside, I feel like weaning her was the right decision. She’s sleeping MUCH better and we have seen an increase in her eating, we just need that to translate to her gaining weight. Today she drank 6 ounces of coconut milk. Yes, for the whole day,  but that’s the most she has drunk from a sippy cup ever. Just a few weeks ago she was only drinking 1-2 ounces a day. So, progress!

If you feel so inclined, please pray that our baby starts gaining some weight, that she realizes food is uh-maze-balls, and that she just wants to eat all the live-long day! We’ll absolutely do it if we need to, but hopefully our bank account won’t have to meet Elecare Jr.

Rilyn’s 15 Month Update

21 Nov

At 15 months:
- weighing 19.6 pounds
-wearing 12 month clothing, size 2 shoes, some size 3
-wearing size 3 diapers
-walking EVERYWHERE!
-getting into EVERYTHING!
-3 teeth (top right middle, bottom right middle and the tooth to the right of that one. Still waiting on that bottom left middle and top left middle)
-saying dada, mama, uh-oh
-So stubborn! So strong-willed! So dramatic!
-Loves to dance!
-So smiley, such a sweetheart, but I fear you might be a bit of a bully. You already beat up your big sister. You love to pull her hair and then when I tell you not to pull hair, you just laugh.
-You pat our back when you give hugs. It’s the cutest!

I just can’t get enough of you! I love you so!

***********

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated about Rilyn’s food issues. So, here goes.

At 15 months, we’re officially just soy and dairy free. Eggs are good! We had a trial with soy a couple weeks ago; I ate chinese food. It was good but honestly, my soy free chinese food is just as delicious. So there’s that. Unfortunately, soy is a no-go for Rilyn. (Keep in mind she didn’t have any directly, just what she got from my breastmilk.)

Also, we’re still waiting for her diapers to return to normal.

Earlier this week we met with her GI doctor for a follow up. Before her appointments Brandon and I like to mentally list out any questions/topics we want to talk with the doctor about. Ry’s weight was one of the things we wanted to mention. We weigh her pretty frequently at home, so we’re aware of when and how much she’s gaining. For a long time I’ve felt like she hasn’t been where she should be. Her doctor beat us to the punch, though. He said that we’ll put the food stuff on the back burner for now, until we get her weight stabilized. When we went in 3 months ago, she was measuring in the 14th percentile. This month she was in the 7th percentile and has dropped on her growth curve. So getting her weight back up is priority number one. We’ve started working with a dietician and I’ve already begun implementing some of her tips/tricks at home. We’re hoping to see an improvement when we go back next month.

I felt so incompetent after that appointment. Not because of anything the doctor or nurses did. We LOVE them! I just felt like I failed at helping my child. I know that’s ridiculous, but I couldn’t help it. I can’t force her to eat, I am only in charge of when I offer food and what foods I give her. (She’s also battling an awful cold right now, so that’s not helping the situation.) I just feel like I should know what I need to do to get my child to eat, but I’m clueless. She’s so inconsistent in her likes and dislikes, and is the most strong-willed, stubborn thing I’ve ever met! Hopefully we’ll get some great ideas from the dietician and begin seeing her eat more and gain weight.

And for the biggie. Our doctor suggested that I wean Rilyn. He thinks that if I stop nursing her, she’ll start eating more. He mentioned that kids are super smart, even at 15 months, and she knows that she likes nursing. Whether it’s the taste of the breastmilk, the comfort, or the snuggly bonding time with me, she prefers to nurse and might be holding back from eating table foods because she knows she’ll get the “good stuff”  later from me. Brandon and I have talked about this a few times before, and we think the doctor may be right. Plus, I think I’m ready. Rilyn has 3 teeth now and sometimes it’s uncomfortable to nurse! Also, a change needs to be made. I nurse her before her nap, before bedtime, and whenever she wakes up in the middle of the night. In short, she nurses before falling asleep. She’s never slept through the night, and I’m always exhausted. Always. Maybe weaning will help with this?

Anywho, this is where we’re at. We’ll revisit the food intolerances when we get our girl a little chunkier. Until then, could you send a few prayers for Rilyn eating better, and for easy weaning (whenever we decide to start) our way?

Thanks, friends!

Diet Update

30 Oct

There’s a reason I don’t allow myself to get excited/my hopes up for the outcome of certain things. Its my way of sheltering myself in case its a huge letdown. I should have known better, but things were going so well with adding foods back into my diet and introducing them to Rilyn. I guess I just got carried away. Regardless, it all came to a halt tonight.

Rilyn reacts to soy. She hasn’t had any directly which means her intolerance is strong enough that she’s reacting to soy in my breast milk.

I’m on the verge of tears. It’s been 8 months since I’ve had any trace of dairy. No milk, no ice cream, no butter, no cheese. And up until recently, I hadn’t had any soy since March. This week we intro’d soy back to my diet and tonight Miss R’s diapers were back to the way they once were. If she’s reacting to soy, my hopes are not high for dairy. In fact, there is no hope. None. I’m 99% sure dairy will be a no-go.

Cue the tears.

I’ll be fine in the morning, but tonight I just need to have a good old fashioned pity party.

I miss pizza. I miss being able to make casseroles. I miss chinese food. I miss baskin robbins. I miss not having to read the ingredient label of every freaking single item I put in the cart. I miss not eating out at restaurants/date nights with my husband. I miss not having to shop at 3 different grocery stores every week.

I will NOT miss our grocery bill being outrageous.

I will NOT miss the constant worrying over cross-contamination, or about Rilyn finding foods she can’t have.

It’s been hard, but what’s another few months, right? Surely I can handle a year without Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and desserts. Right?

It’s been hard but I’m trying to look at the bright side: at least I’ve added fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, beef, gluten, and eggs back. And of course, I’m helping Rilyn. I’d do anything for that munchkin.

Obviously.

Eventually I’ll be able to enjoy all the previously mentioned, but until then there’s Enjoy Life brand chocolate and coconut milk ice cream.

And I’ll be avoiding the food boards on pinterest.

Stressing

17 Sep

I’m a stresser. It’s what I do. It’s probably why I already have SO many gray hairs at the age of 28. Seriously, I have a lot. Maybe writing it all out will help me wrap my brain around it better and allow me to let go of a little bit of the stress. Maybe it’ll magically make those gray hairs disappear. No? Drat.

I’ve been stressing a lot about miss Rilyn lately. Things like her still not sleeping through the night, her needing to nurse before falling asleep, and her still not saying “mama”. She’ll say “dada” all day long, and also says “night night”, “uh oh”, and “that”. But no “mama”. Stubborn. Wonder where she gets that from.

Mainly, though, I’m stressing about the fact that this child is still refusing to drink out of a sippy cup! She’ll drink water here and there, but when I put breast milk, rice milk, almond milk, coconut milk in the cup, she’ll take a drink and spit it out, or take one drink and push the cup away refusing to take another sip. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ll put 3 ounces of “milk” in a sippy cup in the morning, and there will be JUST under 3 ounces a the end of the day. I’ve tried several different types of sippy cups, including straws, and regular cups without a lid. Nothing. C’mon kid! You’re killing me here! I’m not sure she’ll ever be a child that will drink 4-5 ounces in one sitting.

When Rilyn hit 8 months, I moved my nursing goal to 12 months with the plan to start weaning her after that. After dealing with supply issues while Lakyn was a baby (that only allowed me to exclusively nurse her until she was 4 months old), I’m extremely happy and grateful that I’m still nursing Rilyn at 13 months, but in all honesty, I’m ready to wean her.

When she turned one I decided that I’d like to have her weaned by Thanksgiving so that I could finally partake in all the dairy-laden yummies that the holiday is made up of. So, we set out to start weaning. I started offering R a cup of coconut milk (the so delicious brand of unsweetened coconut milk does not in fact, taste like coconut milk. In my opinion, it’s the most neutral dairy free milk substitute. It’s also the milk that Rilyn has taken to the best. Obviously, the word “best” is used loosely here) with all of her meals and at various times throughout the day. All to no avail. During this same week I also cut out one of her feedings to get the weaning process started. She did pretty well with it, but she never did any better with the cup of milk and she’s also not the best eater. Some days she’ll eat table food really well, but mostly she just picks and nibbles at it. I can’t figure her out. Except that she loves pasta. Any time I give her pasta she downs it. During this same week we had her 12 month check up with her doctor who voiced her concern about her weight. She was at the 50th% for weight around 6 months, but is now measuring at the 14th%. The doctor said we’d see what she’s measuring when we go back in (in two more months) and talk more about a plan of action, if it’s needed, then.

Well, that doesn’t sit well with a momma, now does it?

After lots of going back in forth in my own brain, and talking it out with Brandon, I’ve decided that I just cannot in good conscious wean Rilyn right now. I need to put my own selfish desire of FINALLY being able to get off this diet I’ve been on for the past 7 months aside and do what’s best for my child. I keep telling myself that it’s just one year where I’ll miss out on Thanksgiving food. Surely, I can handle that. I just don’t feel right about taking her best source of nutrition away (breast milk) when she’s not eating table foods well, and not drinking a milk substitute, not even breast milk, from a cup. So, I’ll continue nursing her hoping that it will help with her weight issues. I’ll keep giving her sippy cups as well, and I’ll continue wishing and praying that she’ll miraculously start drinking “milk” out of those cups.

Will you please do the same for me? Also, if you have any suggestions, I’m all ears over here!

**I should note that these events took place a few weeks ago and I’ve continued with the cup at every meal and throughout the day. The results haven’t changed.

A Quick Diet Update

4 Aug

It’s been awhile since my last diet update. Here’s where we’re at.

I’ve successfully added fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, gluten, and beef back into my diet. Rilyn’s done fine with each new addition and being able to add more variety has been great. Chicken was getting real boring, y’all.

Gaining the 5 pounds from the wheat, has NOT been great.

Stupid wheat.

We have her next appointment with the GI on the 16th where we’ll talk about when and how to add eggs, soy, and dairy back in.

Of course I’ll let you know.

A Quick Diaper Update

6 Jun

It’s been 3 months since going on this elimination diet (started March 5) and it’s been a month of great diapers for Miss R! Holla!

I’ve successfully added shellfish (shrimp), fish (salmon), and tree nuts (almonds) back in, and I’m still waiting the full week to make sure about peanuts. So far, we’re looking okay! :) Currently I’m still free of gluten, beef, egg, soy, and dairy. I’ll try gluten (oats, barley, or rye) next week, then do wheat the week after. I’ll test the luck with beef the following week, and I’ll remain egg, soy, and dairy free until after Rilyn’s 1st birthday (August).

I’m so thankful to have some more variety back in my life. I can’t tell you how happy it’s made me to make shrimp for dinner, or enjoy a bowl of (diet safe) cereal with some almond milk. Life is good.

GI Update

10 May

We had Rilyn’s follow up appointment with the GI specialist today. I really like this guy. Super nice, knows what he’s talking about, and makes me feel like I’m NOT a crazy mom that’s just paranoid about every little change in her child’s poop.

Yep, I like him.

So, since we saw him for R’s first appointment one month ago, she has gained a pound and grew an entire inch. Growth has never been an issue with Rilyn while we’ve been dealing with her GI problems, but it’s still reassuring to see that she’s growing the way that she is. Good job, baby girl!

Here’s the story:

We’ve felt that her diapers have been inconsistent since around April 16th, fluctuating between what we think is normal for her and being more mucusy again. One day they’re great, the next back to mucus, then back to “normal” the following day. We’ve even had several days where they’ve alternated all in the same day. The good news is that even on the mucusy days, the diapers seem so much better than what they used to be before starting the diet. They have more substance even though they’re still mucusy and the doctor is pleased with these types of diapers. It’s the looser, watery mucus ones that are worrisome.

Alright, moving on before I make you lose your lunch with all the poop talk.

He said that she’s growing well, isn’t unhappy, no sign of blood, and because we’ve seen a positive change in her diapers, we’re not going to worry about doing a scope on her. In fact, he said I can start adding things back in my diet.

Let me say that again.

I GET TO START ADDING THINGS BACK IN MY DIET!!!!!

I’m excited, but trying not to get too excited. I’ll do it very slowly, adding only one new thing and waiting a week to check for reactions. I’ll also be adding new foods into Rilyn’s diet as well, which will prolong the process even more since I don’t want to overlap new additions to our diets. If her diapers go back to the way they were before, I’ll remove that item from my diet again. We’re still waiting until sometime after her first birthday to try eggs, soy, and dairy, the 3 most problematic for babies.

Due to her GI issues, we’ve had to go slow with Rilyn’s foods, so I’m excited to start adding more into her diet as well. So far she’s had:

rice cereal
green beans
peas
butternut squash  *a favorite
sweet potato
carrots  *a favorite
pears
apples
bananas

I was also able to find some baby puffs that are free of everything she can’t have and she loves them! I even found them at Target! Holla for Tar-jay and for working on those fine motor skills by picking the puffs up and putting them in her mouth! :)

So our schedule will probably look something like this: I add a food and wait a week, add a food to Rilyn’s diet and wait 3 days, add a food to my diet and wait a week, etc. If she has a reaction to a food, I’ll eliminate it and we’ll wait for her diapers to return to normal before proceeding with the next food. Fingers crossed we won’t run into that. I’ll probably start with shellfish, then fish, then tree nuts, nuts, gluten, then I’ll try beef shortly before her birthday. We go back in 3 months for another follow-up appointment.

I’m really looking forward to this, as this diet has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.

And the most expensive. I’m not kidding. You’d freak if you saw our grocery bill.

But there’s relief in sight, and for that I’m so very thankful!

I’m thinking grilled shrimp for Mother’s Day dinner sounds fabulous. You?

A Quick Diet Update

19 Apr

Just some quick info on what’s been going on. And yes, I’m going to talk about poo again.

- Rilyn’s blood tests came back normal meaning she didn’t test positive for any allergies. Good news, yes. I know that intolerances can’t be tested, though, so we’re still at step one in trying to figure out what it is that’s bothering her. I feel much better about her growing out of whatever it is that’s bothering her, and that she won’t have to constantly check labels of food, and that she won’t have to feel left out of school and birthday party treats as she gets older. That’s been my biggest stresser in this whole ordeal. I don’t want that life for her.

- Her diapers did improve after seeing the GI. Much less mucusy, thicker, creamier. More of the consistency of peanut butter. Great news! Something I was doing was helping! Or maybe it was the probiotics? Or maybe it’s the addition of her eating more solids? We’re still not sure.

- After having “normal” diapers for a week and a half, I introduced peanuts back into my diet on Tuesday. I had one peanut butter and jelly sandwich (on my diet safe bread, so it’s actually about 3/4 the size of a normal sandwich) for lunch. Her diaper an hour after me eating the sandwich was slightly more mucusy than they had been, but still thicker and creamy. On Wednesday I had a spoonful of peanut butter, straight out of the jar :) , and again her diaper that day was more mucusy. Thursday, I again had a spoonful of pb and her diaper was the most mucusy they’ve been in a while. :/ I decided at that point to take peanuts back out of my diet. Sad panda.

Here’s what we’re confused about: A week ago she started having a runny nose, goopy eyes, lots of congestion. We thought it was allergies because the rest of us had been dealing with allergy symptoms as well, but now we’re not so sure that’s what it is. Maybe she has a cold. She’s SO congested! I feel like I’m constantly sucking her nose out, she can’t nurse well since she can’t breathe out of her nose, so we’re questioning whether the congestion she’s having is contributing to the mucus in her diapers. I know she ends up swallowing a lot of that gunk. :/

Regardless, I’m still taking peanuts out of my diet and will try them again once her cold/allergies have cleared up.

And today, Friday, her diapers are back to being “normal” which leaves me questioning whether her diapers could return to normal that quickly (less than 24 hours) if peanuts do bother her? So many things to question! It’s always a guessing game!

We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

GI Update

8 Apr

We saw the GI today.

Long story short: I’m continuing my elimination diet until Rilyn’s diapers clear up.

Bad news bears for me.

They also drew her blood to test for allergies. We figured we should just go ahead and do this to get as much information as we possibly could. We should have those results in a couple of days. And yes, I started crying as soon as they mentioned it. That’s me. I’m the mom that cries more than my kids whenever they get shots or have blood work done.

The doctor felt like we’re most likely dealing with a dairy, soy, or egg allergy/intolerance. It could also be a combination of them. Of course, it could be a different food, too. Only time will tell. He also said that I was not crazy. That mucus in the stools is not normal. He was encouraged that she’s gaining weight, happy, and growing well. We just need to figure out this diaper issue.

We go back in a month at which point we’ll talk about how her diapers are looking and our next step(s). If her diapers do start to clear up, then he wants me to add foods back in, one a week, but not dairy, soy, or eggs. We for sure won’t try dairy, soy, or eggs with her until she’s one.

I’m trying to look at the positives here, but to be honest, this diet is killing me. I’m finding it’s getting much harder the longer I’m doing it. My cravings have intensified in the last week. I just want a piece of cheese pizza. Just one.

And then a bowl of Panera’s mac and cheese.

And then a scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

And then a warm buttered roll.

And then a beef and cheese enchilada with chips and queso.

Yeah, that’d about do it.

BUT! I have to stop complaining, stop throwing myself a pity party. I have to remember that I’m doing this for Rilyn and that it won’t last forever. I can do this, and I will do this for her.

I’m off to find recipes for a dairy/soy/egg free (that’s best case scenario, I could be adding more to that list) cake and frosting. She’s going to turn one in a little over 4 months and a birthday girl needs a birthday cake!

A Diaper Update and More Diet Safe Meals

4 Apr

I am still going strong with the diet and haven’t caved in or slipped up once! I have added corn back in to my diet, though. I did that after seeing the new pediatrician two weeks ago and her telling me to resume a normal diet because this was just the way Rilyn was. Being skeptical, I decided to start with one food at a time. Corn was first, because if I’m being completely honest here, it was the hardest. Corn is in absolutely everything. I am so grateful to be eating corn tortillas and chips again!

And lets not forget about my Dr. Pepper! I was missing my DP like whoa.

So, that puts me at no dairy, soy, wheat, gluten, eggs, fish, shellfish, nuts, and beef. While I’ve been doing okay with the diet, I have some super hard days. Days that have me crying while making dinner because I can’t make what I want, days that I just wish I didn’t have to make dinner and we could get take-out or eat at a restaurant (can you believe I’ve made all of our meals every single day for over a month now?!), days when I just want to be able to make cupcakes with my biggest little and set her free to decorate them however she wants. I suppose I could still do that, but I don’t trust myself with cake batter and frosting laying around. If I got any on my finger I don’t know that I’d have the willpower to not lick it off.

And then there are the days I bring it on myself. Like when I walk down the cookie or ice cream aisle, or when I think about the red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting that I’d like to be eating for my upcoming birthday rather than the banana “ice cream” I’ll likely make instead, or when I think of the meal I’d love to make Brandon for our anniversary but know that I can’t because it’s not “diet safe”. Those days I have to snap out of it and remind myself that it isn’t going to be this way forever, and that I’m doing all of this for a VERY good reason.

Moving on to what’s most important: Miss Rilyn’s diapers are still the same. We haven’t seen blood since Friday, but the mucus remains. Brandon and I have gone back and forth about going to see a GI specialist. We knew the wait list was long (2 months) to get in to see one, but we also didn’t want to go see one and talk about testing if everything was going to turn out fine and it end up that this IS just how our child is. A few days ago, though, a friend from college that works in a pediatric GI office contacted me about getting Rilyn in within a week if we wanted to (feeling so grateful for her)! We took that as a sign and Rilyn has an appointment on Monday. I’m nervous and anxious, but I’m ultimately looking forward to having someone that specializes in this take a look at her, and for being able to have peace of mind that I’m doing all I can for her. She’s still as happy as ever and growing too fast for my liking! You know I’ll keep you updated.

Here’s what I’ve been eating lately. If you’re interested in recipes for any of these, please let me know. I’m happy to share! Also, these pictures are terrible. Sorry Charlie.

 

ground turkey chili

mint chocolate shake (using frozen banana as the ice cream)

my momma made pork chops, potatoes, and green beans

ground turkey and bean tostadas. Yum-o. homemade shell, too! and, yes you do see cheese on those bad boys. but it’s dairy free and soy free and definitely nothing like real cheese.

rice pasta with a garlic avocado cream sauce. this is by far my favorite diet safe meal. 

teriyaki chicken with quinoa. never in all my years did i think i’d ever make my own teriyaki sauce (diet safe of course. made up of balsamic vinegar, orange juice, olive oil, water, and pepper).

Now if I could just figure out a good dessert recipe that’s dairy, soy, wheat, egg, and nut free!

….and fish free. I’m not up for trying a dessert with fish in it.