Lily is my second child. I currently have a 14 month old and a 10 year old. I know, the age difference is pretty far apart, but things don’t always go as planned. My first child is from a previous relationship, that flopped like a dead fish. My ex was not faithful in our relationship and he told me one day that he did not love me, after stringing me along and having me move to his home state across the country with him. So I left. I gave my work two weeks notice and I left the entire state, my ex and I agreed that I would take our child and we would split.
About 6 months later, I met my now husband on a dating website. We dated for 6 years and then got married. (We have been married 2 years now) About 6 months after we got married we finally started trying for OUR first baby. We were successful and now I have my little girl. But people often ask me if it is hard having two children almost 10 years apart and the answer is mostly no.
Having already raised one child half way – I have experience in what to do and what NOT to do. But not all children are a like. So I am experiencing a different baby/toddler right now. My first child was a parent trap. He was perfect – he barely cried, and ate anything I gave him, he took naps when ever I put him to bed, he slept all night, he had no food allergies, just perfect. But this time around we have food allergies, development delays, and she is going through a fussy stage currently. But I love her so much. She’s just a different experience, and we are even thinking of having one more child!
Now my older child is not perfect – so I do know how to deal with the fussy stage now, but this is just a very different baby. Well, now she is considered a toddler. She isn’t walking yet, but she wants to. She just started to give up pureed foods all of a sudden and refused to eat them starting this week. She has been taking shorter naps due to her food intake change – and since she has food allergies, we have such a hard time finding actual finger foods she can eat. Ohand she has an immature gag reflux. So she chokes on everything – but we are working on that by trying different food, cut up very very small.
So no it is not harder having two kids far apart – but it is very different.
Today I bought quinoa cheerios for 30$. No, not just one box, I bought a 4 pack on amazon. They are called “Quinoa Queen” and since my daughter has food allergies, these are what we are trying out. I know quinoa is a safe food for her, and I am trying to let her have a “normal” food experience, like her brother. But she cannot have normal cheerios due to her allergies.
I am glad I am having this experience now, rather than when I was younger though. I have the financial resources to pay for her food, which does cost more because I am having to do gluten free options.
We found some lovely red lentil pasta, that is gluten free, and tastes pretty darn good. We found some gluten free, rice free crackers recently as well. All at Sprouts. It may be hard to find foods she can eat but it is not impossible. My husband and I go shopping together and we both read the ingredients lists, to make sure we are not missing something.
I am glad I have a husband who understands our daughter’s condition with her food allergies. I belong to a few groups online and some parents have conflicts due to one parent thinking nothing is wrong with the child even after a reaction to food. My husband has witnessed our daughter get sick multiple times. Thankfully I tend to give her new foods on Fridays, when my husband is not working.
I am so thankful I work from home with this child. I was not so lucky with my first. I don’t know what I would do if I had to trust someone else with my baby – and her food allergies. I don’t know how I could trust a daycare to handle her reactions to certain foods. I am just lucky to have the opportunity to work from home with my current job.
I recently received some amazing dog toys for my Irish Terrier, Gwendolyn from https://petqwerks.com ! And I must say, I am impressed with the quality of the toys! My dog is a tough chewer and the toys I gave her are lasting!
Here is a sample of what we received! (Flowers not included, those were from my Valentine’s Day)
Gwendolyn has a few favorite toys so far, and those would be the pickle on a rope & the Flavorit. I knew the “It’s a Dilly” would be a hit with Gwen since she loves to tug, and since the pickle squeaks, it gets her attention very quickly. She has not punctured it or broken the rope yet, which was surprising to me since she tends to destroy toys. But I love that she loves this toy. The Flavorit has actually been her favorite toy, since she is a chewer. The directions say I could put some peanut butter in the little holes and so we did that, and she has not put that chew toy down since getting it.
We also enjoyed the Babble Ball, since it makes noise and gets dogs interested in it by lighting up as well! We loved the bark bone and I have to admit, my kids actually enjoyed the Incredibubbles. The bubbles are peanut butter flavored but they don’t pop right away like normal bubbles, and they are really fun to use! My dog would go around licking them up once we were done playing with them!
Gwen, being the chewer that she is, also enjoyed the Bark Bone as well. She has been keeping herself busy with a new toy each day.
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This is just going to be a prominent topic for me on this blog. Food – Allergies and my search for safe healthy foods for my toddler that she can actually eat.
Yesterday, my family and I went to Sprouts (that is a super market in our town, and it sells food that is clearly labeled Gluten Free.) They seem to have one of the largest selections around my town of allergy friendly foods so far. And yes they cost more in general – but that is why we only shop there for my daughter’s foods and maybe some fresh produce since those prices are not too bad.
This week we found some crackers and pasta that are both Gluten free and Rice Free! The main issue I have with finding my daughter food to eat is not that I cannot find Gluten Free options, but that finding food that a toddler with immature swallowing and chewing issues can eat, as well as not having other allergens in it. A lot of the times when I find “Gluten Free” options, the replacement is either Rice or Corn. But both of those items are on our Allergy list. We also run into the OATs issue, we cannot have oats as well.
The safest foods I have found includes fresh veggies (boiled to be very soft or steamed so that they are easy to chew). And sometimes I can find some cereals, made with Quinoa or Millet that she can eat, but a lot of the times they are MIXED with foods she cannot have. Many times I find myself getting excited to find a box that is labeled “QUINOA CEREAL” only to read the ingredients, finding rice to be a second ingredient. It’s very disheartening.
Last night we tried a new cracker – it had a new food item in it but we kept our fingers crossed and tried. The new item was Cassava. So the crackers are made of Almonds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and Cassava (and a few other ingredients) but they are gluten free, rice free, oat free and Lily has NOT gotten sick from them YET. So I am over the moon!
We also bought some Lentil Pasta (no other ingredients, which is AMAZING). We often find that mixed with Rice or Corn – which is a no no for us. I am going through a lot with this baby -but thankfully with the help of these types of food stores, it is becoming a little simpler for us to find FOOD.
We are at the toddler stage where she is refusing Puree food – and feeding her from a bottle is not really a great option full time since we do want to see weight gain and we want to have her experience real food that she can chew.
I didn’t realize how hard it could be with a baby/toddler to find her food that she isn’t allergic to until I had this little girl. My previous child, who is now 10, has ZERO food allergies. I was lucky with him. But if you have a child with food allergies, stay strong. You can do it. There are more and more resources lately – and getting a diagnosis can be hard sometimes because some children have multiple allergies like my Lily. But you can do it.
I am going to make a list of Gluten Free foods that we find that are “oat free” and “rice free” very soon -to possibly help others out who are like us- who are MORE restricted than the regular gluten free norm. So keep updated with us on our journey.