Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Soy annoyed

Well, it turns out there is something to this gluten thing, after all. A couple weeks ago I decided to add gluten back in to my diet. First I ate a piece of bread with dinner. Then a donut. Then Cheerios. At first all seemed well. A week later, I noticed that my occasional breathing problems had returned. It's not really asthma, and it's not really shortness-of-breath, but it's like I can't take a really deep breath. It just happens occassionally. I saw an alergist for it a while back and inhalers didn't really seems to help. Anyway, I didn't notice it had gone till it came back.

The whole gluten-free thing isn't really that tough. Since it's a big fad right now, there are lots of gluten-free foods floating around. I am fine with the gluten-free rice bread from Trader Joe's (though the only way it's really very good is toasted with jam -- luckily, I was never a big sandwich person anyway). I can still eat potatoes, rice and corn. And there are many options for rice/corn/quinoa pasta at Whole Foods.

It's soy that's the real sticking point. As i mentioned earlier, it's in evreything, most notably chocolate. I have made some of my fantastic candies with the soy-free baking chips (which I just ordered a 5 lb bag of from Amazon, along with a case of gluten-free cheerios and allergen-free bars.

Today I got two kinds of gluten-free baking mix in the mail from "Gluten Free Mall" and there are currently blueberry muffins in the oven. And I got to enjoy my favorite part of baking: licking the batter out of the bowl...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Our new abode

Let's review, shall we?

When we first walked through the house after the start of the lease, we made several discoveries: One of the furnaces (the one that heats the first floor) was busted. There was a giant pile of termite droppings in one room, which led to the discovery of half the living being termite-devoured. Then there was the overflowing toilet (which was actually the fault of and taken care of by West Bay Sanitary, but still). And then there's the toilet that slowly leaks (not onto the floor, but somewhere in the tank, surely wasting gallons of water a day). I'm sure I'm forgetting something.

Then this morning, Nathan discovered The Drip. In the guest room/sewing-crafting-scrapbooking room. Victims included the newspapers I was saving from the day Noah was born to put in his baby book. If actual scrapbooks had been soaked, I would have been on a plane to New York to personally punch our landlord.

So if you ever rent a house, hire an inspector. You're welcome.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Here we are

It's Day 2 in our new house, and there are still boxes piled high in almost every room, but serious progress has been made. Aside from my one box of cookbooks*, the kitchen is unpacked. I made soup for dinner! I had hoped to get our bedroom unpacked by the end of the day, but oh well.

It's been quite a week. Tuesday I chipped a tooth, which got taken care of Wednesday morning during time I should have been packing. Wednesday my mother-in-law, who was here helping us pack, got pulled over by the Menlo Park PD for some minor infraction (she got off with a warning). Thursday the garage door motor in our old house broke down, after eight years of working flawlessly.

Friday was The Day. We didn't exactly get everything packed in time. Shocking, I know. But everything that was too big or too heavy for us to get in the minivan came over and got put more or less in the proper place. The boys seem to be adjusting relatively well. Noah even picked out a potty chair when we were at IKEA buying bookshelves and such!

Naturally Nathan doesn't have tomorrow off, but my mother's helper does, so I'll be able to get a bit of work done...

Two very good pieces of news today: one wish (see number 2) came true (it was in an under-bed box I thought sure I hadn't opened in a year) and Nathan got the cable working in time for the Tivo to record 24 and Big Love, in spite of Comcast's best efforts.

Friday, January 08, 2010

This couldn't have come at a better time

In late October, we decided to move. Doesn't matter why, it's too late to back out now. We're selling our lovely home in the RC so we can rent in Menlo Park.

About the same time, I learned from a nutritionist that I can't eat anything. More specifically, I am highly sensitive to wheat, soy, eggs and almonds. I'm moderately sensitive to a number of other foods, which I don't have the energy to think about. In case you didn't know, EVERYTHING has gluten, eggs and/or soy. So for the last month I've been avoiding gluten and eggs, and THINKING I was avoiding soy. But, apparently, 99 percent of chocolate goods have "soy lecithin" in them, to make the chocolate blend with the oil, or something. Gluten-free cookies from Whole Foods that taste just like Oreos? Soy lecithin. Every single bottle of salad dressing in our pantry? Soybean oil. It isn't bad enough that I can't eat Cheerios or eggs with tasty and super-healthy veggies scrambled in for breakfast, and am stuck with rice bread and apples (not breakfast food) but I can't eat M&Ms or Reeses Peanut Butter Cups anymore. Not only can I not eat at Stacks (what's there for me besides hash browns?) but I have seen no increase energy, or better digestion, or improvement in mood, which was what I went to the nutritionist for in the first place. Of course, it is possible that I may still be feeling blech because of stress, coming in the form of MOVING.

Our lease started Jan 1, and I didn't want to be tripping over boxes for weeks, so before our Christmas travels, I didn't pack much except for books. Mainly, I was trying to get rid of stuff. Purge purge purge!!! After we got home on Jan 2, I started packing in earnest, at least a box a day. We are running out of room for those boxes. Our scheduled move is only a week away now: next Saturday. Today we had a pest control company look at the house we are moving into, since we found a pile of termite droppings in one of the bedrooms. Turns out most of the living room is about to fall apart from termite damage. Fab, no? We are not delaying this move, let me tell you. If we are going to do it, we are going to get it the heck over with, get into our new place and hopefully sell this one before March 1.

Last night I was having some inexplicable flash of optimism about actually getting our crap packed up before Saturday (as long as I don't think about the garage or the side yard or the outside office, in which case I'll just start crying). But the thought of delaying the move because of the living room wall and floor having to be rebuilt pushed me over the edge. With no chocolate.

I just returned from Whole Foods with four bags of soy-free chocolate chips and 3 six-packs of gluten-free beer. Am now drinking said beer and have made gluten-free, soy-free, egg-free chocolate chip cookies that are actually reasonably good (despite weirdo egg replacer and brown rice flour).

The good news? Wine never contains gluten, soy, eggs or almonds.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Manic Monday

Here's a list of some random things we found during our first post-lease-signing walk-throughs of the house:
-A pile of termite droppings in the downstairs bedroom.
-A half dozen fingernail clippings in a drawer in the master bathroom
-One of the door keys is pink, studded with teeny rhinestones and has the word "Princess" engraved on it.
-The downstairs furnace doesn't work.
-The second fridge is super-funk.