Minecraft Taekwondo Party

A couple weeks ago the little guys had a combined birthday party at taekwondo. They decided they wanted it to be Minecraft themed.


The cakes were a lot of work. We started on Thursday evening by making marshmallow fondant. We had never used any sort of fondant before so it was a bit of an adventure. It was pretty amazing how the melted marshmallow combined with the confectioner’s sugar and Crisco to make an amazing, rollable, cuttable dough.


We spent all day Friday making cakes. Sixteen 8×8 one-inch tall square ones to be exact. We colored them various shades of green, brown, red, and gray. Eventually we were ready to put them together. Considering we didn’t start until something like 8pm, it should be no surprise that the two cakes weren’t done until 1:30am. The cakes were so huge (about 17 pounds each) that we couldn’t fit both of them in the refrigerator at the same time. Cameron suggested calling a friend to use their refrigerator, but I didn’t think any of my friends would be too thrilled with a call asking for refrigerator space after 11 at night. Jamie fashioned an ice box out of a plastic storage container, ice, and a blanket. Thankfully that worked very well and both cakes stayed just how they were assembled until they were cut and eaten the next day.


We had three tables at the party. The first table was the majority of the food. The back row is Yellow Wool (foil wrapped chocolates), Bread (Lay’s potato chips), Fish (Swedish fish), Slime Balls (grapes), and Coal (blueberries). The front row is Carrots (Cheetos), Golden Apples (grapes coated in yellow Jell-O powder), Sticks (pretzel sticks), Red Apples (grapes coated in red Jell-O powder), Snowballs (mini marshmallows), and Redstone (strawberries).


The third table held Creeper Juice (green dyed Sprite) and Lava (red Jell-O) and Water (blue Jell-O). We made the Jell-O in little cups with spoons stuck in them.


The middle table held the amazing (and delicious) cakes. The grass block was Adrian’s and the redstone block was Fritz’s.


Our regular taekwondo instructor was out of town that weekend so Ani ran the party. It was the first party she’d ever run by herself, but it went great. The kids (and a few adults) had tons of fun. The birthday kid at taekwondo parties gets to wear a black belt for the day. Fritz and Adrian got to wear extra special belts. Fritz wore Cameron’s and Adrian wore Ani’s.


The boys, with Ani and Cameron’s help, got to make the first cut of their cakes with swords. We had brought a knife to cut for serving, but it turned out the swords worked better for all the cutting.


The inside of the cakes was totally awesome. The grass block one was just full layers while the redstone block one was four triangles per layer (two shades of gray and two shades of red).

The boys were so very happy with their party so we’ll call it a definite success!

Fritz is Ten

Fritz turned 10 today. He’s 4’6″ and 81 1/2 pounds.


He got his main present yesterday. He (and Ani) went to the Welcome to Night Vale live show. He got a shirt, which he loves almost as much as he enjoyed the show.


Today he got the rest of his presents. We gave him a Venus Fly Trap and gardening gloves. Ani gave him a Foxy keychain, 20-sided dice, and Dobby.


He started the day with the first day of two weeks of swimming lessons. He was so happy to be back in the water.


He ate all his favorite foods (cinnamon rolls, potato cheese and chili soup, and sesame chicken), played Magic with his older brother, and went Pokemon hunting.


It was a pretty awesome day.

Getting glutened sucks…

…but getting over being glutened is pretty nice.

A couple weeks ago, on a Friday night, Jamie and I went on a date to Orange Leaf. Usually I just get frozen yogurt and fruit. Fruit is generally safe from cross contamination. That night I decided I wanted some almonds, too. The almonds were right next to the crushed graham crackers. The little warning voice in my head told me it was too risky. But did I listen to that little warning voice? Of course I didn’t.

Within a few minutes of ingesting those microscopic bits of cross contaminated gluten, my stomach started screaming in pain. It’s funny, but when a Celiac has certain symptoms we immediately start thinking about what we’ve eaten recently and what may have gotten us sick. The thing is, if we’re careful (and listen to that little warning voice) odds are those symptoms are from something not at all related to Celiac Disease. Plus, the pain from gluten is just different and very easy to recognize.

Soon after my stomach started yelling at me, I told Jamie we needed to get home. Immediately. It’s a good thing Orange Leaf is less than a mile and a half from our house so I made it just in time. Getting glutened is so lovely.

I spent that weekend in bed alternating between reading, napping, and rushing to the toilet. By Sunday evening I was feeling a lot better. Not great, but good enough I could get out of bed and go back to relative normalcy. Crazy that something I couldn’t even see could cause that much pain and exhaustion. (Interestingly, Ani and a friend of mine with Celiac have gotten glutened every time they’ve eaten at Orange Leaf – but Ani has never gotten glutened at YogurtZone).

Fast forward a week and a half to Wednesday. I woke up after spending the night getting up every hour and a half or so to pee (five times!) and my joints were almost back to their normal size. My vague headache was gone. I had actual energy. I cleaned like crazy since I had only been able to do basic straightening while I was glutened (my floors really needed to be mopped!) I felt so much better. The next day was even better and by 2 weeks after the glutening I was back to normal.

It’s easy to forget how sick I was before we discovered my problem was Celiac. It’s easy to forget the chronic exhaustion, the pain in my joints, the difficulty walking due to pain in my heels, the stomach pain that feels like it’s swelling and might explode, the multiple trips a day to the bathroom and associated soreness from that. But then I accidentally ingest a little bit of gluten and I’m reminded just how bad Celiac is and how glad I am that we figured out I have Celiac last year and normally I don’t feel sick anymore.