Tag Archives: kids

Fabulous Friday: Gluten-Free Playdoh

This post is a throwback to my old blog. Feels good to be creating again!  

For those of you who don’t know, after several different diagnoses and a surprisingly wide range of symptoms, including all the digestive issues we’ve had, three of the 5 of us have been forbidden to eat gluten by our physicians. 

Now although Playdoh is not a food, it is made out of wheat flour. And we learned the hard way that 3-year-olds like to lick their fingers while playing with Playdoh, which is enough to…well, let’s just say that it was unpleasant. So Playdoh, one of the sheer joys of childhood, had been off limits for the past 4 months. 


Until now. 

This Playdoh is awesome – it is pure white when you make it, so it turns the vibrant colors you see here. It has a fantastic texture and is so easy to make. It travels fantastically and made for a great distraction on our recent 8 hour car ride to visit cousins

Gluten-Free Play Dough Recipe – taken from Celiac Family


1 Cup White Rice Flour

1/2 Cup Cornstarch

1/2 Cup Salt

1 Tbsp Cream of Tartar

1-1/2 tsp vegetable oil

1 Cup Water, hot but not boiling

Food Coloring, as desired



1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a medium pot.

2. Add the vegetable oil & water, and mix thoroughly.

3. Heat the pot on the stove over low heat for about 3 minutes. Stir frequently with a heavy spoon.

4. When the dough starts to stick together,  change consistency, and pull away from the sides of the pot, turn out the dough onto something you can stain (we used cookie sheets). Let it cool briefly until you can knead it with your hands.

5. Knead well, adding more cornstarch as needed, until you have a nice, uniform consistency. Add food coloring and knead into the dough until you get the color you desire. Gel colorings work great. 

NOTE: Add more water or cornstarch after cooking to adjust consistency, especially after adding food coloring. Be careful not to over cook (no more than 5 minutes) – it will get crusty and hard. I accidentally added a bit too much water in mine and had to cook a little longer to make the right consistency. If you double the recipe make sure you use a pot with large surface area on the bottom – I didn’t and it got hard to stir. 


And, for those of you in need of a chuckle (especially if you have to be GF, too), check out this hilarious video on How to become Gluten Intolerant


The Surprising Beauty of Poop

There has been too much depth and intensity around this blog lately. I figured it was time to lighten things up a bit with a topic near and dear to my heart, a topic that exposes my crazy like none other: feces.  

I could just be feeling sorry for myself, but I feel like in this household, we have shouldered much more than our fair share of poop over our parenting tenure.  

We’ve had constipation issues. There was a period of time where we should have bought stock in Miralax. We should have marketed our awesome homemade baby food concoction that we lovingly referred to as “poop cubes.” We had an ER visit for suspected rectal prolapse. We’ve had children crying when they even thought about having to poop.

We’ve had years of diarrhea issues. We’ve had two children with milk protein allergies throughout the first year of life, which involved all kinds of fun, including diarrhea 10-12 times a day with giant, weeping rashes wherever the poop touched their skin.  We found a child who, having gotten up in the middle of the night with diarrhea, was fast asleep on the little potty. We’ve had an entire month where diarrhea was so bad, we couldn’t travel, had to plan trips around town based on proximity to bathrooms, and supplement with electrolytes daily. Our toilet paper use to date could probably supply an elementary school. 

We’ve had issues we didn’t even realize were bowel related, including migraines, excema, years and years of night screaming and fatigue. I have been that parent who took pictures of poop and showed it to the pediatrician. I discovered an amazing app called the “Bowel Mover.” I’ve collected poop samples for lab tests. I’ve discovered that I have friends who love me so much that they will collect a poop sample of my kid’s poop to take to the lab (I love you, Sharon!). 

In short, we have been dealing with a lot of crap in this house. 

But, as I’ve been thinking over the common things in my life, looking for the fabulous, I realized something unexpected and completely ridiculous: our family poop saga has actually been a beautiful gift. Here’s how: 

Less embarrassment. Because we’ve had to be such close monitors of private bathroom time, we have been able to have lots and lots and lots of conversations about bodies and bodily functions. We’ve talked about what is “normal.” They have been able to see why it’s important to discuss and share the “abnormal” with parents and doctors rather than hide it, and how this information helps us find out what is wrong and make it better. We’ve helped to pass on the idea that all these gross things in the bathroom are just a normal part of life and they help us make sure everything is working OK on the inside. 


Greater scientific curiosity. Because of the aforementioned conversations, we’ve had LOTS of conversations about how the body works, where everything goes and why things come out looking like they do. We’ve discussed why tortoise and horse poop are great for our garden, but our poop is not. We’ve ventured into the realm of urine and chemistry and gotten urine test strips on Amazon to see how our liquid and food consumption affects the chemicals in our pee. Yup, we’re a normal family.  


Closer relationships. While there is still normal kid embarrassment with bathroom stuff, the topic is not taboo and they feel comfortable talking to us about what’s going on. Because we’ve been having these conversations on private topics as they have grown, we have established a respectful, safe closeness. This has allowed us to start to cross into other uncomfortable areas relating to bodies with less push-back. I am hoping this precedent continues into the teenage years. There’s nothing like poop to bring a family together.

I would never choose to have the string of digestive issues with which we’ve had to live. But I can see the glimmer of fabulous in our poop-filled lives.