Friday, May 30, 2008

Gluten-Free School Supplies

There are several school/preschool items that may contain gluten. Some people don't worry as gluten is a large protein and might not be absorbed through the skin, but it isn't known for sure. We deal with both celiac and a wheat allergy, so we try to avoid touching it. I am in the process of making up a list for Thane's new school, so I was going through websites for various companies and double-checking, plus there are a bunch that I have already contacted (the stickers being a biggie since Thane loves stickers).

Chalk, Crayons, Markers, and Pencils

Crayola (all products gluten free other than Crayola Dough)

Crayola Crayons (all kinds)
Crayola Anti-dust Chalk Sticks
Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils
Crayola Fabric Markers
Crayola Markers (all kinds)
Crayola Pencils (all kinds)
Crayola Pip-Squeaks
Crayola Pip-Squeaks Skinnies Markers
Crayola Washable Markers (all kinds)

Prang (all pencils, crayons)


RoseArt Crayons (all kinds)
RoseArt Chalk
RoseArt Markers (all kinds)

Sanford / Mr. Sketch Scented Markers
Sanford / Mr. Sketch Watercolor Markers

Dough and Modeling Clay:

Colorations Wheat & Gluten-Free Dough (Discount School Supply)
Crayola Model Magic (clay – not the dough!)
Silly Putty
Note: Play Doh, Crayola, RoseArt Fun Dough, Ross and Amoco Super Dough are NOT gluten free! RoseArt modeling clay is NOT gluten free.

Glue and Paste

Crayola Glitter Glue
all products other than Finger Paint are gluten free.
Ross all products other than Finger Paint are gluten free.

Ross Glitter Glue
Ross White Glue
Ross Glue Sticks
Ross School Glue

Blick's Mix Instant Papier Maché
Note: Avoid traditional paste as it has wheat/gluten.

Grains and Pasta for Art & Sensory

Beans – kidney, navy, white, etc.
Peas, black-eyed peas
Sunflower Seeds
Rice, white or brown
Note: Avoid oats, barley, rye, wheat berries, or using bird seed.


Pasta (elbows, etc.), DeBola, OrgraN
Rice Pasta
(white and brown), Tinkyada, OrgraN
Note: Pretty much all pasta that is not specifically rice, corn, or other non-gluten grain will contain wheat flour and not be safe.


Crayola all paints including finger paint are gluten free.
Dick Blick Tempera
Lakeshore Liquid Tempera and Washable Finger Paints
Palmer Paint Products (all paints)

Palmer Nature' Hues
Palmer Liquid Tempera (contains corn starch)
Palmer Washable Liquid Tempura
Palmer Face Paint
Palmer Glitter Paint

Prang (all paints)


Brand Acrylic Glow in the Dark
Prism Regular Acrylics
Prism Model Paints
Prism Pearls

Prismatone Tempera
Ross (all other than finger paints)
Sargent Art Paints
Note: Elmer's and Ross finger paints is NOT gluten free.


Delta Sand (Discount School Supply)
Moon Sand

Soaps & Personal Care Items:

Band-Aid Bandages (all kinds, including character, clear, flexible, etc)
Dishwasher Soap
Savonnerie (all)
Purell hand sanitizer
Softsoap (all kinds)


brand is gluten free
Smile Makers brand (Staples and Smile Makers online)


3M Brand (tapes/office products do not contain gluten, nor casein)

Post-It Notes
Scotch Magic Tape

In general, any art or office supplies that have adhesive should be considered to contain gluten unless one finds out otherwise from the company, so no licking envelopes, no stickers adhered skin unless they are on the list above, etc. Always err on the side of caution.

For those concerned about soy exposure, Prang and Dixon/Ticonderoga both have soy crayons that are labeled as such. Christel King has passed along that all the Color Wonder products, all the Crayola colored pencils, the washable markers, all Palmer products, the oil paints, contain soy.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Meeting Manchester

Thane rode a different horse today, and he wasn't happy about it to start with. He wanted his beautiful, beautiful Lucy, but he was switched to Manchester -- a much bigger horse -- because he and Lucy seemed to be feeding off each other. Lucy would misbehave and Thane would laugh or otherwise verbally communicate possible approval, so Lucy would keep talking back. One he got used to Manchester's steadier step he was okay with it.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Returning

Braeden takes piano lessons which is supported with a class on music composition. The slide show below shows recent photos of Braeden, and is accompanied by his spring composition. It's about two minutes long. Enjoy!

Thane & Lucy

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday Afternoon

It's a Sunday afternoon with no plans, so we spent some time just hanging around in the backyard. Dave is still trying to finish the swing set. Only the roof is left. It should be done soon and then on to some other projects.

This is what I call chaos . . . the boys dueling and the dog howling. They can all be so loud! They are always squealing and sounding so happy, but it is too much for me!

Mist in the dandelions. Next project: mow lawn. She looks cute, though she wasn't sure she wanted to be photographed there.

Thane is sensory-seeking today. I don't know whether it is because he isn't feeling well or if it is part of his general push to experiment with things he doesn't like. I remember someone posting about their child with sensory issues and had a photo of her at just over a year old running through the grass barefoot. Thane would have never done that. He wouldn't walk in grass with shoes on during his second summer, when he had been walking for 2-3 months but was very reluctant to change floor textures, such as going from rug to wood.

He has made me really stop and think a lot lately. He is just powering through some of the things that gave him trouble in the past . . . he is such a determined and strong little boy. This is such a beautiful age. I am extremely proud of both my boys. I got pretty lucky with them!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

More Hippotherapy

This time Thane graduated to a saddle, so I guess we need new boots afterall. He also started doing more activities on his “beautiful, beautiful Lucy.” He definitely has some of his brother's clown in him!

Little Hair

While Thane was very good about getting a summer hair cut, he was not pleased with how he looked afterward. Mommy misses the longer hair too!

He looked in the mirror and cried. He said it was “Daddy’s hair.” Then he said, “I want my big hair back.”

Thane has always hated having people gently run their hands through his hair. His brother finds this very amusing. There were several shouts Monday evening of, “Don’t touch my little hair!!!”

I feel like a bad mom that it didn’t occur to me that changing the way he looks so radically would unnerve him. I guess I didn’t expect the hair cut to work (though we have been building up to it), and I wasn’t expecting the radical difference in his appearance.

I think this picture captures his opinion of it pretty well.

By the way, he cut my hair in the process, so it is now about shoulder length. I think that means Braeden now has the longest hair in the family!

I can't decide if he looks older or younger. I think my mind thinks younger because he now has that hair standing up on the back of his head like he did when he was tiny and when we kept his hair shorter. A lot of people think he looks more grown-up . . . that he really looks like he is 4 years old now.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Party Thoughts

I had a couple of party thoughts that I thought I would post . . . ideas that seemed to work pretty well and one that didn't.

1. Instead of trying to write down who gave what gift, I photographed Braeden opening the presents. In a bunch of the pictures you can see the name of the gift-giver, but it was easy for me to figure out afterward anyway as the photo really brings the memory to the front. It also gives us an opportunity for very personalized thank you notes with photographs. It helps that Braeden was smiling!

2. Instead of buying loot bags, we bought $1 reusable grocery bags. These bags are big and strong enough for kids to take extras to someone’s house, or they can be used by the family for groceries. They were a good conversation piece and B’s birthday follows Earth Day pretty closely.

What didn’t work that well were the colored vests for the games. We had people choose a colored swatch from a bag and they would be on that team. What I didn’t take into account was that they would go onto the field and switch jerseys around! So much for planning things to be fair.

We have decided that we are going to buy some more of the grocery bags in fun colors and use them for gift bags when we go to other parties – they are cheaper and more useful than the gift bags.

A Bug and a Plane

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Thane Rides a Horse

Today was the day we’ve been waiting 7 months for . . . Thane started therapeutic horseback riding! I am so proud of him! He did great!

We did try to prepare him for this as the horses are pretty big in comparison to a little man like Thane. We went and met the horses, took pictures, and I put together a social story book with the photographs. It wasn’t one of my best, but it seems like some of these things get easier over time. He knew exactly what he needed to do right until getting on the horse. He was a bit scared at first and wanted to control the situation, but once he got on the horse he was all smiles and chatting away.
He got to ride Lucy, the smallest horse, and the one he met and pet when we visited. He was calling out “Giddy up, Lucy!” He was adorable.

The lighting in the place is something I don’t know how to deal with – sunlight streaming in through big doors and windows up high, while the indoors is kind of dim. In other words, my photos are all awful. I also forgot a decent camera, which didn’t help me any. But here is a little video clip. There are other animals around, including a rooster (you’ll understand when you watch).

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Braeden is 10!

All week long we watched the weather. We invited everyone that Braeden wanted to invite – 18 children ages 9-14 and from 6 different schools. We woke up to cloudy skies and drizzle here and there. I checked The Weather Channel site and it said there was only a 10% chance of rain and the weather should improve throughout the day. It didn’t. And we have an older home with rooms that aren’t big enough to host this many people at once.

Dave scrambled and put up two tents, some umbrellas, and we had told everyone it was an outdoor party so we went on as planned. One child couldn’t come because he got sick in the middle of the night, another friend actually drove nearly 30 miles with his mother to drop off a gift for Braeden even though he had a fever and wasn’t feeling well enough to stay – I thought that was very sweet. This young man must get his impeccable manners from his parents!

I have to say the parents were good sports too as they knew their kids were going to playing out in the rain if they left them with us – I guess everyone figured they wouldn’t melt. They played Capture the Flag, soccer, dodge ball, wiffle ball, I forget what else but there were a lot of different games. We ended up near the house instead of in the bigger field down below, but it worked out fine. The girls were extremely good sports considering there were only three of them and one of the boys was being difficult with them.

There was some fun with bubbles too. I found the scene pretty cute. Following that are a couple of pictures of Braeden opening gifts. He was so happy with one gift he flipped around to hug the boy who gave it to him.

Dueling Cameras


Gotcha back!

My littlest photographer and I were caught dueling last night.