Kit and I spent last Saturday morning at the walk-in clinic, and came home with a possible diagnosis of lactose intolerance for her and a ban of all forms of milk products for me. I bake all of our everything, and most of my breads have milk, butter, or both; my mother-in-law's delicious pumpkin bread is pretty much the only exception, calling as it does for canola oil and water instead. I'm reluctant to admit to how much butterkin (butternut squash/pumpkin) bread I've eaten this week...
We did also learn that taking my standard sandwich bread recipe, replacing the milk with water, and using all white flour (gasp!) (only because I ran out of whole grain flours and the baby was asleep on my shoulder so I couldn't grind more), and kneading for a solid 10 minutes, produced a respectable loaf that held up well both fresh and toasted.
Sunday, the feast of St Nicholas, we woke up to chocolate coins in our shoes, which I suddenly couldn't eat because there is milk in everything and it is ridiculous and frustrating. Since chocolate is pretty much my favorite thing in the world, Matt's and my coins went directly into his bag to take to work the next day. And then he went and brought home a plate of fudge, which has been sitting in the fridge taunting me all. week. long. Anyway. Bigger things than fudge to fret about this week...
On Monday, the well stopped filling the holding tank, and we ran out of water. No showers, laundry, dishwashing until the well started working properly again; since Monday it has done a not-quite-mediocre job, struggling to fill the 200-gallon tank even with all of us (both apartments draw water from the same well/tank) severely conserving water.
Well, it was doing a just about mediocre job until Wednesday, when water pressure somehow sheared the valve off one of the pipes next to our washing machine. Water was fountaining out of the pipe, splattering the garage ceiling, covering the floor, soaking everything in a 6' radius... until the holding tank emptied, and then the well stopped filling it again and there was no more water. Again.
We do have an incredibly clean garage floor now, though.
Thursday the plumbers came out and replaced the broken valve, and the water delivery truck filled the holding tank. We've been asked to continue conserving water until the landlord can get a well guy out to hopefully fix the well. I totally understand the request—having water delivered is expensive—but I'm not quite sure what "conserve" means at this point. How long, realistically, would one expect 200 gallons of water to last two households?
But Tuesday was good: it was the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, we had supper at my parents' house (which came with the added bonus of not accumulating more dishes in our kitchen that I couldn't wash), and we were cheerfully laboring under the delusion that by giving the well a little rest it would be back to normal soon. Oh, and we made it to noon Mass for the solemnity as a family! Matt was able to take a long lunch to come with Little Bear and Kit and me, and we happened to have a visiting priest from the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, who gave a wonderful homily.
First thing Thursday morning Kit had a follow-up with our regular pediatrician, who said that given her symptoms, A) Kit much more likely has cow's milk protein allergy (CMPA) than lactose intolerance, although B) it's a little unusual for CMPA to have taken so long to show up, but C) at this point, there's more evidence to support CMPA than any of the other possible causes he could think of for her symptoms. So I'm off dairy completely until next weekend, when I can try reintroducing baked goods containing milk/butter as long as she's doing fine. If symptoms return while I'm off dairy, then it will be clear that CMPA isn't the culprit, and we'll have to start doing tests to see what's really going on.
And because I haven't been able to do any Christmas baking yet, both because of A) not wanting to make more dishes and then feel guilty for using water to wash them, and B) slightly panicking over the idea that I may have to go off dairy completely for another year or longer and feeling completely overwhelmed by the question of whether to abandon our classic butter-bearing recipes, rework them to be dairy-free, or just make them the right way for Matt and Little Bear and tell myself that God is helping me lose weight this Christmas... ahem. Yes, slightly overwhelmed here. But that's effectively kicked me out of the kitchen this week, so we've been doing lots of reading:
And, apparently saving this most exciting news for last, Little Bear is definitely reading! That little booklet he's looking at? He read that story to me yesterday, with very little help. And today on our way in to Mass, I heard him in the back seat sounding out words in a picture book; I didn't quite have the brain power at the moment to explain silent Es, so I just let him laugh at the book about baby moose for calling them "moosE"s. Having him so excited about learning to read is so much fun!