"What's Eating My Child?" - notes from a talk by Kelly Dorfman

The notes that follow are my (Sarabeth's) summary of a talk given by Kelly Dorfman.

Thinking About Family

Dear Family,

To my old brown earth And to my old blue sky I’ll now give these last few molecules of “I.” And you who sing, And you who stand nearby, I do charge you not to cry. Guard well our human chain,
 Watch well you keep it strong, 
As long as sun will shine. And this our home,
 Keep pure and sweet and green,
 For now I’m yours 
And you are also mine.

--Pete Seeger (1919-2014)


Concerning eternal frustrations (Slippery Ice, Learning Something New, Life In General): "I HATE ice skating!

Really, This Must Be a Milestone

Dear Family,

Happy Christmas (to those who celebrate)! And Happy Day When Nobody Expects You To Do Anything, Which Is A Super Awesome Holiday (to those who don't).

This year, Jeff and I Divided To Conquer. He got the Super-Long Drive and the Potty-Trained Kids Who Sleep Through the Night. I got the Easy Commute, and the Sometimes-Potty-Trained Child Who Rarely Sleeps Deeply. Ben and Jem are having a Bountiful Christmas at Grandma's, and report that they are having lots of fun. Amazingly, both Jeff and I are getting some extra rest.

Upcoming Food Events!

Eating Because We Love To (and because it's good for our health)!

The following events will focus on nutrient-dense, grain-free, un(corporately)processed food.

Introducing Robbie: A Family Turning the Tide

Robbie was sick and compromised from birth. He lacked oxygen during many hours of labor, and was born barely alive. Afterward, he was limp and listless and would only sleep. For a couple days he was like that, no nursing at all for many hours. There was every indication that he had irreparable brain damage.

He always had issues that were obvious to me, a mother of 5, because my older children didn't have any of them. He was not vaccinated, never had antibiotics, and was breastfed until age 5 or 6...and still he was never, ever well.

Seeking a Housework (r)Evolution

Dear Family,

"Woman's Work is Never Done..."


("But is anybody's?"


Up until very recently (like, a couple of days ago) and for years now, I've spent a lot of my waking hours accompanied by the vaguely uneasy sensation that I'm Not Doing Enough. I am embarrassed to admit how often I have made myself crazy by assuming that since my to-do list is never done, then I should do more, be more efficient, Just Try Harder. (Because, I mean, efficient people don't feel this way, right??) (Even though I KNOW this is silly!

What We Eat - With Recipes!

When we first started the Specific Carbohydrate/Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet in 2010, I had a bookcase full of vegetarian recipes, a burgeoning career as a vegetarian chef…and not a clue how to cook (let alone eat) a chicken. The only thing I knew how to ferment was sourdough bread. And for many more reasons than the sheer cooking workload, I was completely overwhelmed.

Three years later, I have amassed a small collection of dietarily compatible recipes, while the old ones sit nostalgically and uselessly on top shelves.

All The Gory Details I can Think Of, and Then Some

Dear Family,

"I don't know whether I believe in God or not. I think, really, I'm some sort of Buddhist. But the essential thing is to put oneself in a frame of mind which is close to that of prayer."




"[I made] a teeny candle, in case you want a teeny bit of light…an' this one is even _tinier_, for those times when you need an even tinier light."

"[The snow] is so pretty, 'cause it's not falling super fast or super slow."

"How does a so-tiny baby neck hold up a so-big baby head?"

"…ARGUING! That's what we're doing over here."

To Do 1/24/2013:

Wash Dishes.

Do Laundry.

Put Away Laundry From Monday, and also from Last Thursday.

Figure out how to make sausage out of a beef heart.

Remember: that Ben told me not to tell him (“or just lie”) if I am cooking with organ meat, so that he won't have to know he's eating it.

Choose: not to ponder the ethical implications of the previous point.

Remember: Jem will not be scarred for Life despite the fact that he is stomping around making loud harrumphing sounds like a Proverbial Sullen Schooled Teenager, after I told him Not To Wake Eliza for the thirtieth time this morning.


Dear Family,

So it turns out that in the time I currently have available to me, I am not going to become a political scientist, or a molecular biologist, or an investigative reporter. I had this realization right about 3am on one of the blurring-together-nights this past week, during one of Eliza's super un-fun screaming wake-ups. She's in the midst of yet another apparent bout of especially bad reflux, which appears to be just one of the factors that cause her to refuse most of the food we offer her (and to sleep terribly at night).


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