Archives for September 2010

Weekly Winners: A Day at the Beach

Go check out Lotus and the rest of the Weekly Winners participants

Thursday Ten: And a Hush Fell Over the House Edition

1. School’s in session and my house is…quiet? It’s a really odd and yet my productivity has gone up… by a lot. Makes it a little easier to compartmentalize work time and family time. And yeah, the girls are digging being at school and hanging with friends – so it’s just win-win all around.

2. While the pup is starting to really “get it” as far as knowing commands and being a good little puppy-dude, I cannot cannot cannot keep him from jumping on the couch! I say, “Down”  and he jumps off. I praise him and make a big deal and then… right back up he goes. Suggestions?

3. After a brisk walk this morning, my head was POUNDING. I downloaded the free Zyrtec AllergyCast app for my iPhone (no, Zyrtec didn’t sponsor this. I can’t take Zyrtec, it makes me fall asleep – doesn’t matter when I take it, I’m groggy for the full duration). Looks like west Michigan is rating an 8 out of 10 for yucky allergies today. BOO RAGWEED! BOO! Popped an OTC allergy med and some ibuprofen and I feel much better.

4. It’s Project Runway night. I have to say, after last week’s challenge, I was pretty neutral on all the designers (except Gretchen. I just don’t dig her. Sorry). I think the bridesmaid dress challenge was pretty interesting, actually – but ew, the fabrics. I guess I’ve been lucky I’ve never been forced to wear such a hideous bridesmaid gown… though truthfully, without MAJOR revision, there’s probably very few dresses you really will “wear again”.

5. This fall weather we’ve been having has been making me crave cool weather comfort foods. This morning I was en route to an appointment and my brain was making a virtual laundry list of the foods I was looking forward to eating now that summer’s nearly gone… Yummm ropa vieja with rice. That’s what I’m craving most of all. What are your favorite cool weather foods? What are you looking forward to most?

6. I have an appointment to get my hair trimmed this afternoon. I love getting my hair cut – mainly because it never looks as good as it does when I leave the salon. I love to have someone blow out my hair – it gets pin straight. I can’t do that! After a summer of ponytails and humidity, I could use a little hair refresh.

7. I’m still in love with my Sharpie pen. I should point out that the folks at Sharpie didn’t bribe me, give me stuff, pay me or contact me in anyway to make me say nice stuff about their pen. But, hey, Sharpie folks? Call me. I’m here for you. I will totally say more nice stuff if you give me some of these pens – because these pens make my sloppy handwriting look positively lovely and THAT’S HOW I KNOW THEY ARE MAGIC.

8. It’s football season. The only football I watch is Michigan football (GO BLUE) – and they had a phenomenal start to their season last Saturday against UConn. Who are you rooting for?

9. Yesterday, in the midst of a bad morning I practice a philosophy my mother instilled in me at a young age: “When the going gets tough, the tough get shopping.” Actually, I’m not much of a shopper, but I do tend to like to buy things when I’m down. It doesn’t take much – I don’t go Maserati shopping after a bad day – but there’s nothing like a new book and a cup of coffee when you’re feeling glum. I wish it wasn’t so – I think it’s a silly coping mechanism – but it’s a mood lift for about $15, so… I suppose it’s better than a crack habit.

10. My Kindle* arrived!! I have downloaded my first e-book, but I’ve yet to start reading. I think I made this week a little too crazy for myself and spare time is something that I don’t have much of. Unfortunately. I can’t wait to try it and let y’all know how it is.

*affiliate link

And They’re OFF!

With only a slight misting of my eyes, both girls boarded the big yellow school bus yesterday to venture off for their first days of school – one to kindergarten, one to third grade.

At the end of the day, I watched that bus pull up at the bus stop and my smiling children came back home, holding hands, faces wide with genuine smiles.

I think we can call the day a success.

I’ve never been one to mourn each stage they pass through – because we’re all kind of growing up together… though it did give me pause when I realized that Pumpkin was now a member of the CLASS OF 2023.


Be still my heart.


No matter. At the end of the day, after baths and homework, we tucked in the girls and they slept hard. They slept the sleep of the supremely exhausted.

They slept the sleep of school season.

And it was good.

Weekly Winners, Week Ending 9.4.2010

A sense of familiar away from home

Wrapped up my 365 on August 31 - and yep! I started over again.

Eye spy

The puppy thinks my leg is yummy.

My leg goes from snack to resting place in a matter of second

Be sure to visit Lotus and the other Weekly Winner participants.

Thursday Ten: Confessing My Love for Sharpies Edition

1. I had to go to a meeting the other day. One that might possibly require me to take notes. I decided to stop at Target on my way – pick up a cute notebook and some pens. I snagged a pack of black Sharpie pens. I have a love of Sharpie markers. I have a cup on my desk that is packed to the gills (if cups HAD gills) with markers. Unfortunately, the fine tip Sharpie markers still bleed through paper. THESE PENS DON’T. I’m in love. Next? Sharpie pencils. I’ll have to come up with an excuse to buy those. Anyone need me to take some notes?

2. Do you ever have one of those days where all you want to do is pull your hair out and wonder if you are speaking some nonsensical language because it seems no one seems to hear or understand you and instead does the opposite of what you are trying to say? Yeah. On THOSE days, the answer is to meet a friend for dinner at a Mexican restaurant – eat many chips with lots of salsa, maybe gorge on enchiladas, and indulge in conversation that has nothing to do with whether or not someone is hogging the couch.

3. While we were out of town over the weekend, we had the dog groomed. To account for the splint that matted all the fur on his leg for the past month… they shaved him down pretty close. It’s… not cute. We know it will grow back – but our furry fluffy pup? Gone.

4. Also gone is our pup who was starting to learn and obey commands and he was replaced by a dog who is seemingly on an invisible pixi stick drip. That is one ACTIVE puppy. He’s learning to fetch, though. A way to have fun and burn off some of the sillies… but whoa.

5. Tuesday was Day 365 of my 365 Project. And yeah, I just started all over again yesterday.

6. Upon completing the 365, I decided to set the whole shebang to music so I needed some new tunes. Recommended to me? “Happiness” by the Weepies and “We Are Okay” by Joshua Radin. Both very welcome happy additions to my iTunes playlist.

7. Speaking of iTunes… Ping. Are you in or are you out? I love me some social media but I buy a lot of music. I don’t know that I want everyone to know when the spirit moves me and I’m downloading something from the soundtrack to the musical “Oklahoma!”.

8. Last week’s Project Runway auf’ing… Okay – I saw that coming. I knew there was no way they would send Gretchen and her giant bag of crazy home just yet, but WHOA NELLY. What was that? And I realize it’s just a television show but I sat on my couch wanting to throw stuff at her. I’m mature like that.

9. The temperatures are supposed to drop to the 70s this weekend. I AM SO EXCITED. The summer humidity isn’t a friend of mine (my hair doesn’t like it either). When I woke up this morning and saw that the leaves had started to fall from our little tree in the front yard I may have gotten a little giddy. Okay. A LOT giddy.

10. Random question: If money was no object and you could go ANYWHERE on a dream vacation, where would you go?

Oh Nuts. When Your Kiddo Is In A Peanut-Free Classroom

We returned Sunday evening from a weekend away to a mailbox full of STUFF. Mostly junk. Some magazines (whoohoo!). And several letters related to the start of school – including one from The Princess’s teacher.

The letter said that due to several kiddos with peanut allergies that would be in their classroom their room would be a peanut free zone.  Huh.

Immediately, I took to Twitter. Admittedly, we’re kind of a family full of peanut freaks. None of us have food allergies and if we had to give up our peanut butter, surely we’d all have meltdowns of epic proportions. We buy the stuff in bulk at Costco – that’s how much we love it. And EVEN THE DOG is hooked on the PB.

I’m not totally out of the loop – I realize that a growing number of children are being diagnosed with life-threatening nut allergies. I’ve seen the labels on food packages that indicate that a product contains nuts, or wheat, or soy (or dairy or eggs or some such) – or even that the product was processed in a plant that also processes (insert allergen here).

So, when a classroom is a PEANUT FREE ZONE, what does that entail? Are we just limited to not bringing in peanutty snacks (like peanut butter and crackers) – or are those other items off limits too – those things that don’t necessarily contain peanuts but were made in a place that also handles peanuts. And and and… I really just had no clue.

So I asked Twitter what kinds of snacks my kid could take to school. Twitter didn’t disappoint. First of all the reminded me, “UH, duh, Sarah – fruits and vegetables!” (Seriously? HOW COULD I FORGET). String cheese, Goldfish crackers, raisins, yogurt. Whew. So – kind of a lot of options. Here’s a link to a sample list of “safe foods“.

The school says they’ve got a special nut-free zone set up in the cafeteria – so for those of us who need to resort to sending our kiddos with a PB&J sometimes – we can still do that (again…whew). But they’ll get the kids in practice of frequent handwashing – particularly after lunch, and making sure the kids wipe their mouths before returning to the classroom.

When I met with The Princess’s teacher today, he had done a lot of legwork to make sure that parents of children who aren’t allergic have everything spelled out for us. I couldn’t ask for more, really – this is my first experience with having to really pay attention to such a degree, that to have things spelled out (specifically, a list of foods that are okay to bring) makes it seem less like a hassle, and more like, “OH. This should barely affect us at all.”

Perhaps the biggest bummer comes on The Princess’s birthday. No homemade treats whatsoever. I am a baking mom – and love brainstorming cupcake ideas with my daughter, love executing a cute idea, and I love her getting to show off and bringing in a fabulous end result to share with her classmates.

No go. Not this year.

I mentioned this to a friend whose daughter has many food allergies. She said to me, “But think of how those children feel to not be able to get that special treat!”

I hadn’t planned on leaving them out – I thought I could figure out something entirely allergen free to bring in – but the risk lies in cross-contamination (which sounds gross, doesn’t it? Sounds messy and dirty). We can’t risk maybe a remnant of peanut butter on a utensil used to scoop cupcake batter – and ugh.

So. Birthdays will be a little different this year but we’ll roll with it because really, comparatively? We’ve got the easy job.

Do you have food allergies or children with food allergies? If so, can you tell me what you would like others to know? What are your favorite peanut free/allergy-safe snacks?

Image source, Flickr