Thursday, December 13, 2012

Allergy ereader and grocery deals

Yes, I am ignoring the stack of Christmas cards I need to address to share:

You needed to do more shopping, right?

Thursday, December 06, 2012

If you haven't got anything nice... say about anybody, come sit by me.--Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Allergic Living magazine is looking for contributors (You can remain anonymous!) for an article about food allergies and marital stress. I mean, I'm sure you and your spouse and in-laws extended family have NEVER had any disagreements about anything related to the care of your food-allergic children, but if you happen to have a friend who has experienced these issues, she could respond. Anonymously.

They're looking for happy stories, too.

I look forward to reading the article and figuring out which contributor is you your friend.

More information and a link can be found here.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Welp, it's official

I'm the new Associate Editor at Go Dairy Free!

And holy crap, is that a big photo of my face.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving recipes; Melissa and Doug

Hey! Thanksgiving is Thursday! I'm hosting it at my house again! Recipes here and here, and, a new addition, here is Scott's my dairy-free mashed potato recipe. Thanks, Honey!

Also also, Mary Ostyn posted her cream of anything soup recipe from her cookbook! Just use plain powdered soy milk and dairy-free bouillon (I never spell that right the first time) and you are SET to make dairy-free green bean casserole and dairy-free pot pie with the leftovers! The possibilities are endless.

Please enjoy these recipes while I stalk Amazon. Thank goodness for today's annual Melissa and Doug sale, otherwise the baby would have nothing under the tree. Magnetic Farm Hide and Seek, you are mine.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Aunt Sarah

Don't you like the sound of that?!

So tell me, just how much fun is it to have a niece or nephew to spoil and then send home? Especially when your sister* and her family are moving in three doors down and you can steal him/her away whenever you want?

*She went public on Facebook today, so I can FINALLY tell you!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Free Food Allergy Mama Cookbook

RIGHT NOW on Amazon, The Food Allergy Mama's Baking Book ebook is free! Go, go, go! before the price changes in five minutes to $79.95! (Ah, Amazon. We love ya.)

I own this cookbook and use it often. I can't wait for Kelly's next cookbook to be released!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


I wake up and bathe
I greet the roofer working
Outside the window

Firetrucks are cool
I do not blame you, Toddler
Crying when they go

Hey, Librarian
Thanks for insulting my kid
And making me cry

I forgive you, Friend
For backing into my van
I hate this rental

Aldi, thank you for
All of your pumpkin goodness
A lot dairy free

Friday, October 05, 2012


I'd like to direct your attention here, and invite you over for homemade dairy-free ice cream once my new ice cream maker arrives.

P.S. I'm giving my current ice cream maker to my sister to thank her for the idea.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Anaphylaxis 101

I am late in posting this, but you can bet I will be 'encouraging' my allergic child to enter. $2000 college scholarship? Yes, please. I've always loved Julie Bowen (WHEN will "Ed" be out on DVD?!?) and now I love her even more.

“Modern Family” Star Julie Bowen Joins Mylan Specialty L.P. to Launch Health Awareness Initiative to Address Growing Rate of Life-Threatening Allergic Reactions
Get Schooled In Anaphylaxis™ Campaign Kicks Off with College Scholarship Challenge
Basking Ridge, NJ, September 26, 2012 – Emmy-award winning actress Julie Bowen, known for her comedic role in “Modern Family,” is for the first time publicly sharing her family’s experience with life-threatening allergies to help drive a national conversation on this serious health issue. Bowen is partnering with Mylan Specialty L.P. to launch Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis™, a multi-faceted public health initiative that aims to increase awareness of and preparedness for life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis).
The campaign’s first priority will be to focus on educating the school community. Sending children to school can be a great source of anxiety for parents of children who may be at risk for life-threatening allergic reactions because the children are out of their parents' direct care and supervision. In addition, recent tragedies involving school-aged children have highlighted the need to further educate teachers, school staff and students about anaphylaxis.
“Like most kids, my son spends 180 days in school each year and I need to know that the people he is with every day know the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis and what to do if it occurs,” said Bowen, who had no idea her son had life-threatening allergies to peanuts, walnuts and bee stings until he experienced an anaphylactic reaction when he was a toddler. “Fortunately, my son received immediate medical care and recovered quickly, but it was a wake-up call that anaphylaxis can occur anywhere and at any time, even when you may not think your child is at risk.”
Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that has many possible triggers, may occur quickly and without warning, and must be treated immediately with epinephrine. Avoidance of allergic triggers is the critical first step in managing life-threatening allergies. However, allergens are not always obvious and accidental exposure may still happen.
To get the school community involved, Bowen is calling on students nationwide to join the Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis Challenge™. Students in grades 1-12 are encouraged to visit and submit an essay describing an idea to help their school become more aware of and better prepared to support students who may be at risk for life-threatening allergic reactions. Fifteen students from across the country will be selected by a judging panel to win a $2,000 college scholarship.
“My son is only five, but he has already started to take responsibility for his life-threatening allergies and become his own advocate,” said Bowen, who will star in a public service announcement (PSA) about anaphylaxis. “Through the Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis Challenge, students across the country will have the opportunity to educate their peers and help everyone be more aware of life-threatening allergies.”
Food allergy is the most common cause of anaphylaxis, though it can also be triggered by insect stings, medications, latex or other allergens. It is estimated that one in 13 children in the U.S. suffer from a food allergy and a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that the incidence increased 18 percent from 1997 to 2007. Up to 1,500 deaths each year are caused by life-threatening allergic reactions.
Anaphylaxis is a significant public health issue in our nation’s schools, where accidental exposures to allergens may occur,” said Hemant Sharma, M.D., associate chief of the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. “We need to make sure everyone responsible for the safety of children in schools knows how to identify and avoid allergic triggers, recognize anaphylaxis signs and symptoms, and understand how to quickly get appropriate treatment and immediate medical care when a life-threatening allergic reaction occurs.”
Get Schooled In Anaphylaxis Challenge™ Entry Information
The Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis Challenge™ encourages school-aged children in grades 1-12 to write a brief essay and submit up to two visual images. Submissions should explain an idea to:
· Improve awareness of life-threatening allergies in schools;
· Help students who may be at risk for life-threatening allergic reactions feel more accepted in their school; or
· Provide a unique solution to a challenge faced by students who may be at risk for anaphylaxis.
Each entry will be evaluated by a judging panel including family caregivers, doctors, school nurses, advocacy groups and others in the allergy community. Winners will be selected based on creativity and originality of the idea, the clarity of the proposed solution and the potential for implementation of the idea.
Essays can be submitted from September 26, 2012 to November 9, 2012.
For more information visit
Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis™ and Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis Challenge™ are sponsored by and trademarks of Mylan Specialty L.P. © 2012. All rights reserved. MYS12-8001

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Do you hear pounding?

I do because we're getting a new roof. Well, we're getting a new roof on the house and porch. The attached garage/shed combo will have to wait a few years. Is there anything more anticlimactic than pouring money into your house for necessary repairs? Maybe next we'll redo the wiring! WHOO! So pretty! At least I won't cringe every time it rains, so that's something. And I did get to pick the shingle color. (Scott: "There are different colors?")

In part of my ongoing quest to bum free food off of people, I'm expecting a delivery of overripe tomatoes and some basil today. You know I'm going to make Catherine Newman's roasted tomato sauce. Did you see her food feature in the latest Family Fun? Now I must have the microwave chips maker she mentions. Hey, I love the Whirley-Pop she recommended.

I was at a church meeting last night where the other members of the committee un-ironically referred to me as a "youngster." I've often thought that I never want to live in a retirement community because I want to be surrounded by people of various ages making me feel young. It never occurred to me I might start reaping those benefits in my late thirties.

Welp, this youngster's going to do some cooking and try to drown out the pounding with children's musical soundtracks.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Green Tomatoes

One of my favorite Tightwad Gazette tips is the one about letting people know you are willing to take free stuff. Even free stuff that seems like junk to them. It may be trash, or it may be something wonderful like hand-me-down clothing. Or green tomatoes.

Fried Green Tomatoes, adapted from Wisconsin Country Cookbook and Journal

green tomatoes
dairy-free milk
flour, mixed with salt, pepper, and a little maple or brown sugar
DF margarine
more DF milk
DF chicken bouillon powder

Slice tomatoes 1/2 inch thick. Dip in milk and then in flour mixture. Fry slowly in 1/2 DF margarine and 1/2 shortening until crisp, brown, and tender. Remove to a plate. Add more DF milk to the pan, along with a sprinkling of DF chicken bouillon. Reduce into a pan gravy and pour over the tomatoes.

After you've eaten your fill of fried green tomatoes, puree the rest of the green tomatoes in your food processor and freeze in 2 1/2 cup and 2 cup amounts to make:

Green Tomato Cake--I usually leave out the raisins and stir the coconut into the batter.
Green Tomato Raspberry Jam

(Yes, we've cooked and enjoyed both. The cake is one of my dad's favorites.)

Now go raid your neighbors' tomato patches. With their permission, of course.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Yes, I do comfort myself with food

Mah babies are at school! I miss them so. Time to distract myself with cooking, especially foods for them to enjoy in their lunchboxes.

Money Saving Mom is starting a lunchbox freezer cooking session, and Milk Allergy Mom is following along with some dairy-free versions of the recipes.

Alisa posted a great-looking curry chicken nuggets recipe at Attune Foods. I especially like the curry sauce.

Our friends just dropped off 5 pounds of Concord grapes, which means it's jelly time! I use the cooked jelly recipe from the Sure-Jell pectin recipe insert, but I freeze the jelly instead of canning it. I prep the grapes this way because I have a Foley food mill, and I follow the advice of this recipe that says I don't have to strain the grape juice.

On vacation one day we had eggplant Parmesan that contained dairy, so for Katherine's lunch, I made this:

Easy Eggplant Parmesan

2-3 small, thin eggplants
1 garlic clove
olive oil
Progresso Italian Panko Style Breadcrumbs

Slice the eggplants into 1/4 inch circles, salt lightly. Chop or press the garlic. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant and saute until slightly browned. Add the garlic, turn the heat to medium, and cook until eggplant is tender. Toss in a handful of breadcrumbs with a little more oil if needed and stir to combine. Serve with red sauce.

What do your kids like in their lunches?

Saturday, September 01, 2012


Two. TWO! How is that possible?

I love you, Graham. I hope you have a perfect birthday, although I know nothing can compare to the gift the neighbors already gave you: your VERY OWN doggie pillow pet. Life is good.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Turn it up to eleven

What to have for your eleventh birthday when it's on a weeknight and your dad won't be home in time to make your favorite fried chicken before you have to leave for your school open house:

Bacon cheese chicken made with Daiya cheddar and ranch dressing made with 1/2 mayo and 1/2 Tofutti Sour Supreme, using Mary Ostyn's ranch dressing mix
Crack Broccoli
Baked Potatoes
Daddy's Rolls
Pineapple Upside Down Cake (using cake mix)

Happy Birthday, Katherine.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lordy lordy

I woke up in bed with a 40-year old man today. Don't worry, it was Scott. When we first met he was 24. Insert cliche about the passage of time here.

So, what do you do for the man who doesn't want a big party or like attention? You take him to see Jim Gaffigan ("Four kids? That's one way to live your life.") and you bake him a pake. Ever since Angry Chicken posted about this I've been obsessed. Instead of the cherry/chocolate combination, I'm doing a small dairy-free apple pie baked in yellow cake with vanilla frosting. I can't wait to see how it turns out.

We've been talking about getting older and how fast time goes. The other night at dinner, "In My Life" came on, and I said, "This is one of those songs that I thought I got as a teenager but really makes me weepy now. 'Landslide' is another one." THE VERY NEXT SONG was "Landslide." Scott: "Wow, Pandora's getting a little too on the nose." Me: "What channel did you select? Morose Songs That Make Sarah Cry?"

Happy birthday, Honey. I'm so glad to be going through life with you.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I am not dead. But I was on vacation and at a family wedding, so all that travel made wish I was. Nothing kicks 'my babies are growing up' mooniness to the curb like 40 hours together in a minivan.

I missed the chance to tell you about the Pittsburgh Pirates' first ever allergy awareness night, which was on August 10. They now have a peanut-controlled section. Go Bucs!

The FDA just approved the first talking epinephrine auto injector by Sanofi-US. It's called Auvi-Q, and the part I am super excited about is that it is the size and shape of a credit card and the thickness of a smart phone, which makes it way easier to carry in a pocket. Like, say, the jeans pocket of a teenager who doesn't want to be seen lugging a traditional EpiPen around. Awesome.

And! Mylan Specialty is offering a free EpiPen four pack to schools across the country through their EpiPen4Schools program. All this allergy-related news makes me feel hopeful, unlike the mountain of laundry in my basement.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Freezer Pickles

We used to belong to a big city CSA, back when our neighbor commuted and brought us the veggies on her way home.  Now she lives in the city full time and we bum produce from our friends with gardens.  Luckily, the CSA posts all of their newsletters online.  I searched all the way back to 2008 to find my favorite refrigerator/freezer pickle recipe.  Here it is for you to enjoy and for me never to lose again.

"Fresh Cucumber Pickles:  Cut 3-4 cucumbers and a medium onion into a large bowl.
In a sauce pan place 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup of sugar, ½ cup of water, 2 tsp. of salt, 1 tsp dried dill weed.  Heat until the mixture comes to a boil stirring often.  Pour over cucumbers and onions.  When cooled I place in a large 1 ½ quart jar and place in the frig.  Will keep for about 2 weeks.  We eat ours quick.  After you finish the first batch you can still use the liquid for another time."--Kretschmann Farms

Edit:  Here's their fresh dill spears recipe, too.  "Fresh Dill Pickle Spears:  Slice 1 or 2 cucumbers into spears and place in a glass quart jar with a few sprigs of fresh dill, or dill seed.   Then heat 1/8 c salt, 1/4 c vinegar, and 2 c water to boiling with a cut-up clove of garlic.  Pour this over the cukes and when it cools, refrigerate."

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ever hear of...


This girl has.  I love her.

*Random 80s TV commercial reference:

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Midsummer update

Dairy-free goodness:
Chocolate Moon Pies are dairy free (don't know about vanilla or banana flavors).  This. is. EPIC.
Frozen cherry-berry/lemonade drinks at McDonald's are dairy free, and the smoothies can be made dairy free. A very nice employee showed us how the machine works without our asking.  Each flavor has its own tube.   The yogurt is piped in from its own tube into the cups, so there is no worry of cross contamination.  Just ask for a smoothie with no yogurt and extra ice.
When the kids cashed in their summer reading tickets at Taco Bell, the young woman behind the counter lectured another employee on the severity of food allergies and how the dairy-free order we placed must be handled with extra care.  
I am LOVING all of these young people (because I am old) in the work force who understand food allergies.  I predict even more understanding as the years go by.

Checked off of summer to-do list:
library summer reading program
two weeks of VBS
blueberry picking--twice
wild blueberry, raspberry, and blackberry picking
swimming in the neighbors' new pool
swim lessons
cleaning out stuff and making over $200 at a yard sale
replaced twenty year-old leaking fridge
fourteen-year wedding anniversary

Looking forward to more of the same, plus:
family wedding
putting bunk beds in the boys' room
getting AC installed!
summer birthdays
county fair
getting my computer back from the clutches of my children

Friday, June 08, 2012

One day more

  • It's the last day of school.  I am so happy that one child is finished with this year and so sad that the other one is leaving such a perfect teacher/classroom experience.  *sigh*
  • I was so anxious about how naptime would go this year, as we're down to just one napper.  I assumed the middle two would spend the afternoon tearing each other apart until the eldest got home.  Instead, they became best buddies and played together so well.  Naturally now I'm moony about the fact that the Kindergartner will be in school all day next year and so this little window of sweet afternoon playtime is at an end.  
  • Also, our favorite preschool teacher is moving.  CAN NOTHING STAY THE SAME?  (Answer: no.)
  • My parents recommended the 25th anniversary special of Les Miserables, which I thought I'd watch while folding laundry.  The six-year old came in and started asking lots of questions.  "That man went to prison for 20 years for stealing a loaf of bread.  Javert wants to take him back to prison.  Uh, the foreman fired Fantine because... he didn't like her.  Uh, she's working on the street... selling things.  Uh, she's dying, but that nice man will take care of Cosette.  Uh, Mama's crying because the music is so pretty and she's emotional about the end of the school year.  So, you want to watch Clutch Powers?"

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Kickin' it old school

Why yes I did buy some prune juice on sale with coupons, thank you for asking.  Time for a depression-era-type recipe, yes?

Prune Coffee Cake, adapted from and Paula Deen

EDIT:  YES, IT HAS FLOUR.  My copy/paste skillz are lacking.

2 c. FLOUR
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/3 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. each of nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice
1/2 c. shortening or coconut oil.  Or lard.  Whatever.
1 c. prune juice, divided
2 eggs

Mix all dry ingredients; add shortening and 3/4 cup prune juice. Beat for 2 minutes. Add remaining prune juice, vanilla and eggs. Beat for 2 minutes more. Bake in 9 by 13 inch pan at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

1 cup powdered sugar
1 T. plain soymilk
1 t. vanilla
dash of salt
Stir ingredients together. When the cake comes out of the oven, immediately spread glaze on top.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012


Anyone else go to your child's end-of-the-year preschool party and realize that the ball00n artist greeting you enthusiastically was the guy who offered your junior high boyfriend a dollar to break up with you so he could date you?*  Just me?  OK then.

*My boyfriend refused, by the way.  And no, I don't condone dating in middle school.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Split pea soup my children will eat

I meant to post this after Christmas.  Then after Easter.  Now, Aldi has Easter hams on clearance for $5 off and it's 40 degrees outside. Soup time!

Split Pea Soup

1 16 oz. package of green split peas, rinsed and drained
8 cups water
1 meaty ham bone
1 small onion, chopped
2/3 c. chopped carrots
2/3 c. chopped celery
1 raw potato, peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients except salt in a large pot with a lid.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to a simmer; cover and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until peas are soft, stirring occasionally.

Remove bay leaves and ham bone.  Using a stick blender, puree soup to disguise all of the vegetables and their weird textures until smooth.  Cut meat off of ham bone and dice.  Add ham back to soup.  Taste for salt and add salt if needed.  Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches, using Daiya cheese for the dairy-free sandwiches.
Edit:  I'm guessing this is about 12-15 servings?  It's enough to serve our family of 6 for two dinners, plus my parents for one meal.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Anatomy of a midlife crisis

  • Stop continuously gestating and nursing for the first time since 2005.
  • Get some uninterrupted sleep.
  • Read books and blogs on decluttering and selling items to earn money.
  • Clean childrens' rooms, packing up clothing for children #3 and #4.
  • Realize that hall closet is full of 10 years of hand-me-downs.
  • Decide to tackle hall closet.
  • Attempt to make rational decisions about outgrown baby and toddler clothes.
  • Cry while sorting clothing.
  • Drive around with baby clothes in the van for a week.
  • Recall every single time a mother with older children tells you how much she misses this time.
  • Be terrified that this actually IS the best time in life and it's all downhill from here.
  • Realize that before long you will be blue-haired widow in front pew at church. [Husband: "Wait--I'm dead in this scenario?  That is depressing."]
  • Have breakdown at bible study.
  • Have friends bring you a CDP the next day that includes a framed photo of your children with a beautiful quote.
  • Cry, causing wisea** friends to say, "Yeah, we just wanted to make you cry again,"  to make you laugh.
  • Walk around fully aware of EVERY MOMENT like old ladies in the grocery store always tell you to be for about a week.  
  • Cry over every thing--even not cute things--your children do.
  • Realize that people CANNOT LIVE like this without going insane.  
  • Want to be back in fuzzy haze of day-to-day routine and survival.
  • Hate raw feeling of every emotion being exposed and being hyper-aware that children are growing up and away from you.
  • Listen to mother's wise words about how, even if you could, keeping children in their current states isn't fair to them and doesn't let them develop into their full selves.
  • Let mother point out good relationship people can have with adult children *cough*you are calling your mother for help right now at the age of thirty-seven*cough*.
  • Ride out the feelings for another week.
  • Have husband ask you if you want more children.
  • Answer that what you really want is to go back in time to when your kids were babies and relive things without being so tired and hormonal.  Husband: "...Wow."
  • Work on building even better relationships with these kiddos right here! instead of being sad about the babies being gone.
  • Panic about what you are going to be when you grow up.
  • Decide that can wait for another day.
  • Go to funeral of beloved relative.
  • Have beloved great-aunt talk to you about how it's hard to be one of the ones left behind.
  • Have minor panic attack.
  • Realize you are not in control of what happens and can only do the best you can.
  • Resolve to exercise more.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Feeding Eden Giveaway

Have you heard about Feeding Eden?  It's a new memoir about how a child's food allergies affect the lives of a family.  I'm in the process of reading it, but it's slow going for me--not because it isn't compelling but because it makes me start to tense up and hyperventilate.  Which means this book is an excellent portrayal of what it means to be a food allergy family.  Here is the author, Susan Weissman, talking about the book on YouTube.

I think it's a good read for everyone.  Food allergy parents will relate to it, of course, but more importantly,  I think it is a great chance for others to get into the head of a food allergy parent.

"We parents can't make magic.  We can't transform our children.  But we can heal with our touches, our words, and our love.  We can show them how to take their medicine.  When we do this, our children can save themselves."--Susan Weissman, Feeding Eden

The publisher has agreed to send one copy of Feeding Eden to one commenter from my blog.  Leave a comment by midnight on Sunday, March 11, saying why you'd like to read this book.  I'll announce a winner on Monday, March 12.

Prize Redraw:  Janeen!  You won!  Send me your info!

Monday, March 05, 2012

Can of worms, not opening a

When school was about to begin in the fall, a homeschooling friend of mine looked wistfully at the group of friends that includes her youngest daughter and my eldest.  She remarked on starting her twentieth year of homeschooling and how the idea of sending her daughter to school with such a good group of friends seemed like a nice idea.  I said that sometimes homeschooling seemed appealing.  Then we both laughed at ourselves for thinking the grass is greener and went our own ways.

Do you ever daydream about doing something different with how you educate your children?  Why or why not?

I hope it goes without saying that this is a chance to tell your nosy Internet friend (Me!) about what you do/think about doing, not comment on others' choices.  I'll go first.  I really admire another friend of mine who looks at each of her seven children on a yearly basis and decides what is best for them: public school, cyberschool, homeschool.  They've been in and out of the school district and are flourishing academically and socially.  I like how she views education from a consumer's point of view, although I'm sure what she does is easier said than done.*  Your turn!

*Edit: Uh, I guess I just commented on someone else's choice.  Whoops.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Toddler, diplomas

So.  There is an 18-month old in our house today.  This does not fill me with as much sadness as I would expect, probably partly because this is one of my favorite ages and he is just so much fun right now.  Such a cheerful, helpful little guy.

I continue to try to beat back the clutter in our house and either use things or get rid of them.  I want to hang my diplomas (BA and MA, not high school) up somewhere in the house.  Even when I was still working full time, I had a cubicle, not an office.  I've never hung up my diplomas, and I'm tired of them living under my bed.  My mom used to have hers up in the kitchen; my neighbor's diplomas are in her playroom.  I'm thinking over my dresser in the bedroom.  Where is/are your diplomas?

P.S. I totally stayed up late and finished Catching Fire last night.  So worth it.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

True Confession

I read The Hunger Games yesterday.  The entire thing.  Holy crap.  It is so good.  Why didn't you tell me?  I know. You did.  You did.  I just didn't listen.  I'm sorry.

Thank goodness I bought the trilogy when it was on sale for the Kindle for like 5 bucks.  In, um, September.  (I don't know why it took me so long to start reading them.  I was wrong.  I see that now.) Now I can start Catching Fire today.  Ooh--if you have Amazon Prime, you can read all three books on your Kindle for free by checking them out of the Kindle library!

I'll have to have something ready to read when I'm done.  Any ideas?  I mean, besides The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook.  Which I do kind of want.  Is that wrong?

Also, what should I be watching now that Downton Abbey is over?

P.S.  Yes, I do have an old-school Kindle.  Talk about a surprise gift I never thought I wanted.  I was wrong.  I see that now.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Abraham Lincoln, Kindergarten style

"I’m glad I wasn’t Abraham Lincoln."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah. Because if I was, an actor would’ve got behind me and shot me."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

CDP from SuperJules

I have a heart full of love and a fridge full of antibiotics. Ah, February. But as I was gently reminded yesterday, it is high time I wrote about my Crappy Day Present from the one, the only, SuperJules.

Let's go back to, um, mid-December, shall we?  To a time when I was losing my mind and a CDP arrived in the mail for ME.  ME ME ME.  The only unwrapped item was a container of Jules's dairy-free Candied Maple Walnuts.  I saw those and burst into tears. (Told you I was emotional.)  What a thoughtful gift. Especially as it was the time of year when every day brought more food-type goodies that Katherine couldn't eat.  You need to make these, by the way.  They are so GOOD.
 Yes, the image is sideways.  It's taken me this long to post--let's not get hung up on details.

Look at all the gifties!  In my dimly-lit dining room!

I decided that since the walnuts were for everyone, I could open one more gift the same day.  Pretty pretty salad utensils!  No more will I serve salad with rusty barbecue tongs!

Then I did kind of a twelve days of Christmas for ME thing where I opened one gift a day to get me through December.  It worked, too.  Hence, the same red tablecloth in every photo.

Pretty pretty wallet!  And for Christmas, my mom gave me a little contact case holder that matches the wallet but is pink!  So coordinated!

Wallet interior!

Pretty green clothespins!  I still haven't opened them!  I want to use them for a kids' artwork display area.

SQUEE!  BENTO CUTTERS!  When you pack lunches for your allergic child every day, this excites you!  I have wanted these for so long!

Cool flippy bag that now lives in my purse!  Doubles as ball for bored toddler!

I swear Jules wrote about these bags somewhere on her blog, but I cannot find the link.

Beautiful scarf in my favorite shade of dark pink!  This photo is horrific--trust me, it's pretty.

Socks without holes!

An upside down photo!  Focus!  It's a COUPON HOLDER!  This also lives in my purse!  I LOOVE it.  I LURVE it.  It makes me happy every day.

More socks!  Back off, preteen daughter!  These are Mommy's!

So, you can see just a glimpse how thoughtful and wonderful Jules is and why I love her from afar.  Thank you, Julia.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fun Freebies

  • Did you see that you can donate Febreze items to the troops just by clicking a button?  Swistle and SuperJules, I thought of you.
  • There is a website with free printable vintage paper dolls that are, uh, out of print.  You know what they have?  The Ginghams!  I had these paper dolls!  Sarah was my favorite, of course.  I can't wait to print them for the girls.
  • We've had really good luck with audio books for long drives (one of the kids can't watch anything or play games or read because of motion sickness).  We even listen to audio books at dinner sometimes.  I try to get free ones from Audible whenever they're available, but they aren't always kid friendly.  Recently I found Homeschool Radio Shows, a site that has all of these cool radio programs of books like Little Women and The Long Winter.  Awesome.
  • This build-your-own cupcake printable was part of Helen's Valentine.   (All the kids play with it.)
  • Have you found Made by Joel?  He seems to be everywhere right now.  We used his Dressy Cats as party favors for Helen's Hello Kitty birthday, and I am in love with his travel size paper city Paris set.  
  • Aaand, that's all I've got to keep you busy on this rainy day.  Enjoy.

Monday, February 13, 2012

February 13

  • Who has two thumbs and signed up to make Valentine treats for the preschool party tomorrow?  This mom!  I was going to provide strawberries, since they're healthy and vaguely heart-shaped, but that involves dragging three kids to the store in the snow and also spending money.  Hmm.  What's in the cupboard?  Red velvet cake mix, white icing, and heart sprinkles.  We have a winner!  Mini cupcakes it is.  Enjoy your sugar overload, children.
  • Our kids are getting card games and a board book for the baby.  I printed out these free Star Wars Valentines for them, too.  "Our love will Endor."  Hee.  SO CUTE.
  • I really like Catherine Newman's heart thumbprint cookies.  Maybe I'll make them tomorrow if I have the energy/time/will to live after visiting the orthodontist's office.
  • Back to forcing the Kindergartener to sign all of his Valentines.  In a loving way, of course.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Performance Review

Interviewer Number One: So, what are you going to do today?
Employee: Why do you ask?
Interviewer Number One: I just wonder what you do here all day while I'm at school doing work.
Interviewer Number Two: Yeah, I wonder that, too.
Employee: What do you think I do?
Interviewer Number One: I don't know... play with Interviewer Number Four and Interviewer Number Three when she's not at preschool, be on your computer.... and that's it.
Interviewer Number Two: And cook.
Interviewer Number One: Anything else?
Employee: Laundry, cleaning, dishes, shopping, bills, chauffeuring, paperwork, diaper changing....
Interviewer Number Two: That muffin for my snack today tasted horrible.
Interviewer Number Four: [Screeches and throws sippy cup on floor.]
Interviewer Number Three: I want it to be my birthday again.
Interviewer Number One: That shopping you mentioned, are you going today?
Employee: Yes.
Interviewer Number One: Will you buy me gum?
Interviewer Number One: OK, I think we've heard all we need to hear.  Thank you for your time.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Sick six

I'm so sorry about yesterday, buddy.  Is there anything more depressing than your entire family being struck down by a stomach virus on your sixth birthday?  I think not.  At least you had enough strength to open your presents.

But today at school you get to share Ninjabread Men with your classmates.

And tonight we will make up for yesterday's birthday dinner of oatmeal and dry toast with your favorite dinner of tomato soup and grilled cheese (Daiya cheese for your big sister.)

Wishing you a wonderful, healthy year of being six, Eli.  I love you.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


We're counting to four today:

Someone in our house is four.  Someone who yesterday was planning what gifts she wanted to give everyone else on her birthday.  Someone who chose barbecue ham sandwiches on Daddy's homemade rolls for her birthday dinner.

Ham Barbecue

3 pounds dairy-free ham, preferably chipped chopped ham
1 cup ketchup, preferably Heinz 
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. yellow mustard
1 T. vinegar
1/4 t. grated nutmeg

Mix all ingredients together in a greased baking dish with a lid.  Bake at 275 degrees, covered, for 45 minutes.  Serve on hamburger buns.

Happy Birthday, Helen.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


I know we have lots to catch up on, but, oh, you guys.  I'm just so sad.  Seven-year old Ammaria died of an allergic reaction at her school on Monday.  They didn't give her Benadryl.  They didn't administer an EpiPen.  Instead of calling 911, they called her parents to come pick her up.  She died of cardiac arrest.

Everyone in the allergy community has been writing about it.  Libby made me laugh and sob in the same instant when she said her 2012 resolution is "no more dead children."  I wish a new year's resolution could make it so.

Praying for Ammaria's family.