Tuesday, November 05, 2013


  • I stole my title from Superjules.
  • E's named this year's jack o' lantern Mr. Bipples. I don't want to forget that.
  • Nor do I want to forget G's current stage of yelling, "I do it my OWNself!" at everyone alternated with telling us, "I luff you. You want hugs and kisses?" 
  • We are in week three of having work done on the house. Exciting work like: re-plastering the kitchen ceiling, making a doorway from the kitchen to the living room, and prying the 70s vinyl wallboard off the bathroom walls. Hey, I'm happy about it. Or I will be when it's finished.
  • Maybe when you have work done in your house and you are living in the house, don't have work done in the kitchen AND in your one bathroom at the same time. Pro tip.
  • We do have a Pittsburgh toilet in the basement, so that's helpful.
  • And I can do crock pot cooking. I am loving Stephanie's new book. 
  • Alisa's apple butter is cooking in the crock pot right now. 
  • I am still thinking about Swistle's coffee shop post. And wishing Tessie would blog again.
  • One of us needs to win this wild blueberries sweepstakes.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Brain Dump, Vaguely Allergy Style

In the process of sitting down to write this post, I received seven! phone calls. I don't know why I can't get anything done.

ANYWAY, bullet time:

  • Go Dairy Free is having a Bob's Red Mill grains giveaway! Enter by Oct. 2.
  • You can learn more about the quinoa you might win here.
  • Stephanie O'Dea's newest Slow Cooker book is out. It's on my birthday list, hint hint.
  • Yes, my birthday is tomorrow. It can be late.
  • Isn't it weird to hit ages you remember your parents being? I still remember the '39 forever' cocktail napkins someone bought my dad as a joke. And here we are.
  • Julie Bowen narrates a free children's allergy e-book you can find here. Don't tell me what happened on Modern Family; we're watching it tonight.
  • Modern Family will help wash away the tears left from last night's NYPD Blue episode where Bobby died. Why did I watch it again? Whhhyyy?
  • We recently had the chance to try Enjoy Life Food's Decadent Bars. While I enjoy making homemade granola bars, it is so nice to have a prepackaged snack option I trust that is nationally available. These are perfect to take to events where the snack may not be safe, and they are an easy item to tell people about if they want to provide a safe snack. The flavors are Chocolate SunButter (our favorite), S'mores (the kids' favorite), Cinnamon Bun, and Cherry Cobbler. I will definitely be buying them.
  • We have a ton of apples in the house right now. Yay, fall! What are your favorite apple recipes? 
  • And, there's the phone again....

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

First Day of School

As a child, I always wondered why parents were so perky about their children going to school when the children were sad. But when your child is burying their face in your midsection saying, "Mom, I'm really going to miss you when I'm at school," I can see that replying, "I'm going to miss you, too. Every summer ending is sadder than the one before because it means you're one year older and one year closer to leaving my house forever. And even though we have many more summers left together, this is the only one I got to spend with seven-year old you. I'll be wondering how you're doing every second. I love you." might be a little more than you need to lay on your kid. Can I sail through the changin' ocean tides? Can I handle the changes of my liiiife....?*

I can also see that having your youngest and eldest children celebrate birthdays the weekend before school begins is just poor planning. There is no escaping the fact that you now have a twelve-year old and that your baby is three and the crib is sitting forlornly in the basement. I'm getting older, tooo....

The Kindergartner returned home saying, "Mom, was it a long or short time at home while I was at school? Because it felt like a short time at school." I hope it was the same for her brother and sister. I will not tell them it was an eternity for me.

*I don't know who quotes Landslide more, Nicole or me. Also, in answer to your question, Nicole, Florida in June is oh so hot, but the rain does make it nice and extra humid.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Summer Summary: June and July

The day after school was out, we flew to Florida. That's right, we took four children on an airplane and lived to tell the tale. But as my Scottish neighbor, who periodically flies to her homeland with three boys, said as I was freaking out: "It's just Florida." And she was right.

Helpful travel tips:

Pay the extra $$$ for assigned seating, checking bags, and whatever else helps you not worry.
Do not pay the extra $$$ for an 'upgrade' to your freakishly expensive minivan rental. The minivan is fine. You drive one at home and are quite happy with it.
Have an aunt-in-law who winters in Florida who graciously offers you her home that is mere blocks away from the grandparents and great-grandparents. Hide all the breakables while you stay there. Wipe off all the fingerprints. Send her a nice gift when you get home.
Have in-laws with a screened-in pool right outside their back door.
When your toddler is melting down in the security line because his dad had to go back through the line to empty a filled water bottle a child forgot they had on their person, have a nice female security agent show him where Daddy went and what he's doing.
When your in-laws offer to pay for a day at Disney, say 'yes.'
When you spend the morning at Clearwater Aquarium seeing Winter the dolphin, do not go directly to the beach when no one has had lunch or a nap. Also, do not attempt to make peanut butter sandwiches on a windy beach.
If your grandmother-in-law has an awesome hobby like making stained glass, bravely ask her to make you something, like a lamp to hang over your dining table.
Sunscreen your pale northern children a LOT.

After Florida, we had a week of Vacation Bible School, where I once again snagged a job in the air conditioned kitchen. It pays to have connections.

During that week Graham was tested and found to be developmentally on target and not eligible for speech therapy anymore! He is now just as much a chatterbox as the rest of them and knows how to use it to his advantage.
"Graham, did you just throw your socks behind the couch?"
Graham: "Well... I love you."

There was lots of swimming in the neighbors' pool and reading for the summer reading program. Also, a probably mentally unstable member of our community spent some time saying rude things about my husband on his website and Facebook. He has done much worse things to other members of the community who have since taken him to court. Small town life: never boring.


We celebrated our 15th anniversary with a cookout and fireworks. Fourth of July anniversary FTW. Also, we bought each other a garbage disposal for our anniversary present. Scott said he'll engrave "Love, Scott" on it with his Dremel. 23-year old newlywed me would have been horrified at such a gift.

The kids did a second VBS with our dear friends who have since moved to South Carolina. The mom of the family is back this week packing up the house, and I am trying to be helpful and not cry as I tape up boxes. This was not part of the deal. They were supposed to stay till all the kids were out of high school, at least.

Coming next: August. Right now I need to make the screaming stop.

Friday, June 28, 2013

And her grandfather thinks she won't be interested in hunting

Helen, what is that sound?

Cows mooing. And you know it’s Minecraft. They’ll stop mooing in a minute after I kill them to get the meat.

[time passes]

Do you hear mooing now?


That’s because I killed them all to get the meat. That was a lot of cows.

Can't wait till she tells her Kindergarten teacher.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Last Day of School

I always get a little weepy on the last day of school. Well, unless a child has had a difficult year that I am glad to see the back end of. Of which I am glad to see the back end. But even then, it's such a clear marker of the passage of time and the growing of the children.

Eldest will be in middle school next year, which she is totally ready for. She and her best friend are so anxious to have their own lockers. For the past two years, it's as if they've had "Please take one" signs on their desks. Items are stolen in their classrooms all. the. time. And while I understand the teachers aren't going to waste time figuring out whose pencil/highlighter/pencil sharpener it really is, it's irritating.

Anyway, I thought I was handling the upcoming change of schools pretty well until she said matter-of-factly, "This is my last day in elementary school. It will be the last day I ever have recess." *SOB*

Second child is also changing schools from the cozy nest of the Kindergarten/First grade building to the large elementary school. I told him I would miss our walks to school (and made him walk with me in the rain this morning for his last day). He told me he would miss them, too, and suggested he come on some of my evening walks so we could still have time alone to walk and talk. *SOB*

Yesterday was Kindergarten open house for number three. Yes, three kids in three different schools next year. I can still hold onto a bit of denial for one more year because our Kindergarten is half day. First grade is the year that is the hardest for me. Still, the "Welcome Class of 2026" poster hit me hard. *SOB*

So, Graham, you and your September birthday-self are going to have to stay home with me for one more year and give me lots of hugs.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Jerome Bettis, Allergy Playbook, Auvi-Q

Does anyone else find it humorous that bloggers are often offered speaking engagements and telephone and television interviews? We're introverts! We're socially awkward! But sometimes there is an offer you can't pass up, like say, interviewing a former player from your family's favorite football team about a new epinephrine injector you love. And you think about chickening out but you don't know how you'd ever explain that to your children. So, in the words of Sundry, you get on the ________ plane. Or in my case, you talk to The Bus.

Two other bloggers were in my interview as well, and we all had the opportunity to ask Jerome Bettis two questions about allergies, asthma, his new Severe Allergy and Anaphylaxis Playbook, and Auvi-Q. We watched him answering the questions online while listening on the phone to both Jerome and someone telling us when it was our turn to talk and our turn to stop. Talking to one person while someone else is talking in your ear is weird. As a parent, you'd think I'd be used to that. Anyway, enjoy. Thank you to Auvi-Q for the opportunity, and thank you to Jerome for being so gracious.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Internet Sickness Warning Signs; Reader Question

I think I have a case of Internet Sickness. Here are some warning signs.

You, to your husband: Today was a great Facebook day, if I were that sort of person.
Husband: How so?
You: "Spent today with my beautiful family putting up the gazebo, painting porch furniture, and getting the yard ready for spring. Now my man is grilling chicken and baking bread for our yummy dinner. #IloveSaturdays"
It would be perfect if I had run 10 miles today. Or, you know, ever. I could include that too.
Husband: [Laughing] Step away from the computer.

You keep composing long incoherent rants in your head about food allergy-related food restrictions versus self-imposed food restrictions that factor in economic status and freedom of choice. You realize Speedbump Kitchen has already done this in a coherent, non-offensive manner. You consider attaching Speedbump Kitchen's post on liberty to everything you write.

You're thinking of changing your blog signature to "You can make whatever substitutions you want to in my recipes and you are welcome to share them if you can do so in a friendly, helpful manner.  Otherwise, you are welcome to do whatever you like in the privacy of your own kitchen."

Yeah, not the worst case I've ever seen, but time for a little sunlight therapy. What do you do to cure Internet Sickness?
So what reader are you all going to use since Google's is going away? I still use iGoogle for my homepage, too, late adapter that I am. Please help me move on.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Recipe Contest

I really want you to win a $500 gift card to Williams-Sonoma! And other fun prizes! So enter the So Delicious Dairy Free 2013 Recipe Contest and then be sure to post all about what you buy with your winnings. You can enter more than one recipe! Or a previously created recipe! The deadline is May 17, so get cooking!

Five hundred dollars!

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Hit the Publish Button Already

  • The FARE Walk in Pittsburgh is scheduled for Sunday, September 15, 2013 in Heartwood Acres. They are looking for volunteers to help organize the event.
  • Online registration is happening now for FARE's spring conferences.
  • Here are the winners of the Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis Challenge.
  • The Auvi-Q epinephrine auto-injector has been released and it is awesome. I saw a test one and it is so cool. 
  • Jerome Bettis is working on an anaphylaxis awareness campaign with Sanofi US, the producers of Auvi-Q. Go, Steelers!
  • Sanofi US is also working on a Severe Allergy Awareness Hall of Fame on Facebook.
  • This amendment concerning emergency epipens in schools is working its way through the PA House of Representatives.
  • It is sponsored by a representative who co-sponsored this bill, which amends the Public School Code of 1949 to add "in school health services, further providing for possession and use of asthma inhalers and epinephrine auto-injectors...."
  • It is weird to be all 100% public about blogging in real life and online now that I have my lovely job
  • People keep talking to me about it. Have I mentioned that's weird?
  • I've been hiding from writing here because I can't stop thinking about people reading my blog and making fun of it or judging it.
  • I think it's a crock to say that people don't talk about you/judge you. I totally think they do, but you have to get out there and do what you want in spite of it. After hiding in fear for two months.
  • Shalini should be a motivational speaker.
  • Now I can tell you more things about myself. Like the fantastic PA state representative sponsoring the epipen legislation is my dad.

Monday, February 04, 2013

How rumors get started

Mom at preschool pickup: "Sarah, I need to ask you about the girls' Sunday school class."
Me: "OK."
Mom: "Did you teach yesterday?"
Me: "Yes."
Mom: "Did you...share something?"
Me: "That I...like to cook?"
Mom: "Anything else?"
Me: "Noo...."
Mom: "My daughter told me that Helen's mom is going to have another baby in a couple of months and that you prayed for her and the baby."
Me: "Oh! No, we're getting a new nephew and cousin. We prayed for him and my sister."
Mom: "OH! Well, [daughter] has been telling everyone that you're having a baby, so if anyone asks, that's why. I'm so sorry."

I wonder what else they took away from the lesson.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Things I've learned in the past month

  • The toddler stages are some of my favorites.
  • A toddler saying "Whoa ho ho" for "Santa" is one of the cutest things ever.
  • Speech therapists are miracle workers. At least, ours is.
  • My two-year old was the best-behaved child I have ever seen in the candlelight Christmas Eve service. This is in no way bragging because a.) I don't know why he was, and b.) my other three two-year olds had to be removed from their respective services.
  • I love reading the same books as my daughter. Yay, mini book club.
  • Telling me you're 'one of the good guys' immediately lets me know that you are not.
  • I really enjoy serving people good homemade food.
  • Getting rid of baby gear is sad, but it makes LOTS more room in our little house.
  • Keeping your hand on my shopping cart while I'm unloading it and leaning into my van to peer at my groceries and children is very threatening behavior, sir.
  • Major Pettigrew's Last Stand was my favorite book of 2012.
  • Dying the day all the out-of-town guests leave was really inconsiderate, Kevin. Rest in peace, little parakeet.
  • Buying a new pet bird for the kids two days after Kevin's death was a little fast for Mama. Welcome, Hedwig the cockatiel.
  • I love my job.
  • I wish I had written this. "Just as I would never dream of going to vegan blog, insulting the writer and demanding a steak recipe… please don’t come to my blog and get worked up about marshmallows or honey in my homemade ice cream recipes." Preach it.
  • Copying and pasting a quote from another blog messes up my font settings.