Sunday, May 31, 2015


Any one who has kids knows how serious some allergies can be. And training your own kid, the parents in a class and your child's friends to avoid dairy, nuts, gluten, can be very, very hard.

Wyeth is in kindergarten. Two of his friends are allergic to nuts and one is allergic to gluten. The whole class is very sensitive to this. And very kind about it. The classroom is nut free. And the cafeteria has a nut free bench where kids who are allergic to nuts can sit. 

It all makes good sense.

In late December, my dear brother and his then girlfriend (now fiancé!) came to town with their big, hairy, lovely golden retriever named Teton.

Wyeth plays without problem with my in-laws' pup, Minnie. He lays in her dog bed and pets her. No problem. But within about 5 seconds of playing with Teton, he broke into hives. ALL OVER HIS BODY. It was ridiculous! Huge, hives down his legs, up his neck. It was insane. So we called the doctor who asked us to take him to the ER.

A few bills later, we are all good. Wyeth did very well and hasn't had an allergic reaction to any other dog.  (We are going to get this checked out this summer).

So today he says, "Mom! You know at school they have a big nut free sign? Why don't they have a golden retriever free sign? I'm allergic to golden retrievers!"

It was a serious question but my laughter got him laughing. I said, 'well, while nuts can come into the classroom in the form of sandwiches, and other foods, golden retrievers don't sneak in!"


Gotta love 'em.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Family 5K

This past Saturday, we all strapped on our running shoes and finished another 5K.  I joined my local gym in January to fight back at anxiety, winter blahs and fat.  So I had begun running again. And starting in March, Seren joined a running club through her school. Around the same time, Sam and Wyeth started to train.

For Wyeth, it was his first 5k with a time of 33, he did a nice solid 11 minute mile. 33.24! Nicely done for a first 5k! At age 6, rock it little dude!

Sam took one for the team and ran next to him the entire time.

Seren was PUMPED to run this thing. She had been talking about her fast runs at school and her 'sub 8 minute' miles. So I was excited to see what she could do.

Come race day? Total flop. 

She was ahead of me by quite a bit the first two miles. Looking strong. She took a short cut to run through some water feature and that was the last I saw of her. I thought she was still ahead of me as she had been. But when we came up on that last hill and I didn't see her, I knew she was behind me.

This wasn't going to be good.

And here is the thing with older kids and/or competitive kids. You can't lie and say that her time was faster than it was. Because it wasn't. She knew it and we knew it. We tried to emphasize the effort and the fact that she was the fastest girl (first place!) in her age group. Nope. She was mad that she performed so badly. 32.09.

I am still so proud of her. For training. For going on ALL of those runs. For doing it solo. And learning how to pace herself. Plus? She is so freaking cute. And ALL leg.

I was upset about her reaction. I talked to my friend Jessica last night who actually found her response somewhat encouraging. Noting that maybe having those standards for yourself is a good thing. And that she is motivated to do better intrinsically.

Me? I felt good about my race. It wasn't my fastest. It wasn't my slowest. But I got 2nd place in my age group- not bad for an old broad. 28.25 isn't going to really set me as a world class runner. But I had fun.

Good job Angus family!!

Dead Elves and Evolution

Our kids continue to meet other kids and their families with different sets of beliefs. And it includes everything from believing in creation to believing that the elves on the shelves die if you touch them.  Wyeth continues to challenge all of these beliefs.

We firmly believe in the Elf on the Shelf. And so does his new friends' family. So much that when one of their children touched it, it 'died'. This left such an impression on Wyeth that weeks later he continues to say 'I just can't believe he is still there! He isn't with Santa! He is just DEAD in their house!'

The poor mother had to tell the boys to simply drop the subject because both of them were getting too upset about it.

Wyeth also is finding out that not everyone has the same belief set he does. He isn't much of a creationist and strongly believes in evolution. He also believes in god but thinks that it could be a man or a woman. Or maybe that we don't know.

Let's just say that his strong politics aren't winning him any friends. A teacher had to intervene when Wyeth argued STRONGLY that people came from monkeys. (Which is somehow what he got out of some books we read and movies we saw on Darwin).

Nuance and learning that everyone has a different set of beliefs is the next lesson.

Udon Soup

My kids continue to be picky eaters. I continue to blame us for not having consistent food policies. Some weeks, every night, we require them to eat a new food. Other weeks, we give up. Sometimes we say, 'You don't have to do. It is your choice. But you can't get cheerios if you don't try." I have read about developing bad relationships with food. All of that. And for this, we've screwed up royally. We didn't want to bribe with dessert. But as a result, my son, in particular, has a select palate. So frustrating! Especially at age SIX. And part of me, when I watch him try something new, and watch him over chew it, gag on it and then swallow, really does think there is something 'wrong'. That he really has some medical challenges with texture, etc.

We don't go out to dinner often. But when we do, we limit our food choices to places with fries. Which is ridiculous!

The ONE place that we can go where the kids tolerate our choice is out to Sushi. Sushi is probably my most favorite food. Ok, Sushi and Thai. The kids get HUGE edamame peapods and Sam and I get to eat to our heart's content.

This Sunday, for Mother's Day, my in-laws took us to sushi. It was SO good.  And Wyeth, the picking, gagging kid, ate ALL of those edamame.

At the end, we asked him to eat TWO udon noodles. Just two. He picked at it. Plopped it back into the bowl. Cried. The usual. But he ate the one noodle.  Then he said,

"That's it! I'm not eating any more breast!"

What? You aren't eating what?

"No more breast! Yuck! There are mushrooms in there! Gross green things. No more breast!"

Ok, dude. You mean, BROTH. You don't want any more BROTH? That's fine.

We had to chuckle which further pissed him off.  My six year old son is just a small, young version of a grumpy old man.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Day Lights Savings

Wyeth has loved looking at all of the clocks and trying to figure out if they are on the right time or on the old time.

He noted one was the old time. And I told him, 'Right, because we haven't changed it yet'.

He says, "Oh, right. The time is different on that one because of the time travel."

Monday, March 2, 2015

The inventor

Wyeth is hysterical. His mind works in ways that my mind just doesn't work in. I've blogged about his creations. Give this boy a roll of tape and some cardboard and he is off and running!

On the night of the Daddy Daughter dance, Wyeth and I stayed home. We went out to a lovely dinner together and then made a creation. The first was just to build a slope. And roll the new bouncy ball down it.  That went well.


Then we added points. If the ball fell into a particular Tupperware, it got assigned a specific number of 'points'. Also fun.

Then we added toothpicks to see if we could stop the ball or slow down the ball. Ideally, it would move from side to side.  That was awesome to make but it didn't work.

This Saturday, we got really busy with making a pathway for a bouncy ball. He was a riot as we created this 'pathway'. We loved it! The ball had to go through the Cereal box, through the hole in the box, into a toilet paper roll, into an old Crest box, into a toilet paper roll, bounce off a plastic boat, fall into a third toilet paper roll and into an old Kleenex box.

Totally fun. Totally free. Awesome creativity!

I love being his mom.

Book Club

One of my personal goals in 2015 was to read more books. Less facebook. More books. And my office has an on going book club. So I joined up and read the "Book Thief". It was great but depressing. I found myself in tears several times! Holocaust in Nazi Germany. Not exactly 'light'. And not so good for the middle of winter. But Seren heard me talk about my book club for weeks because I was going to come up short in that I wasn't going to finish the book before we met.

Seren asked me if WE could have a book club. So she assigned me her favorite book- Holes. I read it quickly and really enjoyed it.

On Sunday, we went to the library, checked out a 'Study Room' and held our book club. Unbeknownst to me, she had prepared 8 'book club' questions. She brought them to our meeting and we discussed each one. I also asked her some questions. And we both wrote down our answers in our journals.

It was amazing! Since when do I have a daughter who assigns me reading, prepares study questions and then intelligently discusses the book?  Seren is a book worm. She just devours books. She wakes up early to read. And if she wakes up but then falls back asleep, she is angry at herself that she didn't have a chance to read. It is her favorite past time.  And she LIVES the books. She can go on and on and on about the novels she reads.

I'd say our first book club was a smashing success! We have already agreed to meet again!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Best Friends

Seren and I were chatting the other day. And she told me a story which I just thought was awesome. "So you know how I play with 'M' all of the time? So we are like becoming good friends.  So I was kinda nervous but I asked her if she wanted to be my best friend! And she said, 'Well, we already are!' So Mom! I have a new best friend in Michigan!"

Isn't that awesome!? And sweet?

She and 'M' made a paper necklace that said 'best friends' but she is on the lookout for one from Claire's boutique!

This weekend 'M' and her mom came over! So fun!