Thursday, March 24, 2011

Now it's personal.......

I started this blog to discuss education, parenting, and the Montessori method. Today I have to go off topic slightly. It still has to deal with parenting but it also has to deal with a topic near and dear to my heart, food allergies. My 5 year old is anaphylactic to tree nuts and yes, we did find out the hard way. After eating walnuts she became lethargic and "zoned out". Her whole body turned red. The worst part was the coughing and wheezing, that is a sound that will be burned in my brain for the rest of my life. She was 3 when this happened. She is now in Kindergarten and she is thriving. She is in a nut free room. This means that tree nuts of any kind are not allowed in the room. The teachers make sure that all the students wash their hands or use hand sanitizer. At lunch she sits with friends that buy lunch because the school food is nut free. Some days she brings her own lunch and somedays she buys lunch. She knows that she can't buy the school treats since they may contain coconut. When there are class parties she has her own safe treats to enjoy. This is how, together with the school, we keep her safe.
In Florida, right now, there is a first grade girl with a severe peanut allergy. The school has the children in her class, wash their hands, wipe their mouths and keep nut products out of the class. This has led to protests. Protests over hygiene and keeping a child safe. The protestors want her out of the school, they want her to be homeschooled because they feel that their children are missing out on instruction time because of the handwashing. This child is protected by law, she is entitled to have an education.
I wonder how these parents would feel if it was their child? If their child had to endure painful tests, how would they feel? If their child was never able to go to a bakery or enjoy the same food that every other child could have at the endless class parties, how would they feel? If they had to spend hours at the grocery store every week to read labels, how would they feel? If they had to call company after company to make sure that there was no cross contamination issues because just the slightest amount of a nut could kill their kid, how would they feel?
I have a group of friends/family that "get it", they would go to the end of the universe and back to keep my daughter safe. Her teachers go above and beyond to keep her safe and included. I can not even begin to imagine what I would do without this support. I hope that the allergic child's family in Florida does not feel alone, I hope they know that they have the support of many allergic/nonallergic families.
I also wonder about these protesters. How do they put signs in their child's hands? That boggles my mind. What about taking this opportunity to teach their children about compassion, kindness, and differences? A wonderful teaching opportunity lost.
My last point (I'm sure you are glad about that), what if we weren't talking about allergies? What if this little girl had asthma, cancer, diabetes, autism, or dyslexia? Would there be protests? What if there was a child in a wheelchair? Would parents protest because a ramp needed to be put in?
Well, there's my 2 cents...........I still really do not understand what these parents are protesting, I guess I'll never understand. I hope that the parents stop protesting soon and I hope that their children are always in good health.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Watching the devastation in Japan is overwhelming. I can't even begin to imagine what the survivors are going through. I have been watching the footage of the homes, businesses, and cars being washed away and smashed into nothing. It is truly unbearable to see the power and force of that much water. It saddens my heart and I am thousands of miles away. I saw a different kind of report on the news this morning. It showed the Japanese people picking themselves up after a catastrophe. They were cleaning up, even making their own chopsticks. They were taking care of their young and old with grace and dignity. I don't know what I would do if this was me. Would I be strong enough to pick myself up, dust myself off, and move on? Would you? We can learn so many valuable lessons from this tragedy. I hope that we do.
Have you told your children about this horrific event? How much did you tell them and how did they react? My kids know that there was an earthquake and tsunami and I did have to reassure them that something like that wouldn't happen here. However, I haven't let them see the images on the TV. I can barely process it so I'm not sure that two kids could handle it. Imagine what the children in Japan are going through. It's mind boggling.

Monday, March 14, 2011

inspired today

I have not blogged in a long time.........but today I was inspired to write again. I taught for 15 years and I was blessed, every year, to work with amazing teachers. My children are blessed also, year after year, with amazing teachers. I was in class today with both of my children. One hour in each room. Both classrooms ran beautifully. It was so obvious that all of the teachers enjoyed being there and the children were engaged in their activities. After my volunteer time I stayed for another hour to take pictures for the yearbook. I was able to see other classes in action and they were just as wonderful. These teachers spend countless hours planning. I know that not every school is wonderful, I know that not every teacher is wonderful. That makes me so sad. It breaks my heart to know that there are great kids out there that don't have the educational opportunities that my children have. I wish I had a magic wand. I would use it to supply schools with amazing teachers and administrators, kids that care about their education, involved parents and quality supplies. What would you use your magic wand for?

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's so sad................

Most of the time I complain that I'm old.....really old. I know that I'm not that old but some days it does feel like it. In reality 38 isn't that old. So, when you hear about a 38 year old classmate passing away unexpectedly it comes as quite a shock. When you remember this classmate as a dynamic, outgoing, fun loving guy, it's hard to imagine that he would pass away at such a young age. It's even worse when  you know that he is married and has two beautiful, young children. I am having a really hard time understanding this. Maybe over time it will make sense? I don't know. While I am waiting for it to make sense I will hug my family and friends tighter.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mommy instincts

When I first started teaching, a long time ago, I did not have any children of my own. I was, however, an educator so I knew about children. Or so I thought. Everything changed after having a child. I found that I did not know everything about children. Having a child of my own put a whole new twist on teaching, it put a whole new twist on life. Life became more like a tornado. In a good way of course! Children do not come with a manual, all of a sudden you have a child and they do not come with instructions. How in the world do we know what to do? I have learned that mommy instincts will kick in. Somehow we actually do know what to do. Side note- I'm sure that daddy's have instincts too but I'm a mom so I can't speak on behalf of dads. Somehow we know what our kids need. We know how to decipher their cries when they are babies. Even if we think we don't know what to do, we actually do. I have found that if I can stay calm and think about the situation, I might actually be able to come up with a solution to the problem. Of course, my instincts aren't always right and another option may need to be followed, but I think I'm doing OK so far. Have you had to rely on your instincts? Did it work out? Do you think that moms do have mommy instincts? What about the dads, I would love to hear from you also!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What to make?

Lets say it's December, it snuck up on you didn't it? OK, it snuck up on me. I am not a cook at all, I don't have this great recipe that I'm known for. What do you make for an important holiday dinner? Turkey was just done at Thanksgiving and it will be done again for Christmas. What can I make in between those two holidays for Hanukkah? Any idea? Do you have any "go to " recipes that you use? I would love to get great appetizer and main meal recipes. Lets share, maybe we can get a holiday recipe exchange going.
Oh and Happy Hanukkah!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A little Hanukkah song

In honor of Hanukkah starting tomorrow night-

5 Little latkes

5 Little latkes frying in a pan, the grease got hot and one went Bam!
4 Little latkes.....
3 Little latkes....
2 Little latkes.......
1 Little latke...
No Little latkes frying in the pan, the grease got hot and the pan went Bam!

Enjoy and Happy Hanukkah!