The weekend in review

1. Maggie moved out of our room.

This is HUGE. HUGE. HUGE. We finally came up with what we hope is a workable solution. Liam and Dorothy are bunking together, half of the room is now his, and the other half hers. Train table, cars, trucks and Little People now have places next to Barbie, Littlest Pet Shop, American Girls and art supplies. The book shelves are lined with everything from Rugrats to Junie B. Jones. We decided that the gap between the girls was too great, and the gap between the boys was too great for either set to share a room. Dustin and Dorothy are closest in age, but as Dustin moves into puberty I don’t think it is a good idea for him to be sharing a room with his little sister. Since this arrangement is only for 6 months (John is moving out in MAY), we put the two children with the most similar likes and schedules together. Dorothy already had bunkbeds, thankfully. Two nights in and we are doing well, both kids are now instructed to change in the bathroom and I think we will make it through this one. Maggie is currently in a pack-n-play in what was Liam’s room. She is getting the crib from grandma’s storage unit this coming weekend. Last night, she slept until 4:30. I think we may be well on the way to night weaning – finally. Her clothes are now in the closet & out of my room as well.

Both Maggie and Liam still came into our bed both nights, but I can honestly say that I am very happy with the changed sleeping arrangement and I can live with visitors for a while longer, as long as they are after 4:00am!

2. Cookies – FTW.

You can never go wrong with homemade cookies. Never. These turned out fantastic in appearance and taste. This recipe is off the Aldi chocolate chips, but I lowered the temperature for baking.

2 sticks real butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Cream together everything except for flour and chips. Stir in chips and flour. Drop rounded 1/2 TBSs of dough onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 11-15 minutes. Let sit on baking sheet for 1 minute then transfer to a table lined with newspaper to cool. Yield – 48- 56 cookies.

3. Going to the Playoffs!

Dustin’s team won their game yesterday, after a disappointing Wednesday night shut-out. This sealed their place in the playoffs with a record of 6-1. The final score was 44 to 20! Dorothy’s cheerleader squad looked awesome as well!

4. Playing in Giant Piles of Leaves

Pictures will be added today. The three youngest had a blast playing in the giant piles of leaves John made for them. Maggie was a little hesitant initially, but quickly found the fab in the leaf piles. Liam spent hours jumping off of our neighbor’s wall into the heap, and Dorothy made some game to play in them.

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The final follow-up to the Halloween saga

well, I did think it was over, but nope, not quite. I thought a call from the principal would be enough. Apparently I was wrong because the next morning I got this.

You are going overboard with your attitude. Mary Goodson has already taken the game on. I said if you wanted to send in treats that is fine. Donuts are great. What seems to be the problem? I know about Dorothy and her allergies. I EMAILED ONLY TO MAKE SURE I HAD EVERYTHING UNDER CONTROL.. I have already talked to Annette and sent her an email yesterday morning.

You have blown this way out of proportion.

Such compassion! I replied…

But you didn’t. The doughnuts were unsafe, you said from the get go that they were unsafe and you knew she couldn’t have them. Do you not understand that just touching something can kill my daughter? Do you know what it is like to watch your child almost die and have epinephrine be the only thing that can save her life and that not be a guarantee? The party is supposed to be 100% safe for her, it was not. I offered solutions not critisism. When you fear sending your child to a party because someone doesn’t understand her disability, talk to me about going over board. Until then, I feel harrassed by your aggressive attitudte towards me. I’m sorry you can’t control the food, this is WHY WE HAVE A 504 PLAN. IT IS A DISABILITY. IT ISN’T ENOUGH TO MAKE HER SOMETHING DIFFERENT IT NEEDS TO BE THE SAME FOR THIS PARTY.

Email my husband in regards to what actually will be served other than the doughnuts. Mr.THEMAN@hisoffice.com

Of course, she ignored my request that she send further communication to John. I’ll take a moment here to say that our school is NOT tree nut free, only Dorothy’s classroom and classroom parties – this is outlined in her 504, school functions do not have to be nut free.

I said that I was getting them from IGA. I have always gotten them from IGA, For the Grandparents Breakfast, for the Dad’s breakfast. I did not know about IGA. That is why I emailed you first RIGHT!!!!

I was checking with you……….

followed by this changed attitude email…again, to me…I never did respond to her.

Tara:

I am done with this. If you want to bring the donuts, please do. Mary Goodson said she would take care of the game, I am reading a storie. If you want to put the craft together for the kids, I can drop the supplies off at your house.

This is a party for the kids and this is absolutely ridiculious. I have never had any problems like this before since I have been involved in these things and I have a 19 year old and I refuse to go through anything like this again. I just emailed you to make sure that Dorothy was going to be able to have a safe party just like everyone else. These conversations got out of control. I am sorry.

Let me know if you want to put the craft together.

I told John she could take her craft and shove it up her ass.

Our principal got more involved and sent this.

It seems as if there are some hurt feelings among the two of you and I want to see if I can help a little. You are both caring mothers that just want the best for your children and the other children in class.

This is where I think we are:
Mrs. Bitch is planning the party in terms of activities, games, etc. We certainly appreciate this.
Mrs. Tara does not wish to plan the party. She just needs to approve the food items. This is something that is written into a special plan developed for her child because of her allergies.

How about this…Bitch please send me a list of the food you are thinking of serving and putting in treat bags (it might help if they are chosen from the list Mrs. Tara provided). Then I will check to make sure that everyone in the class can eat these items.

If donuts are still in the plan, they do need to come from a nut free bakery and Mrs. Tara can pick them up. I see this as the extent of her role in this party.

Perhaps instead of contacting each other, I can be the go between on this matter. My hopes are that we can resolve this as a group before the Winter Party.

I’ll consider that good.

Thank you all for your positive thoughts on this and for your concern about my daughter! I wish she could be surrounded with such wonderful people all the time!

Party planning update…this is a doozy

Rather than paraphrase, I’ll just include the emails intact.

Room parent:

No the candy does not have tree nuts in it. I will not send a list home because I have everything I need now and the parents gave the party money, they don’t need to be nickeled and dimed to death. I will take care of it.

What about drinks is there something specific that Dorothy can not have?

My response:

Okay. I”m not trying to be a pain here, I promise. Our action plan provides that the snacks be coordinated with me, so that they are appropriate for Dorothy. The classroom is supposed to be tree nut free, and party time really presents additional issues. I have always planned the parties (and I”m definately glad someone else volunteered, though I must have missed the sign-up or I would have volunteered for at least one of them), so food was never an issue.

Parents ALWAYS send extra stuff in, even if they have been asked not to because they want to help, so I will work with Mrs. Wallut to find out how she wants to handle that if the snacks are not okay.

For drinks she is allergic to mango. There aren’t too many things that actually contain it, but some of the Tampico stuff does have it. Fruit punch, capri-suns, Koolaid, apple juice are perfect.

Thanks again.

Her reply…

You know what. I suggest next time you make sure to sign up for these parties. I know there where at least 2 forms that went out and a meeting was held last week. I am sorry that you have missed those but since you have I have signed up for the parties. I am again, not asking for anything and will not. If parents want to send something in that is there choice and it will be noted on my flyer. I know nothing of having to go through you for food issues, I know that I need to follow certain rules and I have. I have contact you, I have asked what Dorothy can and can’t have. Food as never been an issue, I have been asking you to make sure everything is covered. (Just like all of the breakfasts)

This is my party and I will work with Mrs. Wallut what I have planned. If there is something she does not like or something she wants changed I will do that. To many hands in the fire is too confusing for everyone. That is what a headroom parent is for.

Again, if you have problem with this I suggest you make sure you are headroom parent next year.

and finally my response

I shouldn’t have to volunteer to run a party to keep my daughter safe. I volunteered to assist with the party and a packet was sent home from Mrs. Schiffer. I don’t want to plan the party, I was discussing food with you as is outlined in our ADA 504 document, which is a legally binding document. The packet that was sent by the PTO said to talk to the teacher about allergies, which I assume you did. I don’t care how you plan the party, I volunteered to help. I had thought that all help would be welcomed.

Good luck, I hope that your party runs smoothly

At this point, the principal called my back. She assured me that I am not in the wrong here, that this room mom MUST COORDINATE SNACKS AND TREATS with me and that she would call the room mother. She also has spoken to the teacher to let her know to be more assertive, that it is her JOB to keep Dorothy safe and the classroom nut free.

Here we go again, Halloween Party

I’m frustrated today. This is the first party that either the teacher or I haven’t planned. I sent an email to the lady planning it two weeks ago reminding her that the party needed to be TREE NUT free, along with a list of over 200 acceptable snacks. She responded to me letting me know that she was, “well aware of Dorothy’s allergies.” Well, geez, lady. I’m glad you are AWARE of her allergies, but this didn’t answer my question, nor did it give me a warm and fuzzy vibe. Dorothy’s classroom is supposed to be tree nut free. She is supposed to feel safe in her classroom, this is why we have a 504 plan.

I get this email today:

Tara:

I am getting ready to get stuff for the Treat Bags and need some idea’s to make one for Dorothy. Could you please give me some ideas. Also, we will be having donuts from IGA. I know she can not eat these but when we had the Grandparents Breakfast I had gotten her the Hostess Muffins (Minis) is that still OK and which kind does she like best?

Thanks!

My response:

Is there a possiblity that her bag and snacks could not be different? The classroom is supposed to be the one *safe* place for her in the building that doesn’t contain any nuts, her 504 plan even limits what kind of lotion her teacher can use. Paul’s Doughnuts, down off of Elm near New Town, is tree nut free and is a safe doughnut for her to eat, in fact, I will volunteer right now to provide all of the doughnuts 🙂 As for the treat bags, safe snacks are mini hershey bars, nerds, sprees, skittles, whoppers, fruit snacks, fruit roll ups, Hostess snacks (Ding Dongs, HoHo’s, Twinkies, unfortunately now all the mini muffins are no longer tree nut free), twizzlers, and smarties. For the bags for everyone, I have jelly bracelets, spiders and pencils…lmk if you want me to just send those in the day of or what. Did you want me to plan a game or two?

Thanks!

…and I’m not surprised, here is the response:

Game is taken care of. The kids were getting candy and I just wanted to make sure that I had Dorothy covered. Mrs. Gxxxx has sent in treat bags and pencils, if you would like to send in the bracelets that would be great. If you want to take care of the donuts that is fine also. I was not going to use the party money, just saving it for the Christmas party or Valentines Day party so if you need to be paid back let me know.

Okay, so apparently the candy is unsafe for Dorothy. Apparently the PLANNER lady failed to tell people about the need for the food to be tree nut free, and really doesn’t give a shit if she takes tree nuts into the classroom, but she wants Dorothy to be, “taken care of.” Well, taken care of means INCLUDING her in the damn party, INCLUDING her in the snack. It does not mean giving her something special. There is absolutely no reason that this should be an issue – none.

I just sent an email to the teacher asking how she plans to handle this, and an email to the planner lady asking if she will be asking for specific foods to be sent in from the list I provided. I know Dorothy will encounter nuts (the human variety – like this woman, and the kind from trees) but she is in 2nd grade, at this point I don’t think she is prepared emotionally for being singled out during a party. She already wants to stay home due to a certain amount of anxiety about nut-encounters, singling her out during a party will only succeed in exacerbating her anxiety.

Oh…and why didn’t I volunteer to plan this party? Well, I despise most of the women on the PTO, so I don’t go to the meetings, and the lady planning this party was the president last year, so she just automatically signed herself up.

My attempt at a regional favorite

We’ve recently hit that point where it seems like I cook the same things over and over, and while delicious, we just had it the week before. We live in the St. Louis area, famous for The Hill – an Italian cropping of restaurants and culture which expands beyond the actual neighborhood bounds. This influence is evident at every office catered luncheon, graduation party, wedding reception, etc. How? One word. Mostacholli.

Mosta-what? Not matriculating from this region, I had no clue when I moved here what this dish was. I’ll be honest, I’ve never actually eaten it at an event, but I’ve always taken notice. However, since all of my children DO live, and come from, the STL Metro area, I decided it was high time to add Mostacholli to our family menu. It was a raging success, though my husband told me later that my mostacholli was a little extravegant compared to what most people serve. I asked what most people do and he said basically they open some Ragu, pour it over cooked penne pasta and then bake.

1 box Penne Pasta
6-8 oz ricota cheese
8 oz mozzerella cheese
1 cup parmesan cheese
2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
2 6 oz cans tomato paste
1 TBS Italian seasoning + some to sprinkle
1 cup water
1.5 lbs ground beef
1 medium yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
salt & pepper to taste

1. Bring 6-8 cups water to a boil. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Brown ground beef, adding onions and garlic when beef is getting close to done. Drain and set aside. Drop pasta into water and cook until al dente.
3. In large saucepan, add tomatoes, water, tomato paste, and italian seasoning to ground beef mixture. Bring to a boil and reduce to desired consistancy.
4. Grease a 9×13 pan.
5. Add pasta into sauce, stir. Scoop 1/2 into 9×13. Cover with 1/2 of the cheeses divided. Add remaining pasta, smooth, then layer with cheese, sprinkle top with Italian seasoning.
6. Cover with foil (spray side facing food with Pam). Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove foil. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes.
7. Serve with garlic bread 🙂