Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Ever Vigilant

Nestlé Canada has issued a recall on Snack-sized Coffee Crisp bars because these "peanut-free" and "Safe To Share" bars which are made in a peanut-free facility "may contain peanut protein which is not declared on the label." W.T.F.!

(*edited to add that this is virtually the only chocolate I let Jax eat*)

Apparently one person has had a reaction. These chocolate bars (aka candy bars, my American friends) are made and sold in Canada. However, we often buy them when we are in Vancouver, or my brother brings them down or my mom mails us boxes and bags of them.

I called Nestlé's 800# listed on the allergy alert but because I live in the USA I was routed to the Nestlé USA and they were next to useless with providing me info. Then she told me that I could not even call Nestlé Canada because I lived in the USA. I said I understood that I could not call them via an 800# but they must have a direct line and she told me they did not. Riiiight.

So my mom, who lives in Toronto, called and Nestlé Canada told her that the factory is indeed peanut-free. They are trying to find out what happened and how peanut protein got into the bar (if in fact it was there - they are currently testing samples from those batches as well as the recalled product that went out to stores). Their suppliers know that the factory is peanut-free and sign agreements that what they supply is free from peanuts/peanut protein.

So, now what do we do? Do we continue to eat their peanut-free products? Do we wait to see if it was a supplier problem? If so, how do they guarantee it will not happen again? How does anyone guarantee their products will only contain the ingredients listed on the label? Do we give up eating all processed foods because clearly you can never be 100% safe/?! It is distressing and depressing.

One good news item about peanut allergies is this:

Toronto researchers have found a clue in the blood of people killed by peanut allergies that could help identify those most at risk of a fatal reaction. Click for details.

Jax has his semi-annual allergist appointment in two weeks. I hope his allergist can give us some news about the status of peanut allergy treatments.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Idea taken from Kross-Eyed Kitty's blog.

Four Jobs I've had in my Life:
1. Candy girl at the movies
2. Hotel Concierge
3. Information Specialist (aka secretary/assistant)
4. Computer Engineer
Four Movies I'd Watch Over and Over
1. Love Actually
2. The American President
3. Serendipity
4. Star Wars IV: A New Hope
Four Places I've Lived:
1. Scarborough, Ontario
2. Ottawa, Ontario
3. Minneapolis, Minnesota
4. Town east of Seattle, Washington
Four TV Shows I like to Watch
1. American Idol
2. Grey's Anatomy
3. Boston Legal
4. Desperate Housewives
Four Favourite Places I've been on Vacation:
1. Florida
2. Manzanillo, Mexico
3. Barbados
4. St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
Four Web Sites I Visit Daily:
1. Toronto Star
2. Delphi Forums
3. King 5
4. Pez Blahg
Four of my Favourite Foods:
1. Souvlaki with Greek Salad on the side
2. Prime Rib
3. Brownies with fudge icing
4. Shrimp cocktail
Four places I'd rather be right now:
1. On a beach in the sun
2. In bed sleeping (but I have to watch Grey's Anatomy!)
3. Nordstrom's Rack
4. Michael's
Four People I feel sorry for because they're getting tagged:
Beth, Heidi, Katie, MissFish, Pley

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Back to School

The kids went back to school today. I spent 1.5 hours cutting a big 25 pound block of clay into 56 6.5-7.0 oz pieces for Sunday School. I also spent almost two hours surfing knitting blogs and online yarn shops. I want to knit another booga bag and I think I will make it in a solid colour this time. I've also started another Sophie bag with the yarn I had purchased to make an Alien Illusion scarf. I screwed up the pattern twice so the second time I frogged it I decided to give up - I just cannot read a knitting graph pattern.

Cars was accepted to the preschool at our church so that will make things so much easier for me next year. He will be in class while I am in MOPS so there will be so easy next year with much less running around. And he still has to be potty trained. As you can see it is going well...

He *loves* to put that damn potty ring around his neck and run around the house. Ick! I do wipe it down with Clorox bathroom wipes but still! Ick! He finally peed in the potty for the first time on Monday but no action since then. Think I can get this done in six months time?!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I managed to fill the past two days with trips to the club to go swimming. Yeseterday it was just us and today Ash and her kids joined us. The good thing about swimming is that it wears them right out. Bad thing? It wears me out too.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Too Many Days Off School

The kids are out of school for the next three days for mid-winter break (and President's Day). Tomorrow afternoon Dex has a birthday party in the afternoon one of those places with the inflatables. Neighbour has offered to drive Dex (her dd is going too) so that might give Jax and Cars and I time to go to the park or something if it is nice out. Tuesday we are going to go swimming at the club. Wednesday? Dunno...

Today Jax took a swing with a plastic bat just as Cars walked by so Cars is now sporting a black eye with a cut under it. He insisted that he needed a bandaid on so for most of the day he walked around with a 3" Diego bandaid across his cheek and nose.

Oh and I wanted to mention after hating last month's book club selection, I am thoroughly enjoying this month's book.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Busy as a Bee

This past week whizzed by. I was so busy! Tuesday was Valentine's Day and I volunteered in Dex's class. I had first offered to work Jax's class but there were already 12 moms there so I left and went to Dex's class because I knew there were not many volunteers.

Wednesday, it was Art Start in Dex's class. Then the window guy came (oy! pushy salesman and expen$ive windows). Thursday was MOPS (had to bake a breakfast egg dish first thing in the morning to take in). Then I went to the club in the afternoon as soon as Dex boarded the bus for school. Thursday was also spent trying to work stuff out with the pushy windows guy and Stephen.

Friday I had to tell the windows guy that he had pissed Stephen off so we were going to look elsewhere for windows (man, I hate confrontation so it was very stressful). Friday I also spent my Nanny time running through Costco, then at the school putting up Art Start work in the Kindergarten class then helping the teacher out for an hour.

My lovely dh let me sleep in until 8am this morning! He rocks!

Oh, I also sewed babyshower gifts this week and went to the shower this afternoon. My next-door neighbour is having twin girls next month (she already has 2 daughters). I made her two blankets (chenille backed cotton) with coordinating burp cloths (cotton fabric sewn to cloth diapers).

Click on picture to see larger image.

Next week the kids have Mon, Tues and Wed off. Still trying to decide what we are going to do to keep busy.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Miscellaneous Ramblings

I have a window guy coming today to talk about replacing the two windows in the kitchen. They do not open. My kitchen gets like an oven in the summer. There is a sliding door beside the windows but it is not enough to create some circulation. The guy wants to sell me new windows for the whole house but I just want the two. We'll see how quickly I can get him out of the house.

I am teaching Art Start in Dex's class today. The A.M. Kindergarten Art Start mom prepared all of the materials this month but I feel a little lost because I have had not involvement in this month's prep work. I hope it goes well today.

It is a lovely clear, sunny day but cold and we are expecting temperatures in the 20's and 30's over the next couple of days which is cold for here (you Toronto or Minnesota people quit laughing!).

Monday, February 13, 2006


Last night on "Grey's Anatomy", when Dr. McDreamy goes to see Meredith at the end, there is a thunderstorm going on. How fake, I thought. Thunderstorms here are so rare. Ash and I discussed this today. Ok, yes it rains here but adding the thunderstorm was sooooo fake!

Tonight, as Neighbour and I were starting out on our evening power walk, it started to rain then suddenly, a blinding flash of light and KA-BOOOOOM! Lightening and thunder? What? We rushed home and then listened to a 10 minute thunderstorm. So much for that thunderstorm on "Grey's Anatomy" being fake!

The rain has been cycling between rain, sleet and snow for the past two and a half hours. Should be a lovely drive to school tomorrow.

Since I did not get to walk, I decided to actually DO something so I cut out and pinned two baby blankets and two burp cloths for my next-door neighbour. I have been invited to her baby shower this coming weekend. She is having identical twin girls (I guess they could tell that they are identical during the level IV ultrasound). These two girls will add to the two girls they already have! Imagine *4* girls!

I hope to get the blankets sewn tomorrow before I head to two Valentine's Day parties. I guess neither class had enough volunteers to help out so I will be bouncing back and forth with Cars in tow.

Oh, and before I forget, tonight was the Second Grade musical. It was soooo cute. Jax had a speaking roll (vs singing and dancing in the chorus). Of course he only had two lines. I forgot to take my camera though so I need to check around to see if anyone took photos of Jax.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Sunny and Grey

OMG - Do you watch "Grey's Anatomy"?! I think after today's episode, it has now overtaken "Boston Legal" as my favourite show. Anyway, it is so well written, the music is great and the special effects today were so realistic. I cried throughout much of the episode (and laughed "O'Malley? Stop looking at my va-jayjay!"

Oh, and I found a link to a blog from the writers of "Grey's Anatomy". It is called Grey Matter.

It was a warm and sunny day today so I did some yardwork - raking up leaves that I should have raked up last fall. I also scooped three big dog turds off my lawn. Geez that makes me so mad. We also have some big patches of dead grass on the lawn which indicates that someone is letting their dogs piss on our lawn too. If I wanted dog shit and piss on my lawn, I would have a dog! I loathe people who do not scoop their dog's poop. Anyway, I need to find something to keep them off the lawn. I've heard that cayenne pepper might do it. Gotta check that out. If not, I will plant some pricker bushes along the property line.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Date Night

Stephen and I had a date tonight. We went out to dinner at a restaurant that offers a discount (B1G1 Free entree!) using the Evil Empire's discount card (good at attractions, at restaurants, services, etc). Anyway, dinner was super yummy (spinach stuffed shrimp!). Then we went grocery shopping. Nanny's rates are half of what they are during the week so it felt like such a bargain to shop for cheaper! ;)

Jax had his first reconciliation today. I was so proud of him. The service was long because there were 120 kids going through it and even though they had 8 priests, it took 1.5 hours. He has his first communion this spring too.

I finally fell off the roof. I had called my ob/gyn's office to see about getting in to see him so he could check the endometriosis but turns out he is out of the office for the next week and a half so I will have to wait until next month. :
Stephen went for his stress test this week and all is fine (as he knew it would be).

Friday, February 10, 2006

Bird Watching

When I picked the kids up at the school yesterday, we saw three Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers. They were so fun to watch because they were pecking holes in the trees at our eye level and did not shy away when we approached for a closer look.

I signe Cars up for preschool at our church. I will find out around the 17th if he is accepted (this is the one where admittance is based on parents' time/talent/treasure).

I volunteered to be in charge of crafts for MOPS next year. Wish me luck planning and organizing crafts every two weeks for 60 moms!

Monday, February 06, 2006

I have the worst PMS. I am in such a bitchy mood, completely craving sweets (especially chocolate) and I am bloated. I scolded Ding-Dong girl today when she told me that my garage was dirty (it's messy, not dirty - hrmph!) and I left a pissy message at the allergist's office because I am trying to set up an appointment for Jax for March and they will not return my calls (hmmm...maybe I have been leaving pissy messages longer than I figured?). Anyway, I just want to hurry and fall off the roof so 1) the bloating will go away and 2) I can go to see my OB/GYN so he can confirm or deny the incisional endometriosis. I have had a week and a half pain-free (more now just like pressure) but today I felt a twinge so I think the pain is coming back.

I have to snap out of this mood for tomorrow because I am teaching Art in Jax's class. We are going to study Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother by James Abbot MacNeill Whistler (aka "Whistler's Mother"). The kids will use charcoal to create a sketch of their mother's, making sure they use texture. I bought a can of AquaNet to "seal" the pictures since charcoal is so messy.

Ok, I need to go draft a letter to Jax's class reminding them to check ingredients before they send in candy for Valentine's Day. I wish that people would see that Valentine's day cards are fine alone!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Boo Seahawks

We had Ash and Gar over to watch the Super Bowl. We sent the kids over to their house and hired Nanny to watch all of the kids. Too bad the Seahawks lost. It was an interesting game despite the bad calls (don't the losers always say that they had bad calls? lol).

I finally finished the most boring book in the world! It is "The Quality of Life Report" that we are reading for book club. OMG it took me nearly 4 weeks to read it. Every night I would crack the book open and would promptly fall asleep reading it. Until Tuesday, I was still only on page 20! I have spoken to a couple of fellow book clubbers and they hated it too. I feel a little bad for Tami because the book stunk so much and it was her pick. This is a repeat of the book I chose last year when nearly everyone HATED that book.

Friday, February 03, 2006


Dex has a scratch near the bridge of his nose that is a long line and then a little dot. He was starting at himself in the mirror the other day then came out and announced that he had an exclamation mark on his face because "I'm LOUD!".

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Gov't Watching Me?

I frequently look at my list of visitors to see who is reading my blahg and how they found me (that's how I found out that there were over a dozen hits on photos of my kids in the swimming pool from last summer). Anyway, today I noticed a hit from:

Domain Name dhhs.gov ? (United States Government)
IP Address 158.70.170.# (U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services)
ISP U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

I thought that was weird and so I looked down at the referring URL and found out that someone was searching on "slapping my breasts". I had written that back when Cars weaned last March. LOL

I am wondering WHY this person is searching on that particular phrase but was more surprised at some of the other sites they must have looked at (btw, they read my blog for over 20 minutes! Oh, and I am glad I am not the only mom who used that phrase in regard to their toddlers and nursing).
Who knew that locking mailboxes would such a contentious issue? C'mon, who would NOT want more security to protect their identities/mail? Apparently, there are some people out there, in particular two women in our neighbourhood who cannot imagine why anyone still receives cheques/statements/bills via snail mail (this must be said in an incredulous voice, full of contempt and scorn). There were about 70 people at the meeting last night (our neighbourhood has 200 homes) and all but those two women were there to support the decision to get locking mail boxes. BTW, the mailboxes will be installed and maintained FOR FREE by the USPS. That is an estimated cost savings to our neighbourhood of over $30,000 (to buy private boxes).

The naysayers complaints:
- another key to look after
- consolidation of current mail stations means some will have to walk another 3 houses further to get mail
- "I only receive junk mail so why do I need locking boxes?"

I think the real reason was that one had to replace her broken mailbox herself last year when our HOA was inactive (a new board was voted in this past October) so she perhaps she is trying to get her money's worth of the next box?

So many people were arguing back and forth with them and it got heated. I was waiting for some name-calling or fists to fly! But the president stepped in and it did not come to blows. Busybody was one ready to attack those two women! lol

One of our city's police officers spoke about how rampant mail theft/identity theft was in our area and how quickly the thieves can get in/out and charge stuff to credit cards (within minutes). The last arrest for mail theft in our neighbourhood was on January 4th. It is a real concern and we need locking mailboxes.

So, everyone voted but there were not enough people there so the board will go door-to-door until they have 134 votes. I cannot see this issue failing so we should have new mailboxes in place by the end of April.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Still Ticked Off

Stephen called the cardiologist this morning but apparently gave them the impression that things were not urgent so he is not going for a stress test until next Wednesday afternoon. >:\ I am still ticked off at him for going back to work last night. Then this morning he told me he was exhausted and was going to take a day off to lie around in bed.

On another subject, I am planning to attend our HOA's meeting tonight to vote on installing locked mailboxes in our neighbourhood. Apparently, our city has the infamous claim to fame of being the identity theft capital of the country (per capita). Not sure if that is true, but there is tons-o-mail theft around here so I would be very happy with a locked mailbox.