Nut Allergies are NOT Funny!




8. Those a**holes whose nut allergies have ruined peanuts on planes for everybody

via Lost Luggage, Delays, and Other Problems with Air Travel.

Came across this tongue in cheek article in my FB feed along with a response from Scratch or Sniff.

It is difficult for me to understand, why people are offended by anyone, with a severe, potentially fatal nut allergy, requesting fellow passengers on a plane to please refrain from eating nuts.

Having a grandchild with an allergy to peanuts and tree nuts has made me fully aware of how children and adults live with these types of allergies. Monitoring what our grandchild eats is a constant worry for her mom and us as grandparents. Allergic kids pose a serious concern for families.

Ingestion of nuts, skin exposure or inhaling the dust from nuts can cause anaphylaxis and end a child’s life in a matter of minutes.


Using this potentially fatal allergy dilemma as humor and adding this to a list of annoyances during air travel is, in my opinion, thoughtless. We all have snarky comments about air travel these days but if someone was in danger of dying, I would never even think to eat a handful of nuts or complain about my child not being able to eat his PB&J sandwich inflight.

Seriously, just how selfish and unfeeling have we become when traveling?

It seems that there is no longer empathy for the human condition, no matter what it is. Just a few days ago, I read where an UBER driver told a cancer patient she deserved her cancer when she cancelled her booking a few seconds after placing a reservation because she left her head scarf at her chemo treatment. WTH? Have we become that callous?

It seems a bit like “compassion fatigue ” to me. We are bombarded on a daily basis with outrageous news about horrible events occurring around the world. Even the television father that many grew up with on the Cosby Show has recently fallen from grace after accusations of being a sexual predator of women. There is so much sad news that we have become somewhat numb to serious and sad events

Empathy is something we as parents and grandparents are trying to foster in our children and grandchildren. Finding small opportunities to grow empathy in our kids is not easy, especially when we make fun of  “nut allergies” which many kids and soon to be adults experience. Even if a child is not allergic, they will have friends that will be allergic. Will they avoid these kids or will they be inclusive of them and avoid nuts in their own lunches so they can sit with their friends, who are many times ostracized to a nut-free table at school.

I would hope in general, people become more aware of the seriousness of allergies and the risk of anaphylaxis thereby becoming more tolerant and empathic when they are asked to avoid nuts when traveling on a crowded airplane.

It is just a start!

Back-to-School anxiety

Back-to-School Jitters


Class Photo

Most of us can remember our first days at school and the jitters that we felt. Sometimes, these jitters were happy ones…getting back back to the books and classroom meant seeing our friends again after the long hot summer.

It also meant slipping into a familiar routine which we know can be consolingly comfortable.

At times though, anxious worries can spoil the fun of the return to routine mornings, scheduled daytimes, and earlier bedtimes.

As a parent, I can remember struggling with the after Labor Day schedules. Here are some pointers to remember when parent anxiety rises.

  • Recognize your own anxiety– Take care that your own worries do not exacerbate the worries of your child. Anxiety is contagious! Meditate or take some time yourself to relax and model this settling behavior for your children during moments of anxiety.
  • Try to have a conversation with your kids– Listen to your children and validate their feelings…sometimes, they will want to talk about back-to-school stuff and sometimes, they will want to avoid the discussion. Be available, be non-judgmental, be empathic.
  • Plan ahead– Structure and planning eases anxiety because children know what to expect. Perhaps a visit to school or meeting new classmates can be arranged ahead of time.
  • Follow good eating and sleeping habits– Nourishment and rest are essentials to health and keeping a watchful eye on what you buy at the grocery store can be helpful as can a regular bedtime that allows for adequate rest and sleep.
  • Treat high anxiety– If you or your child seem to experience over the top anxiety, it might be time to consult a counselor for some more ideas as to how to treat these feelings. Help is available, you just have to ask.
  • Stay in touch with your kids– During the school year, keep listening to your children. Their conversations with friends can tell you more about them than you think you want or need to know.

But remember, an empathic ear can give you a heads-up to situations before they hatch into problems.



My Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Each week so many interesting reads come across my feed that I want to share. It is truly impossibly difficult to sometimes choose which ones to include here.

Weekly Review- Ice Cream

Here are the stories that lit up my screen this week.

The very sad story about a toddler left in his dad’s car has been all over the news. There is a very serious side to this story and it involves other parents, who have made this fatal mistake. It is a very long story but well worth reading to get a perspective on just what a serious problem this is in today’s world.

The toddler slowly sweltered to death, strapped into a car seat for nearly nine hours in an office parking lot in Herndon in the blistering heat of July. It was an inexplicable, inexcusable mistake, but was it a crime? That was the question for a judge to decide.

Do we allow our kids and grandkids to explore their world and discover things without a “helicopter” over their heads? This piece made me realize just what a different world it is today for some children.


In the tardy twilight of a Puget Sound evening, we caught a glimpse of a boy, maybe 6 or 7, playing in mud exposed by low tide. Ankle-deep in vibrant muck, he called out a discovery to his father. “I found a bunch of baby crabs,” he said. “A jillion of them.” From there, he slipped into the woods, chasing some other curiosity of the natural world. A butterfly, I think. He disappeared for some time, without a word of concern from his parents. “You don’t see much of that anymore,” a friend said.


In keeping with childhood safety, here is a post with some very helpful tips. Let it be known that I love The Mother Company. It is simply a wonderful group!



My Body Is MINE!

Children must know that they are “the boss of their bodies.” That simply means that their body belongs only to them, and that no one should try to play an uncomfortable or “yucky” touching game with them. Especially with their “bathing suit areas” or “private parts” of their body. This is especially important as kids head off to swim camps or pool parties where you may not be around. Talk to your child beforehand and make sure he or she knows to immediately alert you (or the chaperone or lifeguard) if anyone tries to play a “touching game”.


These are my top three selections for review this week.

There are many more fascinating family, parenting, kids, and food articles to name just a few topics that I enjoy. It seems I cannot get enough time to read all of them


I hope that you get a chance to click on at least one review, if not all and you enjoy reading them.

What are some topics that you love to read about on the internet?

Each week, I will try and select some good articles that relate to parenting, kids and various other topics.

Look for “My Weekly Review” each Friday!

Hello and Goodbye…Why This is Unpleasant for Kids! | Today’s Grandmum

I have a new post “Hello and Goodbye” on my blog “Today’s Grandmum” at Chicago Now.

hello and goodbye

Now that the summer is here many families will be traveling to visit relatives and family friends that they only see once a year or at holiday time.

via Hello and Goodbye…Why This is Unpleasant for Kids! | Today’s Grandmum.


Go click over and see many other great topics and blogs at Chicago Now.

For now ….Hello and Goodbye!

My Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Each week so many interesting reads come across my feed that I want to share. It is truly impossibly difficult to sometimes choose which ones to include here.

summer review

That being said, here is my review for last week. I will try to post these each Friday for weekend reading…instead of a summer novel.

My favorite by far, is this article about keeping your child safe from ticks and Lyme Disease while they go off to camp. I am amazed I did not research this one myself as I am obsessed with all diseases that could affect my kids and now my grandchild. I admire this mom’s approach to prevention against a very serious disease threat.

The season of sleep-away camp is upon us, and in our house that means it’s time for the yearly pesticide ritual.



How are you raising your kids and grandkids? Do you encourage their dreams or are you more of a realist? Personally, I love to dream and think that it is nice not to thwart creativity by being too much of back to reality thinker especially when it comes to children.



My parents never allowed me to set boundaries on my aspirations. They encouraged travel, they pushed me into new experiences, and they never laughed at any of my lofty goals, even when they knew my dreams were outside the bounds of reason. They listened as I spoke of opening an orphanage in Russia, of writing ten best selling books before I turned 30, and of somehow still getting that ever elusive Oscar.      

Now this is going to be a very controversial case. But the sad fact here is that many kids unfortunately die in hot cars during the summer months because they are left for even a short time alone in a sweltering vehicle. Please never leave a child alone in a vehicle for any reason as it is simply not safe and in many states it is illegal and you could be charged with child endangerment.


To the authorities in suburban Cobb County, the vehicle is the place where Justin Ross Harris murdered his 22-month-old son, Cooper, by leaving him in a rear-facing car seat for about seven hours on a warm Southern day.



These are my top three selections for review this week. I hope that you get a chance to click on at least one if not all and that you enjoy reading them. Each week I will try and select some good articles that relate to parenting, kids and various other topics.

Look for “My Weekly Review” each Friday!


Do You have Kids and Pets? They Go Together…

Dogs are said to be “man’s best friend”…aren’t they kids best friends too?

Kids and pets

Don’t kids and pets go together?

For many years, I told my husband, Michael that he married me because he loved my Lhasa Apso, Tam, who would take lead him on long New York City walks. My husband would always laugh and  remark how well Tam was trained to “curb himself”.

For as long as we both remember, Michael and I have loved dogs, in fact right now we have three. At one time, we also had a cat, Tootsie, her given name, definitely not our choice.  She was an adoptee from the local humane society, where we went after one of our beloved dogs had to be put down. Unfortunately for Tootsie, she was given to a neighbor when her “birth” family moved away  and then her adoptive family had to give her up yet again for unknown reasons. She was a very well fed feline and weighed a hefty 20 pounds when we took her into our home.

The odd thing about the two of us adopting a cat is that we are both allergic to them. We must have experienced simultaneous brain “farts”!

Standoffish was Tootsie’s main trait, although she was very pretty with green eyes and a calico coat, her natural  beauty betrayed her caddy personality. My clinical diagnosis for her was “attachment disorder” secondary to being in two, too many homes.

Personally, it has never been a belief of mine that family pets help kids learn responsibility. Our children have loved our 2 Lhasas, 2 Shitzus, and adored our 3 Bearded Collies but  not the calico cat. They never really fed or groomed our dogs’ long hair nor did they clean up their many messes…that job always fell to me or Michael.

I know…I know…

It is partly my fault that kids and pets’ responsibility belonged mostly to me, especially when it came to feeding, bathing and caring for their needs. So, I guess you could say my children learned by watching me care for our many dogs with love and affection!

After much thought… here goes my check list of how kids and pets, who coexist in the same family, can influence each other.

  • Responsibility

Pets learn quickly, who is responsible for their care and kids learn too. So if you want the dog to nudge your children when they have to go out then you have to assign them times to walk or let them outside. You can also add more responsible chores to your pet care list like filling the water bowl, grooming and feeding. As the pet gets used to your child taking care of his needs then your child will learn about bonding with an animal

  • Bonding

Identifiable bonds will grow. There will be an unconditional love between your kids and pets. It will be a reward and a joy for your child to see that if he is kind and compassionate to his dog, he will enjoy the love of an unconditional friend, who would lay down his life to protect your child from harm.

  • Compassion and empathy

How we treat our dogs and pets models compassion and empathy for our children. Dogs enjoy creature comforts and kindness just as people do. They enjoy petting and gentle words too. They especially enjoy some freedom around the house and being part of family activity. What a perfect way to convey empathy and compassion to members of our own family.

  • Positive health benefits

No matter what the weather, how tired or how sick we feel, pets will be at our side and need to be fed and walked every day. Children too will feel warm and fuzzy when their furry friend curls up next to them at nap time or bedtime. But “Fido” will also still expect to go out on time even when the last thing anyone wants to do is go out in the rain and cold. We all need exercise and company…sometimes our pets are more attune to these needs than we are. Schedules are good and dogs know this. So listen to your dog if you want to get healthy.

  • Loss and grief

Almost inevitably your family will suffer the loss of a pet whether it is a goldfish or a beloved dog or cat. These sorrow filled times have been our hardest as a family especially when we knew the end was near for our dear and loyal friend. Over the years, we have said our goodbyes to five dogs and one cat. Each one was unique and special…some we have clay paw prints as remembrances along with pictures and many, many joyful and humorous memories.

When our kids were little our explanations of death were simple but our sadness was always shared together. As our family matured, our children went with us to the vet to say goodby to our dog and were present when our vet helped put our aged friend to sleep after he had served us well with his loyalty and all he had to give. We always assured our dog that we would share our love and his space with a new puppy in the near future… that our family’s way of honoring his faithfulness to us.

Kids and pets for our family has been a blessed time…we have shared joy and sadness with our furry friends and we have never forgotten to honor them by never being without a dog in our home!


Kids and pets




Mindful Parenting…Solutions for Parents

Hand in Hand Mindful Parenting

Mindful ParentingAlong about twenty years ago, mindfulness came into my life. At the time, my own children were young and day to day living was anything but mindful.

After learning biofeedback techniques to overcome anxiety due to mitral valve prolapse, Jon Kabat-Zinn came into my life through his book

Full Catastrophe Living.

It was life changing and helped introduce me to yoga, which helped to prepare me for my inevitable open heart surgery 6 years ago.

So when I came across Kristen Race‘s book,

Mindful Parenting

I jumped in to see how I could relate my mindfulness practice with my “work” as a grandmother. Nothing is more important to me than family, children and grandchildren.

Kristen Race has helped me to effectively live the mindful life with my granddaughter in today’s fast paced world.

She explains in clear and simple terms how our brains work and how our stress effects  our own overall well being and that of our family. She goes on to give many helpful techniques to implement in our busy lives. Her tips help you to find the balance that is essential to manage stress. Balance is an integral part of living happier lives through “mindful parenting” and “mindful” grandparenting.

This is a book I will continue to read and dog ear the pages for years to come. It is one I will recommend to friends. As a therapist myself, I will recommend it to parents as a must read to help them parent mindfully!

Disclosure: This was a sponsored post. I was given a copy of “Mindful Parenting” for review.

The Muppets are Back!


Muppet Love

If you know me then you are aware of my love of the Muppet characters

My love affair with the Muppets began in the 80’s when my children were very young. At the time we were living on the Treasure Coast of Florida without cable television. It was a lucky morning on the weekends when our antenna would capture Public Televison signal from Miami.

The new Muppets Most Wanted promises to entertain adults and children alike with all the “old characters” making an appearance.

Who is your favorite muppet?

muppetsmostwanted526ecae2bfbad -The Muppets

Mine is Kermit!

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Weekend…Christmas, Kids, Consumerism

Chicago Xmas State Street

Christmas and Holidays can pose a dilemma especially for those of us with children. What is meant to be a time of joy and giving can become a time of stress and “gimme, gimme”.

So, I was overjoyed to see this post and thought I would share it with those of you who want to share some of these points with your own children….or grandchildren.

So it got me thinking – what do I want my kids to really know about Christmas?  And because I started thinking that led to me making a list for my kids. Which I’m sharing with you today.

via finding joy: 25 Things I Want My Kids to Know About Christmas..



In keeping with my consumerism theme this week, I am posting a link to one of my favorite bloggers and writers, Annie Urban.

She makes an excellent effort to “quell” consumerism in her home with her own children. This, mind you, is no easy task and it is certainly made easier if you have all the family together in support…especially the grandparents, aunts and uncles and all who dote on your kids.

But then the Christmas commercials started. Not in December, not in late November, but back in October or maybe even September. And that is when the chorus began. It didn’t matter what type of plastic crap was being advertised, they wanted it, they needed it, it was the best thing ever.