Saturday, September 13, 2008

Birthday Parties with Food Allergies - The One With the Biggest Cupcake Wins

We all know the situation. Your child is invited to a birthday party, or there is a party in their classroom at school, and you must supply them a safe treat to eat while all their friends eat that exciting birthday cake of Sponge Bob glowing in its 3 dimensional yellow frosting glory.

Like me, you worry that your child will feel left out or different, because they must eat the little cupcake you send with them, while all their friends feast on giant globs of yellow icing. Now, however, there is a way to make your child the envy of the party.

That is right, they can bring not just a dinky little cupcake, but the queen of all cupcakes. A cupcake the size of an entire cake, that will put any other child's serving of character cake to shame.

The must have item for every food allergic parent has been created by the Wilton Cake company.
Using this nifty mold, you are able to bake your little sweetheart a giant cupcake to make them the life of any party. All you need to do is bake the cake, and then assemble the top and bottom parts with a bit of icing for glue.

Remember, the one with the biggest cupcake wins.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Stressed? - Squeeze a Peanut

Life has been pretty darn stressful the past few weeks, and does not appear to be letting up anytime soon since Mick is going out of town again next week. Lucky him - unlucky me. In an effort to try and relieve some of my stress, I have been looking for new and exciting ways to help relieve my stress.

On my first search, I came across the below inexpensive, but instructive guide to stress reduction.

When this did not really seem to relieve any long term stress, I searched further into ways to rise above all the issues around me. Finally, I came upon the answer, so ironic I broke out in laughter, momentarily forgetting about schools, doggie cancer, sick grandparents, and cranky children.
The Peanut Stress Ball
Here was a way to release my tension by simply smashing a peanut with my bare hands. I could stomp up and down on the peanut, kicking it in the air, and watching it fall heavily to the ground. Maybe I could even dress it up like Mr. Peanut before stomping it into the ground once again. I can throw it into the wall, and squash it into a tiny ball, all without worrying about washing my hands before coming into contact with Conor. Here is the answer to my stress.

Then of course, I looked further to read how they were promoting this innovative product on their web site.
According to the sales pitch on the website,

"Our Peanut Stress Balls are all made by hand. Most importantly, the purpose of the Peanut Stress Ball is to relieve stress and have fun! Whether you stick it on a sandwich or pop them at baseball games, the peanut is here to stay. Why not take advantage of a great snack with the customized Peanut Stress Ball? Grocers, health food stores and even circuses can take advantage of the familiar design and use this durable product to promote their businesses. If you're dealing with food related marketing, the Peanut Stress Ball could be a chief ingredient in the quest for success. Salted or unsalted, these peanuts can be quite a treat for your next campaign. "

I should not have read that....Now I am stressed again!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Back to School - 504 Plans Information

As I go crazy trying to analyze whether Conor will be able to attend the same school as Michael and Natalie next year, I have been doing a little more research into 504 plans. I was a lawyer in a previous life, so I take a perverse pleasure in researching these things.

Probably the best place to get started with a 504 is over at the Food Allergy Support Message Boards here.
They have done an absolutely amazing job compiling and organizing tons of great information on 504 plans, and how many people deal with their schools and keeping their children safe.

they also have a great list of other links to look at to get even more info on 504 plans. Some of the ones I really like are

This is the government's Office of Civil Rights information on just what a hidden disability is, who qualifies, and what the schools need to do to help keep the children safe.

This is from the Food Allergy Initiative which has wonderful information on a wide variety of topics relating to food allergies. I really like this article because it goes over what sorts of questions you should ask yourself when trying to come up with your own child's 504 plan. There are even formatting examples of how you should do some of the wording in the document that you can use when writing up your own plan.

This is a great site that gives you a simple straight forward overview of what a 504 plan is and who it applies to. It explains the difference between a 504 and IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), how they relate to each other, and which plan applies to what disability.

So there you go. Don't get too glued to the page that you stay up all night.