During those long times I spent watching Michael in time out, I realized that I promised great wisdom on what I do for our family for Halloween here, along with other really great links about how to handle Halloween for your family.
This year I think will be easier then most. Conor just turned 4, and is at that age that he is horribly afraid of everything including the dark, Chuck E Cheese (I am scared of him too though), Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, spiders and those fake plastic fingers. Last year where we used to live everyone went trick or treating at the local mall, (yes, I know this is sad and completely against anything I believe in, but I went ahead and sucked it up I for my children) and Conor was not so scared since of course we were in a mall.
This year we have moved, and it looks as though the local neighborhood is really into creating a fun trick or treating experience. Houses all around us have already put up fake graveyards with bones sticking out of the ground, ghosts, witches, mummys and who knows what else. I figure Conor will make it to maybe our next door neighbor and then insist that he must go home in a terrified screaming horrified fashion that befits Halloween. Michael and Natalie can then continue on with Daddy as necessary.
Now, how I deal with this is really not very exciting, and I have built it up so much I am sure everyone will be terribly disappointed and go......"so..", but here goes. I go out and shop for safe candy, small toys, and one other surprise maybe a toy car, or lip gloss, etc. The children go trick or treating to try and collect enough stuff to trade it all in for their secret pumpkin booty. They have to trade in everything they get, and I keep the new stuff in separate bags, etc. (I always worry that something peanut will leak out onto other stuff.) I also bring a separate bag to remove any obvious peanut stuff from the mix (especially Conor's) so I can keep it as separated out as possible, and tons of wipes just in case. This may have been much easier at a mall then outside in the dark, but it has worked in the past. Then we put aside all the unsafe candy, and Daddy takes it to work in the morning, or we pass it out after the little people have gone to bed.
It is supposed to rain here on Halloween, so who knows what will happen, but that is my plan.
With a changing of the guards in the Au Pair front, my life has been filled with sweet young children trying to express their feelings about adjusting to the change. Our new Au Pair Natalia seems fine, but everyone still misses Jan, and likes to find interesting and not so amusing ways to show it. I feel as though I have spent the week putting someone in time out (again, and again and again), getting cute little people to help clean up the mess they made in a fit of anger, and just trying to keep myself sane. Michael decided it would be loads of fun to give his new shoes a mud coating, Natalie refused to go to bed unless she could style my hair for half an hour, and Conor wrote every one's initials on the couch in permanent marker.
In an effort to keep myself out of time out, I took a little foray to one of my favorite stores, Cost Plus World Market.
One great thing about the local Cost Plus World Market. is that in addition to having some interesting furniture, housewares, and toys, they also have quite a good selection of foods, some of which are even in our comfort zone.
Some of our favorite treats (the egg free, nut free variety) come from our local cost plus by way of England and the McVities Company.
McVities Digestives are really yummy cookies, and some of Conor's favorites. They come in milk chocolate, dark chocolate and caramel. Hob Nob Cookies are also safe for us, and kind of crunchy.
Another favorite of Conors are Penguin Bars. These are chocolate wafer bars that are a little like kit kats, but not really. Each little bar also has a cool little joke on it that everyone loves to read before devouring their favorite treat.
After a few hours of shopping, I felt a bit better, and headed home with a bounty full of safe treats for everyone. If only there was some place I could go and buy a little sanity for myself. :)
Remember the time you got off the phone with a company and determined that their cheese was no longer safe since they were now making their new product - peanut butter cheese on shared lines. Then when you got to the store you checked the label of this cheese only to discover that they had not put any warnings on their labeling to tell people about this danger.
Or what about the time you got home excited about a new safe bread you thought you had thoroughly checked out at the store only to discover a tiny allergy warning on the inside bottom of the package nowhere near the ingredient label in tiny tiny letters.
Then what about the time one company just put a warning label on every product they made even though you are pretty darn sure they don't even make peanut products.
So, now is your chance to tell the FDA what you really think of the food allergy labeling practices. (I would recommend nice words only. If I told them uncensored what I really think, I would be using an awful lot of obscenities)
The FDA is accepting comments from the public on how manufacturers should be labeling foods and how the public perceives those guidelines. Whether or not you are new to food allergies, I think it will be important to share the difficulties or issues you face in reading food labels.Please visit: http://www.regulations.gov/, type "docket number FDA-2008-N-0429" in the search box and click on "go". You can submit comments by clicking on the dialogue balloon next to "Send a comment or Submission"
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