Thursday, April 30, 2009

Child Food Allergy Etiquette--PEANUT NAZIS

This is a story that I hear quite frequently and I would love for all parties involved to be polite.

I am aware that peanut allergies, as are all childhood allergies are serious. So please, no comments about me not being concerned or knowledgeable.


My children go to a "Nut Free" school which has changed to a "Nut Aware" school since the school cannot guarantee that it is "nut free". So, more or less, no peanut butter sandwiches allowed--no vital protein (that doesn't spoil) at lunch. There have been stories about lunch ladies taking Skittles away from children because they are made in factory that also makes M&M's. We call the lunch ladies Peanut Nazis because they embarrassed and humiliate the children who bring in the Skittles too.


The parents tried to change the peanut butter ban by politely asking for a peanut table so kids could have peanut butter and no one would feel left out. This proposal was turned down by the teachers. In our school, two children out of 350 have nut allergies.


About 80% of the parents of children with allergies behave in a very militant, controlling way. At one time, our school even hired an AIDE for a child ($35,000*5 years=$175,000) to follow this child around so he would not eat peanut butter. One mother even cried and said that if her child had to sit at a "peanut free" table, she might feel "left out." These parents would rather control the system to accommodate their child (348 people cannot have peanut butter vs. your child sit at a peanut free table) than educate their child to function in society. Think of the child walking around our school who is blind and really feeling left out--now doesn't the whining about being left out at lunch seem rather small?


We have several friends who have children who have sever allergies. At an early age, they taught them to read labels and never to eat anything given without the label attached. Their approach was teaching the child to function in society vs. have society accommodate their child. Doesn't this sound healthy?

Here are the PPPG guidelines on how to behave if your child has an severe food allergy or a friend's child has an allergy:

1. Stop worrying about how your child feels every moment. If your child feels left out, it is because you have made them feel this way by controlling the situation for them. Bring your own snack vs. making the entire class change their snacks to accommodate your child.

2. If your child is a guest at a birthday party, ask if it is ok to bring your own food. Do not expect the hostess to make a special meal for your child nor a special cake. Your child's social invitations may become limited because it is more effort to accommodate your child.

3. If you are having a party and a child has an allergy, make every effort to accommodate this child. It does not mean you need to change the special meal or cake that your child is dreaming about, just make an effort to show you care.

4. Do not ask the entire world to accommodate your child. My husband was on an airplane that the flight attendant made an announcement saying that they were not serving peanuts because a child on board had a peanut allergy. Basic safety is totally acceptable to request and having EPI pens around is necessary and all will be willing to help here. For our class snack, one mother sent a list of snacks her child may have--which included about three. So, the class will be eating crackers all year because this the only food allowed.

I do not mean to sound harsh and I do think it is kind to accommodate people with disabilities. I think the allergy issue craziness is from educated parents who want control and feel horrible about their child's allergy. A parent asked for kids not to bring peanut butter on the bus at our private school and guess what, the school said...sorry!

If it is so serious, why would you risk your child's life by sending them to school because there are no guarantees.

Would love your thoughts--I am sure my post will be controversial!

Friday, April 24, 2009

I Met Peter Smathers Carter From Smathers and Bronson

Yes, at the Tau Beta Market in Grosse Pointe, I had the pleasure of meeting or my preppy celebrity sighting was ....

Peter Smathers Carter from Smathers and Branson!
(guy in the blue)

His darling wife was selling jewelry next to his display of his great belts, key fobs and few new items. I told him that my husband was a fan of his belts and that he has been eyeing the golf course version below. Also, an important fact that differentiates Smathers & Branson belts from the competition: the needlepoint on these belts is finer or more loops per square inch. I have given up the dream of making needlepoint belts for my boys, so this is where I have turned....

He has a few new products coming out that I will share with you at a later time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I am back-Hilton Head, U of M Museum of Art and going to the Tau Beta Market

Hilton Head (also, S.C.)
Well, I have returned from my vacation and already, back to reality. How come it only takes 2 days for the vacation to be a distant memory. Hilton Head was fabulous! Love the golf, tennis and of course, the beaches and bike riding. The Lilly P. shop there was incredible and inspired me for summer.

As I am sitting here missing a Symphony luncheon because I went to the wrong club. I am just back from the newly remodeled, University Michigan Art Museum with a bunch of 4th graders(we went to the opening benefit party -which was fabulous). About an 1/10 of the museum (which is new) is dedicated to architectural models of famous, new art museums including the model of the newly renovated museum I was in. A little self referent I would say. U of M just had to start some type of collection of their own that would be unique and this is what they choose--um, I hope it pans out for them. Maybe they are thinking they will someday have a Frank Wright model among them.
My tax dollars at work supporting this...ummmmmmm.

Yes, I did not go to book group. I have not even purchased the book.

I am a lucky girl, on Friday--I am heading to Grosse Pointe to the Tau Beta Market and guess who is coming to town....Peter Beaton Hats from Nantucket! I am so excited and am looking forward to a girl's day out! Tau Beta is a High School sorority and has a very active adult group.

Tau Beta Market (see the vendor list) love!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I am in need of an UPDATE!

I have updated my blog roll. Google makes it easy to add the blogs that I follow. Some blogs do not allow followers and I am worried that I have missed a few. If you are following my blog and would like to be added to my list, please let me know.

Friday, April 10, 2009


We were fortunate to go to Disney with some friends on their private jet (they have a share in a company like Net Jet). On our plane, the caterer had several (2 dozen for 5 people) adorable Disney cookies for the kids. Isn't that thoughtful!

We only went to Disney for 1 day (since I have been there 17 times in the past 15 years). We were fortunate enough to tag along on a VIP Tour that our friends arranged. What is this little secret you may ask? We had a guide who drove us to the employee entrances of any park we wanted, escorted us in to the park and escorted us in to the "Fast Pass Line" of any ride we wanted to ride. In 8 hours, we went to 3 parks, had lunch, and rode on 8 of the most popular rides (we did a few other rides too).

The cost of this VIP Guide is $295 per hour with a minium of 6 hours. Up to 10 people can be included at this rate. On this holiday weekend, most of the lines were at least 100 minutes long and the Fast Pass tickets (these are tickets that allow you to make a reservation to ride a ride) were gone. This was well worth the money if you only have a short amount of time and want to see as much as you can. The price does not include admission into the parks and a Park Hopper pass.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring Inspiration

Spring Inspiration from Martha Stewart Weddings

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Gift for the President of Ghana

Well, I hope you are not too disappointed and many of you did guess correctly. My gift for the President of the Republic of Ghana, John A.Kufuor was three Martha Stewart wooden picture frames (mahogany looking) and a two Martha Stewart books. I took the US Ambassador to The Republic of Ghana the same gift (since she had a dinner at the Embassy for us too). I went for items that looked expense and attractive, and figured that at most, the palace florist may appreciate Martha Stewart's books. I was shopping for these gifts after the holidays, and the store was pretty limited on merchandise. I did wrap it so it looked like an expensive gift. Unfortunately, I did not even think to consider an Ipod with Presidential speeches on it.

It was the best I could do!

Funny Story:

1. So my daughter who was in 2nd Grade at the time of our visit to Ghana told her friends we were in Ghana and had met the President. Of course her friends did not believe her. My daughter's class was studying Ghana for International night too, so we had the President of Ghana write her teacher a letter thanking her teacher for studying about Ghana and to contact him if she needed any other information. This little effort taught my daughter's friends a little lesson.

2. While we were in Ghana, Kmart filed for Bankruptcy. The President for Ghana said, "That is ok, we as a country have filed for bankruptcy a few times." Nonetheless, it was a little bit of a scandal/ embarrassment and made the front page of the Accra newspaper. We left the country hiding our faces. One day the newspsper read... "Kmart Saves Ghana Textile Industry" and the next it was "Kmart files for Bankruptcy. All hope for the future is off".

Monday, April 6, 2009

Go State Go!

I am blogging right now during the game because we are down by 20 points and I cannot bare to watch.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Well, the recent protocol error made by our beloved President made me think we have a bunch of unsophisticated, fraternity boys running the White House-and maybe this is too nice of description. What could the Queen possibly be thinking? Did that protocol manual get "redistributed" to the trash!

Amusement and a challenge for you:

On one of my husband's business trips to Ghana, we were invited to a State Dinner by the President of Ghana. Ghana wanted Kmart's textile business, so we were being entertain like celebrities and royalty. Since we were invited to a State Dinner at President's home, I need to bring him a gift--just as Obama gave a gift to the Queen. My limitation was that it had to be from Kmart (my own personal limitation, but it seemed only appropriate). Of course, I was purchasing this gift on the way to the airport and had given my purchase little advance thought.

What do you think I purchased for the President of Ghana? The President presented us with his family Kente cloth which was incredible-and I still do not know what to do with it. What gift could I have purhcased that would be equal to this? The gift also needed to fit it in my suit case so lawn mowers or Christmas trees were not possible.

Find out what I purchased tomorrow.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday Night Amusement

My husband and daughters are off to Florida. The girls have two weeks off from school.

My son still has school next week so, we are flying to Florida (to Disney) on our friends Corporate Jet--and more importantly, it flies into Disney instead of Orland0-SCORE!

After Disney and another day in Florida, we are off to Hilton Head. Should be a nice break.

I made this picture in Amusement while I wait for the 8 --9yrs. old boys to fall asleep. Have a fabulous weekend.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


It is that time of year that everyone is "crabby". Crabby about school, crabby about friends, crabby about their weight, their grades, the weather, social life, coaches,home, taxes, finances, the economy, politics, etc. I am looking forward to a break! In honor of removing the crabbiness (yes it is a word) from our lives, here are some cute crabs that look better than we feel. Hope these remove all those crustacean (crabs) thoughts for you too!