The Christmas Angel- a new tradition for our family!

Thanks to a fun contest focused on giving that was sponsored by The Mommy Nest, we are the proud new owners of a Christmas Angel.  Today, after her second visit, we decided to name her “Merry”.  Every day, she brings messages for Pud with hints for how he can help share Jesus with others in our lives and community.  She puts the focus on celebrating the real reason for Christmas by encouraging giving and a giving spirit.  Today’s was super-simple, since he’s still a younger guy: “say thank you when others help you.”  Yesterday’s was more of a family project: “please help my friends who need clothes and shoes.  You can drop off the ones that don’t fit anymore at SECC!”  Tomorrow’s… well, it remains to be seen! She will fly back into our home, in another spot with another message written in gold dust for him and her storybook to remind him of why she keeps visiting.  She likes to make it fun for him to find her, so she moves around to different places around the house and waits patiently for him to discover her each morning. She will be a new part of Christmas at our house December 1-25!

If you are interested in the Christmas Angel, check out their website:


Mama’s List of Sad-making Restaurants

You know how there are these food places that everyone raves over and Mama tries it and it’s fantastic and then she realizes that nobody in the family can eat there? Sigh.

Here’s the sad-making, uses peanuts list; feel free to add on:

1. Penn Station- French fries
2. Five Guys- French Fries and shelled peanuts in lobby
3. Logan’s Steakhouse- shells and peanuts all over
4. Mexican food- mole sauce (contains peanut butter)
5. Chinese food- egg rolls (often contain peanut butter)
6. Chick-fil-a (happy dance- now they can eat grilled and the fries are fried in canola oil instead of peanut oil)
7. Yogurt shops (avoid the toppings like the plague!)
8. Ice cream shops (careful of scoop cross-contamination and/or toppings at some shops)

We don’t raise our kids in the peanut-free bubble because that is impossible and makes life difficult, but we are definitely cautious. I made a mistake on fries today and Bandit called me out on it big time when I got home… Benadryl down the kiddo just in case!

Renewed Vow

This could also be called “Why I will NEVER again leave my service dog at home when I take Pud to crowded festivals”

Pud and I went to a festival today, where I was volunteering on behalf of one of my favorite groups: The Mommy Nest.

Towards the very end of the day, when we had something like an hour and change left, Pud asked to go play with the musical instruments in the booth right next to ours. I let him down to go there, turned to put something down, turned back and he was GONE.

A frantic few minutes followed, and with the assistance of another mom, he was found at the bounce house nearby and all is well.

In those first moments of terror, I realized that I don’t know how to find him quickly without Callie and her amazing nose. I also regretted not having her there to alert me to the fact that he’d started to wander away- or to tether him to her so he couldn’t have left in the first place (he likes being tethered to her, by the way-fortunately). The fact that this festival was located by the river only heightened my panic when he was gone.

Callie will be attending every single festival or crowded space from now on. She did not today for a host of now-pathetic reasons that were reasonable this morning.

I need to share that when Pud was safely back in my arms, I immediately dissolved into tears, and I said to him, “baby, look at my face. I was SO scared because I did not know where you were! Please don’t walk off without Mama! You really scared me.” Pud looked at me, surprised to see tears, and then wrapped his little arms tightly around my neck and let me hold him tight for a few minutes.