Category Archives: Kids

Ice Cream for Breakfast

Today’s post comes from Barbara in Rivertown.

A friend has forwarded to me the information that (get ready) February 18 is “Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast” day. According to one story,  E.I.C.F.B. originated to increase awareness about childhood cancer, and to commemorate the short life of a little girl named Malia Grace, who lived from February 18, 2001 to Dec 7, 2010.  “First celebrated by a group of close friends to commemorate her life and creativity, Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day went on to become a day to honor all the children who have or are battling childhood cancer.  It exploded onto the scene, with thousands of people from all over the world taking part and spreading the message to thousands more.”

Happily, this year February 18 falls on a Sunday, when many of us have more time to hang out with our family, our pets, etc., and indulge.

I also came upon a different site:    This article relates that a mother named Florence started the trend to cope with the boredom experienced by her six children. The next year her kids remembered, and it got to be a tradition. And “thanks to Florence’s grandchildren, who have traveled extensively — Ice Cream for Breakfast Day has been celebrated in countries all over the world, from Germany, to Nepal, to as far as Namibia.”

Whichever story you relate to, enjoy! As the t-shirt says, “Life is short. Eat dessert first.”

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

What else should we have for breakfast that doesn’t usually come to mind?

Sensory Processing

I  frequently run into children in my psychology practice who have issues with how things feel, taste, or sound. These children do not have diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder (although many of those people have significant sensory problems).  No, the children to whom I refer are just really irritated and bothered by things in their sensory worlds.  They have problems with the textures of foods, with seams in their socks, and with dirt on their hands. They crave tight clothes and heavy blankets, or else they don’t like wearing clothes at all.  Some can’t abide loud noises.  Some can’t bear to have anything like a tooth-brush in their mouths, or else they have an intense need for oral stimulation and need to chew on things.  I refer them to Occupational Therapists who do all sorts of mysterious and wonderful things with them to reduce their sensory stress  and make them less irritable.

I, too, have some sensory issues. I remember as child that I wouldn’t wear any article of clothing that had a tag in it. Mom had to cut them off. They were itchy and scratchy and I couldn’t stop thinking about them if they were still inside my clothes. I also remember wearing what are called “rumba pants” as a very little girl. They were  decorative panties with lace on the backside.  They itched like crazy and it was impossible to sit down without having them scratch my legs.

I prefer loose clothes to tight clothes.   I never liked it when my mom would wash my bedding, since I liked things soft against my skin, and the freshly laundered  sheets were scratchy.  I can’t stand to feel that there is anything under my fingernails. This partially accounts for my unbreakable bad habit of chewing my nails. My son tells me that whenever he touches cardboard with his fingertips, it is like hearing nails on a black board for him.

I don’t know why I am seeing so many children with this issue.  I think  other children had sensory issues when I was young, but that no one asked the right questions to find out.  Perhaps life wasn’t quite as complicated  then and it was easier to learn to cope.  Perhaps we are doing something environmentally  or in our child rearing practices that is causing more problems like this. I don’t know the answer. I just know I am glad there is help for all that sensory irritability now.

What sensory issues do you have? Do you know someone with sensory issues?


Today’s post comes from Occasional Caroline

I think it was back in October, when I was too busy with my mom to even be occasionally on the trail, and was catching up days or weeks after a post was current, that the topic of carousels was raised in a post about something else. Anyway it was too long after the fact for me to comment by the time I read it, but I did have something to say, so here we go. Has anyone been to  Lark Toys in Kellogg, Minnesota?

When we first started going there, I think when my 40-something daughters were a pre- and young teen, the carousel was in process and you could sometimes watch the carver working on the individual animals. They are all hand carved from large hunks of beech-wood, and stained, not painted. The intricacy of the carving is fantastic. When it was being carved, there were informational posters on-site and one of the things I partially remember reading was that Merry-Go-Rounds had only horses and Carousels had many different animals. This one was originally going to have 4 horses, one representing each primary compass direction; North, South, East, and West. I believe by the time the mechanicals were sourced and acquired, some of the carved masterpieces had to be left off the final collection to keep the weight down. I think only one or two horses made the cut, and a moose and several other larger pieces are now displayed in the building, but not on the actual carousel. The horses are beautiful, but the dragon, the goat, the goldfish family, and others are works of an amazing imagination. You could study the goat for an hour and not notice all of the intricacies hidden in it’s depths.

The entire complex is wonderful. There’s a children’s book store; a toy store with a model train running on a long track high up and around the perimeter of the store. Among other wonderful, unique and creative toys, is a huge collection of hand puppets. A Christmas shop, an antique toy museum that has every toy you or your cousins or friends had as a kid, a boomer toy store that carries replicas of many of your old toys, a candy store, an ice cream stand, and a mini golf course in the summer, are all part of the magical experience.

The original owners lived nearby and walked their pot-belly pig (his name was Gip, (Pig backwards)) to the store every morning to take up his supervisory post in a large open home away from home in the building.

The complex changed hands probably about 10 years ago (maybe longer ago, time flies when you’re old) but the current owners seem dedicated of maintaining the original spirit of the experience. Kellogg is south of Wabasha and north of Winona on Highway 61. BiR, you must have been there, possibly even posted about it, and I missed it. This hidden jewel is well worth a day trip with children, grandchildren, or nostalgic boomers. I haven’t been there for several years, but now that I’m thinking about it, I’ll have to make the trek soon.

Where do you go for a day trip?



My company closed early today so I got home about 2. I barreled up the snowy driveway to discover that YA wasn’t home.  When I called her, she said she was at her boyfriend’s house. I told her she shouldn’t wait too long to come home as the roads were terrible.  She said “his house is only 5 minutes from ours”.  Well, there’s no arguing with THAT, is there?

Fast forward 2½ hours and the phone rings. It’s YA saying she’s stuck at the bottom of the driveway and asking what to do.  I told her to get a shovel, clear out all around the tires and up the driveway a bit.  Despite thinking it was her bed and she should lie in it, it didn’t take long before I coated up and went out to help.  At about that time our neighbor came and helped as well.  YA didn’t really know how to rock the car so I took over, but to no avail.

Neighbor and I decided I should back out onto the street, go around the block and approach the driveway from the north so I could get up some speed. Of course in the crush of traffic, this maneuver took almost 20 minutes, but it did the trick.

When we got back in the house I said “you know I will never be able to resist saying I told you so?” She kinda grinned and said “I know.”

Anybody gotten to say “I told you so” lately in your life?

The Melting Pot

My treasure has turned 23! I so clearly remember going to China to get her – how little she was – it seems just like yesterday sometimes.

We celebrate Family Day every July and for the past 10 years or so, we’ve splurged with a trip to The Melting Pot in downtown Minneapolis. (Yes, I completely get the irony that we’re celebrating the blending of two cultures/two races by eating at a place called The Melting Pot).

This year YA had a really hard summer with several summer school classes and a lot of work as well and we could never find a good time for The Melting Pot. With her birthday last week, we decided we should go now.

Usually we take the bus downtown because I really dislike driving downtown, but with the sloshy weather and how long it takes, we decided to drive. Instead of splitting a salad, we each had our own.  YA remembered that last time we were there we tried their blackberry lemonade and didn’t care for it, so we just had water.  Even though these parts of the tradition were different, we went with the only fondue that will do – the alpine with gruyere and emmentaler.  They make the fondue right at the table so you get to see the wine, the garlic, the fresh ground pepper and even fresh ground nutmeg go in before your eyes.

And even after scrapping every bit of cheese out of the pot, we always finish up with chocolate. This year we did the milk chocolate with peanut butter.  Little bites of pound cakes, brownie, strawberries, banana and pineapple – YUM-O!  A wonderful end to our wonderful little tradition.

What is your favorite fondue dipper?

Double Dog Dare

I was amazed to read today that teenagers across the country have started taking part in an online challenge to eat laundry pods. I didn’t want to encourage anyone by clicking on any of the videos out there, but news reports say they are filled with teens foaming at the mouth, vomiting and some even passing out.

The last online challenge I remember was the ice bucket although I never understood it. I had thought it started as a “if you don’t donate money then you have to dump this bucket of ice water on yourself” and ended up as a “I’m donating money and for some reason dumping a bucket of ice water on myself”.

Both of these remind me of Flick in Christmas Story who caves to the “triple dog dare you” on the playground and ends up having the fire department detach him from a frozen flag pole. Or Marty McFly in Back to the Future who responds with fury to “you chicken?” I’ve never understood the “double dog dare”; it doesn’t make sense that you should do something you wouldn’t ordinarily do just because someone dares you.  And it makes even less sense to do something that is clearly not just unpleasant but potentially very dangerous to your health.

Have you ever done anything on a dare?

Reading Gems

Every now and then when I’m at the library, I find bookmarks made by kids. In addition to the fact that I always needs a bookmark, these creations are delightful.  Markers, stickers, ribbons, misspelled words – I love them and usually take one home with me.

One that I picked up last week has a quote on it. “No thief, however skillful, can rob one of knowledge, and that is why knowledge is the best and safest treasure.”  L. Frank Baum

I started to think that there are quite a few quotes that would be good for bookmarks. Here are a couple more that I like:

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.”―Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”  ― C.S. Lewis

Do you have a favorite quote about reading?