4.13.2014

On Being a Nerd and What #IWantMyNerdHQ Means


OK I'm going to admit something here on my blog.

I am a nerd.

There. I said it. What a weight off my shoulders.

Back in the day (you know, when I was much younger) being a "nerd" was not a cool thing to be. People made fun of nerds. And most people equated being "a nerd" to reading too much or being too smart. (Both of which are totally cool by the way).

I'm pretty sure I've always been a nerd. When I was younger you would usually find me in my room reading. (See we didn't have computers or the Internet back in the stone age, so we had to read. Books. Made out of paper.).

And I loved school. A lot. Heck, even after I graduated from college I worked for a mere six months before deciding that I MISSED COLLEGE AND NEEDED TO GO BACK. And so I went to law school so I could READ MORE. Like 2,000 pages of legal text a week more.

I am a nerd.
And it's totally cool now. 

Now, I'm a nerdy person about other things. Like Disney. That's right friends, I'm a total Disney nerd. If you need to know some obscure trivia fact about Walt Disney World, I might be your girl. If you need to know how plan a trip where you won't lose your mind or your kids' college fund...call me.

Speaking of Disney...(as I do on most days)...one of my favorite Disney animated films is Tangled. Love me some Flynn Rider "smolder."

And...Zachary Levi - Flynn Rider himself - is a self-proclaimed NERD. He even created an organization called The Nerd Machine and it sponsors the NerdHQ during San Diego's annual ComicCon event. This year's event is scheduled for July 24-27 at Petco Park in San Diego. And...it's a FREE event. As in totally free.

NerdHQ gives fans and celebrities an "intimate and engaging experience" that is unlike any other in the Nerd Universe. [Zac is also the star of 'Chuck'...so if you aren't a  Disney person you'll know him from there too. But why aren't you a Disney person?]

In addition to the cool fan-and-celebrity interaction, NerdHQ also raises funds for Operation Smile - the international organization for which Zachary is an ambassador. To date NerdHQ has raised $415K for Operation Smile!



So...you're probably wondering "Hey Nerd Girl...what does all of THIS have to do with ME?"

Well, here's the details: NerdHQ costs money to organize and getting money via sponsors isn't the best way to do it. So, NerdHQ is asking you and me to donate money to help fund the event and in return you will be part of the #NerdHQArmy and your name will be placed on the Nerd HQ Wall of Honor at the event this summer in San Diego.

And...well, if NerdHQ is successful then Zac and his nerd celebrity friends will be able to put on a great event that will raise A LOT of money for Operation Smile and you can say "Hey! I was a part of that." And that's pretty darn cool.

The goal is to raise $1 million by April 25. As of today (April 13) the total amount raised is: $254,352. Which means we have a long way to go in the next 12 days. 

So here's the info...If you want to donate to NerdHQ (and you know you do) go here.You can donate as little as $5 or as much as you want.

That's it. Tell your friends, family, coworkers, and fellow nerds about NerdHQ and all the good work they do. Follow Zac on Twitter @ZacharyLevi and follow the Nerd Machine @thenerdmachine.

And you can check out the indiegogo link here. You'll find answers to your questions and more information about NerdHQ and why they do what they do!

Get in touch with your inner nerd (you know you have one) and help The Nerd Machine put on the best NerdHQ ever. And if you would be so kind...please tweet out this post, share it on Facebook, or Pin it. And, follow #IWantMyNerdHQ on Twitter too! 

Oh..and this just in - when the campaign reaches $333,000 EVERY person who has donated $5 or more will automatically be entered to win a visit from Zachary Levi. As in...LIVE and in person. OK...let's imagine this shall we (nerd moment alert)...you will be having dinner with Flynn Rider. Once the winner has been chosen all the funders in that area will also be invited to meet Zac (after he's had dinner with the winner and a guest!).

So as if you needed more incentive to donate to #IWantMyNerdHQ...there's that. Dinner with Zachary Levi. Excuse me while I go swoon.


Seriously? What are you still doing here?
Go donate now.

Disclosure: I am part of the #NerdHQArmy through the #ENMNetwork. That's all. 

4.02.2014

Sing Into Spring Giveaway!

The 'tween' CD set!

Anyone who knows me is fully aware of my Disney "geekness" ... I love all things Disney, including the music. So imagine my excitement when I found out about the "Sing into Spring" giveaway that I'm hosting. It's all about Disney music and you're going to love it! (So will your kids).

My girls are big fans of Disney Channel - especially shows including Austin & Ally, Shake It Up! (which is no longer on Disney Channel), and even Teen Beach Movie. The one thing that all these shows have in common is great music. As much as you try to resist, you have to admit that the catchy lyrics and toe-tapping music suck you in.

I found myself dancing and singing along to some song off the Austin & Ally soundtrack the other day. With my kids, of course. (Thankfully no one has any video or photographic proof of my "dancing.")

My youngest also loves Sofia the First and Jake and the Never Land Pirates - two more shows (with a preschool and kindergarten viewer base) with great music.

And then there's Frozen - even if you haven't seen the movie you know the song "Let It Go" and your kids likely know the lyrics by heart. 

Which brings me to the topic of this post ... I'm giving away two different sets of CDs featuring music from hit Disney Channel shows and the Academy Award-winning film Frozen. That's right...I'm going to pick TWO WINNERS in this giveaway.

The prizes? Well they're really awesome! The first prize is the "preschool set" of CDs - Doc McStuffins soundtrack, DJ Shuffle, Jake and the Never Land Pirates, and the Frozen soundtrack. The second prize is the "tween" CD set - Austin & Ally soundtrack, Disney Channel Play It Loud (featuring songs from Shake It Up, A.N.T. Farm, and more), Teen Beach Movie soundtrack, and the Frozen soundtrack.

Entering the contest is easy-peasy! Just use the Rafflecopter form below (and be sure that you do the 'mandatory' entry which is leaving a comment on the blog post!). That's it! I will choose one winner for each CD set at random and you will be notified via email (by me) if you won.

So if you (or your kids) LOVE Disney music, enter today! 

Disclaimer: I was sent a complimentary collection of Disney Music CDs as part of Entertainment New Media Network. Giveaway is sponsored through the network by 'the view from my fishbowl' with prizes provided by Walt Disney Records. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

3.18.2014

My Allergy Adventure [Alternate Title: The Day They Had to EpiPen Me. Twice.]


Yesterday was one of those days.

I had to be at the allergist's office at 9 a.m. for my "penicillin challenge" - which really does sound like some sort of Hunger Games type challenge when you think about it.

Here's the back story: Back in January when I had the plague (OK, it was strep throat but it felt like the Plague), my doctor prescribed an antibiotic for me that she thought would 'work' and not cause me any additional issues. [I have a low tolerance for antibiotics and we were running low on options]. I took the antibiotic (clindamycin) for the full 10 days and then I broke out into hives as soon as I stopped taking it.

My doctor decided I needed to see an allergist to determine why I was allergic to that medicine and what we could do about it.

The allergist said the only antibiotic they can test as an allergen is penicillin (which I hadn't taken in six years because the last time I took that I broke out into hives).

Which bring us to the "challenge" yesterday.

The test started out with a skin test - which was fine. I had no reaction. Then they started shooting penicillin into my arms every 10 minutes. The doses were something like: 1/100,000; 1/10,000; 1/1,00; 1/100, 1/10; and then full strength. After the injections I was going to have to take a couple of doses of amoxocillin by mouth.

The doses were going OK until we hit the 1/10 and full dose. Within a minute or two of the full strength dose I noticed a few things going wrong. My head was immediately stuffy, I was congested, my tongue was tingling, and my lungs were tight.

None of these things seemed OK to me, so I told the nurse who told the allergy doctor. He sent me off to do a breathing test. I passed that but was still feeling "off" so they decided to "observe" me for a bit. Sitting there knowing I was having a reaction to the penicillin was rather nerve racking...the worst part was knowing that my breathing was not OK.

After about 30 minutes the allergy doc came back, looked at my arms (which now had red welts at the injection sites) and said "I'm not comfortable continuing this test. You're having a full reaction and you're officially allergic to penicillin."

Oh, and we're going to have to EpiPen you.
Twice.

Well that's just dandy. 

And sure enough, the nurse comes in and shoots me with epinephrine (via syringes) in both arms. If you have never experienced being EpiPen'd let me tell you it is very unpleasant. Almost immediately I was jittery and shaking and it felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest. To say it was awful would be an understatement. I also had to take a Zyrtec just for good measure.

And then I sat there, shaking and jittery, for 45 minutes while they continued to "observe" me. Then the doctor comes in and says I surprised him by "failing" the challenge. (Oh goody). And then he gives me a list of all the antibiotics I must avoid, including penicillin (in all I can't take five different "families" of antibiotics in addition to Celebrex).

He also tells me I need to wear a medical alert bracelet at all times (I think I'll just wear it when I'm out and about). And then he gives me a prescription for steroids to help put a stop to the reaction.

The rest of the day was a train wreck. I felt like total crap (and oh yeah, driving after you've been double EpiPen'd is NOT recommended). After the epi wore off I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I couldn't concentrate, I just wanted to sleep.

Oh and I was also itchy all over because I was still having a reaction (once the epi wore off). I ended up taking two prednisone and sleeping for two hours.

Yay for allergy challenges.
Not. 

As unpleasant as the challenge was, it's good to know that I really am allergic. And thankfully (??) there are still three types of antibiotics I can take if when I get sick again.

3.05.2014

Lunchtime Ramblings on a Wednesday

Ever have one of those moments when you're doing something totally random and your mind goes back to something in the past and you end up having one of those "ah ha" moments?

Yeah?
No?

Well I did. And it went a little something like this...

As I'm sitting in my kitchen (my work spot for the day because sometimes you need a change of scenery) eating my salad for lunch (OK, let's be realistic, it was a bowl of lettuce and shredded cheese with ranch dressing) my mind drifted back to the 2011 Disney Social Media Moms.

At the conference we had the pleasure of hearing from Rene Syler and what she said changed the way I thought about my job at the time and made me really think about what I wanted to do with my professional life.

So as I'm noshing on my "salad" I remembered Rene telling us about how after suffering a lot of personal and professional challenges, she was eating $2 Lean Cuisine lunches in her "office closet" and realized she was happy. In fact, at the time, she had never been happier.

And I thought to myself - I think I'm finally at that point. I'm eating a bowl of lettuce with ranch dressing, wearing no makeup, hair is a hot mess, and I'm surrounded by to-do lists and story ideas for my job (a job that I L.O.V.E.) and holy crap....I. AM. HAPPY.

I think back to where I was when I attended that conference - working for a Bully, hating my job, feeling lost and miserable, feeling like nothing I did at work was good enough - and then I think about where I am right now.

I am doing what I love to do - writing - every single day. I work for someone who respects me and the other people who work for her. And I finally feel good great about the words I type every day.

And that my friends is a wonderful thing. As a writer I hated feeling like my words weren't good enough.

This lunchtime epiphany might not seem Earth-shattering to some, but it was kind of epic for me. It took me a long time to get over what happened to me. Being a victim is not a role I was meant to play and it took a toll on me. I doubted my talent, my abilities, my writing. I doubted myself.

But now, nearly three years later it's safe to say that the doubt is finally, really, totally gone. And I'm a much happier person than I was back then.

So there you have it.

This lunchtime ah-ha moment brought to you by a bowl of salad.

Funny how things work out, isn't it?

2.21.2014

Why My Kid's Food Allergies Mean You Should Keep Your Homemade Cake at Home


I am a food allergy parent.

I've blogged about Olivia's allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, and sesame many times since she was first diagnosed in 2011.

Today I read an article at the Huffington Post by Carina Hoskisson where she essentially wonders why her kids should "suffer" and not be allowed to eat "lovely, homemade, buttery, gluten-stuffed cake" if my kid has a food allergy.

Well, Carina Hoskisson because your lovely, homemade cake that your kid brings to class might contain peanuts or tree nuts and that would pose a danger to my kid.

And I'm not OK with that.
Ever.

But apparently it's too difficult for Ms. Hoskisson to "accommodate what feels like every child in the universe" with allergy-safe foods. God forbid her child couldn't bring homemade cupcakes to the classroom holiday party because a classmate has a life-threatening food allergy.

Because, you know, not being able to eat "lovely" cakes IS the END OF THE WORLD.

I'm sure her children are going to be permanently scarred because their classmate has a food allergy. And apparently it's ALL ABOUT Ms. Hoskisson and her needs and wants.

To hell with what the kids who suffer from serious, life threatening food allergies. Who cares about their needs and wants.

[Oh and I think Ms. Hoskisson needs to understand that there IS a difference between a food intolerance and food allergies. They are not the same thing. But that's a whole other blog post].

What people like Ms. Hoskisson fail to understand is this: it really IS all about the kids.  And I'm talking about the kids with the food allergies.

Last year there was a boy in Emma's kindergarten class who had a very serious life threatening allergy to dairy. As in, if someone spilled a drop of milk on the table and he touched it he would go into anaphylaxis and would need immediate medical help. This little boy sat an a "dairy free" table in the lunch room and the kids would actually ASK their parents to pack them "dairy free" lunches so they could sit with him.

We knew that for classroom parties and birthdays we needed to do our part to keep this little guy safe and healthy.

So, did all the moms bitch and moan about how we couldn't bring in "lovely, homemade" treats for birthdays and/or classroom parties? Hell no. We made sure that everything we brought for parties was safe for this little boy because we had compassion and we were worried about his safety. We didn't care about wowing the class with our latest Pinterest recipe. We cared about his health and well-being.

We were doing our part to keep a child safe.

Olivia's teachers have been amazing since her diagnosis. They send home letters before the school parties letting parents know that party treats need to be peanut and nut free. The room moms make it a point to ask me to bring baked goods to the parties so that I know it's safe for Olivia. And no one bitches about how hard it is to accommodate Olivia's allergies and what a pain in the ass it is that they can't bring in their own homemade goodies.

No one except for that one mom in second grade who didn't care about the peanut allergy warning because she was "too busy" to care and figured the "peanut allergy kid" could just avoid her pie topped with peanut butter.

Yeah, but that's not how it works.

See if YOUR kid eats a treat made with peanuts, tree nuts, or sesame and then they touch Olivia's desk with their peanuty hands and Olivia doesn't realize it and then she touches the same area and then eats something and there is residue on her hands...guess what? We have a potential allergy situation and it's all because YOU decided that you were too busy to care about the allergy kids.

And that is why it is so important for classmates and teachers and parents to understand the seriousness of food allergies. We aren't trying to make YOUR life more difficult be asking that you take our child's safety into consideration when bringing or sending treats to school. We are actually trying to keep our kids safe and out of the emergency room (or worse).

This isn't about YOU. 
This is about the kids. 
This is about MY KID.

See, my child already feel different and singled out thanks to her food allergies. She struggles with the fact that they can't have the cakes, cupcakes, doughnuts, and cookies that their friends are eating. So what she doesn't need are selfish, ignorant, stupid, small-minded people like Ms. Hoskisson to bitch and moan about how unfair it is to their kids that the "lovely homemade" cake can't come to school.

Because I'm going to bet that an allergic reaction to that lovely homemade cake that results in a ER trip (or something much more serious) is a lot more unfair.

It's quite simple really.

Those of us who are allergy parents ... we aren't asking you to cater to our kids by bringing in "safe" food to classroom parties. We're asking you to help us keep them safe. And if that means that you can't bring a homemade cake or cookies to the next classroom party because they're full of peanuts or hazelnuts..well that's just too damn bad.

This isn't about YOU.
This is about the allergy kids.

2.20.2014

Olympic Medal Madness [Alternate Title: When a Silver Medal Isn't Good Enough]


The Olympics do weird things to me. I watch sports that under normal circumstances I would never watch.

I find myself watching things like downhill skiing, bobsled, speed skating, and oh yeah hockey. [Of course I'm also watching ice dancing and figure skating but that's a given.]

Yesterday morning I was actually listening to the men's hockey game while straightening my hair. I didn't care about either team - and couldn't even tell you who was playing. And the only thing I learned during the game was that the ice in the rink was horrible and the Russians "have better ice in their drinks" according to the one Canadian announcer.

Today, I missed the women's hockey final where our US team lost to the Canadians. But I managed to turn on the television (the CBC, thanks to the on-going dispute with our local cable provider and the owner of the local NBC affiliate) just in time to see the medal ceremony.

What I saw made me cringe. And it made me angry.

I saw our women's hockey team - the team that is representing the United States on the ice - unhappily accepting the silver medal. They were, in essence, pouting.

Our hockey players looked like they were attending a funeral rather than being given the SILVER MEDAL. I wanted to scream "That's an OLYMPIC MEDAL being put around your neck! What in the hell are you pouting about?!?!?"

Their faces reminded me a lot of McKayla Maroney's face when she won a silver medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

And yes, I get it. They didn't win the gold. But they didn't necessarily lose either - they won the silver medal. Which is more than a lot of other athletes can say over in Sochi. They are going home with a medal. Not everyone can say that.

The pouting about the silver was such a sad display to me. Instead of being happy to win some sort of medal - regardless of its color - these grown women were acting like they would rather walk off the ice without any medal.

And it left me to wonder, is this what we've become as a society? Are we teaching our kids that it only matters if you're the best and if you're anything less than golden (like say, silver or bronze) you're no good? The Canadian announcer for the game said it took her at least SIX MONTHS to accept that she won the silver.

Seriously?

It makes me think about the parents at Olivia's basketball games - the ones who say things like "I'm so angry at my kid! They KNOW HOW TO PLAY BETTER THAN THIS." Really? Do they? Or are the kids (3rd and 4th graders) just out there to have fun?

I understand that the Olympics are more than "just having fun" and these athletes train and sacrifice a lot just to make the team. But when it all comes down to it, shouldn't you be happy to have a medal, any medal - regardless of the color? Shouldn't it be about more than THE GOLD? 

Winning a silver medal is no small feat, for sure. And in my mind our women's hockey team should be damn proud to bring that medal home. And they should be smiling.

2.14.2014

Review and Giveaway! 'Sofia the First: Songs from Enchancia' CD


My girls love Sofia the First - the hit animated series on Disney Junior. (Well, OK....my 7 year old loves it more than my 10 year old). And if you have little girls in your house, chances are they love Princess Sofia and her fun and furry animal friends too.

If you aren't familiar with Sofia, she's a princess by chance - her mom marries the king and she finds herself living life as an "accidental" royal, complete with two new step siblings and a magical amulet that allows her to talk to animals.

Sofia has many adventures as she learns how to be a princess and often has help from the three fairies (Flora, Fauna, and Merriweather) in addition to other Disney Princesses.

One of the things my youngest loves most about watching Sofia is the music! And if your kids love the music too, you're in luck because I'm giving away three (yes 3!) 'Sofia the First: Songs from Enchancia' CDs.

The CD features 14 songs from the animated series, plus a bonus track AND four bonus karoke instrumentals (with words included in the CD sleeve).

My girls absolutely LOVED this CD and I heard my youngest singing along to a few of the songs. Their review of the CD was "it's awesome mom!" ... which is pretty great review in my mind. Having listened to the CD myself, I have to say that I loved it too! The songs are so fun and so "Disney"...it's a perfect addition to your music library.

The songs were all featured on the show and including "Sisters and Brothers," "The Love We Share" (sung by Ariel and Sofia), "Make It Right" (sung by Belle and Sofia), and "The Simple Life" (sung by the cast of Sofia the First).

This video features samples of the songs included on the CD:


So here's the fun part: I'm giving away three CDs and it's super easy to enter. All you need to do is use the Rafflecopter entry form and leave a comment telling me why you (or your kids) love the series Sofia the First. You also need to include your email address so I can contact you if you win. Three winners will be randomly chosen from all entries!

That's it. Easy peasy this time kids. :)

And if you aren't one of the winners, you can always order the Sofia the First: Songs from Enchancia CD from iTunes or from Amazon.

Don't forget: You MUST use the Rafflecopter entry form or your entry won't count! 

Disclaimer: I am a participating Influencer with The Entertainment New Media Network. I received the Sofia the First CD to review and give to my readers. I was not compensated in any way and all opinions are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2.12.2014

The One Where I Ponder What It Means to Be 41. Or Something Profound Like That.


So today is my 41st birthday.

Holy. Toledo.
I'm 41 years old.
I remember when that sounded OLD.

Now it just sounds "normal."
Like, yeah....I'm 41.
No big deal.

Last year when I turned 40 I was all "OMG! I'm turning 40. Whatever am I going to do?!?!?"

And now, a year later I'm all like..."Yeah, I'm 41. Whatevs."

I think I've finally decided that it's "just" a number and it's really no big deal.
So I'm 41 years old.
So what?

I have gray hair (which I color every 4 weeks to hide said gray hair). I have wrinkles (I think). I have stretch marks. My joints creak when I walk up or down the stairs. If I sit for too long I feel stiff in those same joints. I have arthritis (and probably carpal tunnel) in my right hand. It all comes with the territory.

I "almost" forgot it was my birthday. Yesterday I said to my husband "Oh yeah...tomorrow is my birthday." I have a tendency to forget things if I don't write them down. I prefer to think that is due to having too much on my mind rather than the fact that I'm 41.

I have grown less tolerant of some things and people in the past year (I feel so OLD when I say that, but it is so true). If I see people being overly negative, rude, or just plain mean I'm going to unfriend/unfollow them online and just ignore them in real life. Because life is too short for stupid crap like that.

I have also realized that some things that I thought were "really important" a few years ago are really NOT that important. I do things for ME now...and I don't do them seeking approval from anyone. [Case in point: My blog. I'm writing it for me. If people notice that's great. If they don't, it's their loss].

As I'm journeying through my 40s I have come to the realization that it's not about how many friends you have, it's about how many friends would have your back in a time of need. I know who those friends are and that's really cool.

I've also discovered in the last year that it's not about how much money you make as long as you love what you're doing. Sure, money is nice but being happy doing your job is nicer. I've had bigger paychecks and been miserable. It's much nicer to be appreciated for your work and have fun doing it.

Sometimes it isn't about getting a corner office and having an "important" job title. Sometimes it really is just about loving what you do and doing what you love.

Yeah. I'm 41.
I guess I'm older and wiser, right? 

Oh and one more thing: I'm happy.

And isn't that what it's all about?

2.06.2014

Why I Rant About the Snow and Cold

Why do I rant about the snow and cold when I live in Ohio?

Because I can.
That's why.

Because I'm sick and freaking tired of all the snow. And the below zero temperatures. And the fact that since December 20 my kids have had 13 days of school (or something like that).

I have actually LOST COUNT of the number of "snow days" their district has called since the first full week of January.

Oh, and we've also had 62.8 INCHES OF SNOW since that first snowfall back in December. That would make the 2013-14 winter the FIFTH SNOWIEST WINTER ON RECORD for northwest Ohio.

In like all of history.

So yeah.

I'm going to complain about the snow.
And the cold.
And the never-ending snow days.

And no, I'm not going to move to Florida anytime soon because (1) we own a house here in Ohio, (2) my husband's job is in Ohio, (3) my kids' school is in Ohio, (4) my family lives in Ohio.

So for all you who might be sick and tired of hearing your friends up north "complain" about snow and ice and cold temperatures, I have one thing to say: Too damn bad.

After the winter we've been dealing with we have earned the right to bitch and moan about how miserable we feel. If you haven't lived in an area where it snows all the time or the wind chills have regularly been below zero or the kids have had more snow days than school days, then you really have no idea what it's like.

At this point, our kids are going to be in school until mid-June or later, the snow isn't going to melt until about April, and the extended forecasts are calling for more snow and more "polar vortex" like temperatures.

Oh, and in case you're wondering...NO this is NOT a normal winter for Ohio. Ask anyone who lives here and they'll say they've never seen anything like this. School administrators have said they've never dealt with this in their entire school careers.

So we aren't just bitching about a "normal" winter. We're miserable. And we're cold. And we would give anything to have a "normal" winter. 

If you're sick and tired of hearing the northerners complain about winter you should probably just mute all of us on Facebook and Twitter because we still have at least six more weeks of this crap (according to the rodent from Pennsylvania). And I'm sure we'll be bitching about it until the grass turns green and the flowers bloom.

1.27.2014

Do You Want to Build a Snowman? (Too bad because it's too cold to step outside without instantly freezing in place)


Oh winter....I get it. You're in a foul mood and now you've gone all polar vortex on the northern half of the country for the last few weeks.

But honestly, enough is enough don't you think? I mean, even Elsa was able to get her freezing mood swings under control. And she was The Ice Queen.

So far this month the kids have been OUT of school more than they've been IN school. They had an extra week of "Christmas Break" at the beginning of the month thanks to two back-to-back snow storms and the first "polar vortex."

Now, they didn't have school last Friday because it was deemed "too cold" to get on the bus. [OK, yeah it was cold. Like 10 below zero wind chill...but seriously, they DO have heat in school so let's just say that last Friday was a stupid snow day and move on].

They also didn't have school today because of (1) a Level 2 snow emergency, (2) "road conditions", and (3) the fact that the wind chill was like -15 all freaking day. And tomorrow? No school again. This time the wind chill is going to be something totally ridiculous like -25. Or colder.

At this rate they will be in school past the last day of "scheduled" school (June 4 for our district). We had five allowed "calamity" days this year. We used those the first week of January. Now, we're three days over the allowed number of "calamity" days and there's no end in sight.

We're under a wind chill WARNING until NOON on Wednesday. Which means no school tomorrow. Probably no school on Wednesday. Maybe they'll have school on Thursday when we're supposed to have a "warm up" to 27 degrees ABOVE zero. That's damn near balmy for these parts.

Everyone is sick of winter. I think winter is sick of winter. Everyone except the local weather forecasters. They are damn near giddy about the weekly daily POLARVORTEX-ARCTICBLAST-ALBERTACLIPPER-NAMEDSTORMOFTHEWEEK.

Me? I'm sick and tired of these words: Alberta Clipper, arctic blast, polar vortex, wind chill, snow, and cold. I know every year I bitch about how cold it is and how much I hate winter...but this year I really, really mean it.

I am sick and tired of the cold. And the snow. And the school cancellations. And snow emergencies. I would just like winter to go back to "normal" with temperatures in the 30s and a few snow flakes here and there.

I understand now why some animal hibernate until spring. It's so they don't go totally insane during January.

As it is, if you need me I'll be hibernating on the couch under several fleece blankets. Drinking wine. Lots and lots of wine.