Monday, November 9, 2009

Caveat Swiner

After all the hype and hoopla about Swine Flu, I'm not shocked that my house has been hit and hit hard. I was expecting it, taking into consideration my four kids special talent at catching every bug to circulate at their loverly place of infection /education, I was already resigned to the inevitable.

And so I did the sensible thing. I went out and bought some new jeans in a size smaller than usual. I got some tiny tees and made plans for some family photography that would feature the new, post swine, svelter version of me.

Come on. We all know that the one single silver lining of dealing with flu season is the post flu jeans try on, right?

Well I was duped. Swine flu is not your friend in the dieting department. It turns out that I got the non barfing, non high fever version and as a result, was able to eat lots and lots of halloween candy as I convalesced with my fellow sickies. Sure I coughed almost nonstop for two weeks, but coughing all day seems to only burn off one or two snack size Snickers. It doesn't even begin to address the Starbursts or Jolly Ranchers that were a medical necessity at the time. No wonder this disease is named after a pig. I think I've gained close to 10 lbs with all this laying around and getting better!

I know there is a lot of public health info out there on Swine Flu, and I suggest you read it so you will be prepared, should you come down with the dreaded disease. A little information goes a long way and can save you cash. Cash that you might have spent on a new pair of skinny jeans online, if you thought you'd come out of this minus a few LB's. Caveat Swiner.

Good luck to all of those who are currently convalescing, and those who are doing their best to ward off the disease. If you're looking for a shopping distraction to get you through this, best you stay away from clothing and candy and check out the Swine Flu Retail Therapy "Shop Yourself Sane" guide on Popshopology. If nothing else it will make you laugh. And a good belly chuckle is the best medicine of all. Plus it burns more calories than coughing.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Old Fashioned Community Fun at the Journey School

It happened. I finally gave in. As if I am not busy enough with four kids, the blogging and clothing businesses... This year I also am on my school's "parent cabinet", our school's equivalent of PTA. It's unclear whether I am a control freak or a glutton for punishment (equal parts of both?) but I've volunteered for the Harvest Faire committee as well. And though it's hard work, it's been a blast.

We've all been working so hard to put together a festival that is magical, and quite unique. This Harvest Faire that we've all been working so hard on is definitely different than anything I have experienced in the OC. I almost wish I was not working a booth so I could take advantage of the many craft projects (fairy house decorating, hat making, apple stamping, felt gnome creation, candle making), and activities (hay bale maze, pixie potion creation, cake walk, potato sack races). There will be live music, a hearty lunch courtesy of Soup Plantation, and treats and sweets and coffee for sale in a whimsical Fairy Cafe.

This event is a marked change from the various elementary school fundraising fairs I have attended at other schools in the past. These other events usually revolved around commercial enterprise, rather than craft and, and business often eclipsed pleasure. What says Harvest about a dentist handing out toothbrushes and a closet specialist showing off organization tips? Water bottles from realtors and frisbees from flooring companies do not a fun Saturday event make. These events were not so much about making and doing as sales demos and spending. This is not good for community, and I realize now that community is one thing we as a family have been lacking.

My kids' school is a Waldorf inspired School and what this means for us as parents is a much more eco-friendly campus, with a decidedly noncommercial, non media bent. Sometimes it can be challenging, as it was yesterday when my daughter was sent home admonished for wearing a shirt "branded" with characters from Sesame Street. We've had to wean ourselves off of ziploc baggies in order to comply with the waste free lunch rules, and we're still struggling with media free weekdays (the school asks that kids do not watch tv, use the computer or play video games on school days).

But the trade offs are rich. We've found the atmosphere at school to often be quite magical. This was especially evident on Halloween when the children dressed up in mostly handmade costumes, all of which related to their classroom studies. It was a kinder gentler sort of Halloween, free from pop stars, cartoon villians, dastardly superheroes and bloody gross out suits. I didn't miss the licensed characters one bit!

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If you live in the OC and are looking for something different and a little old fashioned to do this weekend, please do stop by. The Harvest Faire is taking place from Noon till 4 at the Journey School: 27102 Foxborough in Aliso Viejo.