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ring the bells

I did, of course, take the traditional first day of school picture this morning. The Diva picked out her own ensemble and was in a tizzy this monring trying to finish her matching pink manicure. Whose kid is this, I ask you? The Boy wouldn't stop making "vampire faces" while I was trying to take a picture so I eventually just let go of the expectation that he wouldn't have a completely goofy look on his face. Because, seriously, he is completely goofy 90 percent of the time. We won't talk about the remaining 10 percent.


The Boy had zero qualms about being left in his classroom and, frankly, we had zero qualms about leaving him there. We barely saw Maddy once we got through the door. She found her new room without our help and was mostly unpacked before we even made it up there. So - hooray!

We'll see if the Boy wants to go back tomorrow. That will be the true test.

Over the summer, I'd forgotten how uncreative I am with packing lunches. Anyone have any snazzy gluten-free suggestions for the Diva? Or regular old suggestions for the Boy?

Oh - and McGregor is clearly torn up about the first day of school. It's a wonder he can keep it together.



Greg says, "Ah, a nice quite house to nap in."

Does she like Udi's bread? My 2nd grade daughter (who is celiac also) actually enjoys this better than my home made bread for school sandwiches because it doesn't get soggy, and the texture is nice. Rolled up GF lunch meat and cream cheese? I don't have too many bright ideas/suggestions. My daughter is a creature of habit and has been bringing virtually the same lunch since Kindergarten: GF sandwich/rolled up lunch meat & cream cheese; Stonyfield yogurt in a tube, fruit of some kind and a few GF chips (and of course a Hershey kiss to round things out). Good luck!

Fortunately, I don't have to be creative. And when I try to get jiggy with it--replacing the cheddar with provolone or even Cheshire--I get all kinds of compliments about the cheddar. I pack: cheddar cheese and cucumber sandwich, goldfish, a vegetable (cucumber spears, cherry tomatoes, or pepper slices), and a handful of Hershey's kisses.

Have you checked out Rachael Ray's website or Woman's Day or Family Circle?

Two corn tortillas spread with a favorite filling (apple butter, peanut butter, pumpkin butter, etc.); salads (waldorf was always a favorite of mine); cheese sticks/babybel cheese, with some gluten free crackers (or not, for The Boy); rice cakes with nutella to dip them in (I think nutella is gluten free; double check me though!).

Good luck! Lunch creativity is not always easy.

(Check the Kraft website for some ideas; one of theirs that I remember was when building a salad for lunchboxes, squirt your dressing on the bottom of the container, then add "stacking" foods like cherry tomatoes, carrot slices, etc. that don't get soggy, then add lettuce, cheese, olives, etc. The dressing is in the salad, and the kids just need to shake the container to mix it up before eating it.)

In our household, I value creative lunches infinitely more than the kids do. They're terribly happy with the same dang thing every day.

Also, yours may be a bit young yet, but it's probably not too early to start transferring a small portion of the lunch-making duties to the Diva. Mine have been making all their own lunches for a couple of years now. This year we went school-lunch shopping at BJs last week, and I stocked a low shelf with juice boxes, pineapple in cups, teeny bags of pretzels, PB, marshmallow fluff, raisins, craisins, roasted almonds, etc. Add to that a steady stock of bananas, grapes, strawberry jelly and bread and we're set. Em makes lunches daily for the both of them. (Matthew spends that time doing multiplication and division flash cards.)

we like corn tortillas with hummus, feta, cherry tomatoes and spinach leaves. But that might not be to the Diva's tastes.

hummus is a great protein tho. so carrot sticks and celery sticks with a tiny tupperware of hummus is good. Tomatoes are still swinging in full season. so cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes are good ideas.

does she like a boiled egg? rice with lentils on top? rice with cooked meat on top?? you could lean towards the whole bento lunch crowd. check on flickr for their group followings.

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