Saturday, 23 September 2017

My Top 10 No Cost Stress Reducers

For our self-regulation course at the MEHRIT centre we were recently challenged to create a top ten list of our favourite no-cost stress reducers.  Here's my list.  Please share your list on Twitter and tag me @lisacran.  Thanks!

  • Exercise – whether it’s going for a run or doing some heavy work in the yard (two days ago I tore out the flagstone path) I find that physical work gives me a much needed break from the mental stress of studying, reading and writing
  • Eating healthy – my husband travels frequently for work and is usually gone for two weeks at a time.  I’m not always motivated to make healthy meals for just me but after a few days of poor meals I feel lethargic.  Eating healthy is an easy way to reduce biological stressors for me. And if I am hungry I am very cranky and miserable so eating healthy will reduce stressors for people who have to deal with me.
  • Fresh air – getting outside, breathing the fresh air, and focusing on slowing down my breathing. When I was working at the board office, a group of us in the program department decided we would take a 15 minute walking break each morning and afternoon.  It didn’t always happen, but usually someone would do a quick walk around the office around 10 and 2 asking who was going for a walk. Otherwise it was easy to spend the whole day in your office!
  • Listening to the waves – we recently moved to our ‘retirement home’ on Lake Erie. Opening the door and listening to the waves helps me to relax
  • Birds – usually watching the birds at the birdfeeder, especially the little hummingbirds, is quite destressing but right now the blue jay is screaming for breakfast
  • Campfires – there’s a firepit at our new home.  Sitting outside in the evening, listening to the water and watching the fire is free destressor.  No checking emails, reading articles at the campfire.
  • Drink more water -  At work, I used to keep a refillable water bottle on my desk and drink two bottles of water each day.  When I retired, I got out of that habit and found I was often dehydrated.
  • Be social - Our new home is on a private, unpaved road and many of the homes here are summer homes/cottages so it would be easy to isolate yourself out here.  I make an effort to visit with the neighbours beside me each day and I’m looking into signing up for a book club at the local library. Otherwise, with John travelling for work, I can see how it might get very lonely out here in the winter.
  • Prioritize and focus – this is hard for me.  If I’m working on my doctorate then I feel like I’m not spending enough time on the house and my family and this course. If I’m spending lots of time with my family then I feel like I’m falling behind with my coursework. It’s an ongoing battle to remind myself to focus on what I’m doing instead of being distracted thinking about other things I could/should be doing.
  • Self-talk –  I use self-talk to encourage myself to focus, and to remind myself to use the other strategies listed here.


Friday, 8 September 2017

Kindness - It Starts with Us

I've seen this image, and versions of it, all over social media lately:


But  here's the thing.  As parents, as teachers we have to show our students how to be kind not just tell them.  If we want our kids, our students to sit with the lonely kid in the cafeteria, then we have to do that ourselves.

As an itinerant teacher for several years, I was at a different school each day.  I also worked as a supply teacher for a year.

There were some schools I went to where I felt like the lonely kid in the cafeteria.  At one school, no one ate in the staff room.  Just me.  I had no idea where everyone else was, but I sat at the table in this HUGE room all by myself and ate my lunch.

At another school, it was like high school all over again.  The male staff sat together in one area of the staff room. Primary teachers sat at another table.  Everyone had their clique and I remember how anxious I felt as I wondered where I should sit.  No one invited me to join them, so I sat down and hoped I wouldn't be asked to move.  Don't laugh; I've seen teachers tell itinerants and occasional teachers to move because 'that's my spot.'

One itinerant teacher told me about when she was invited to attend a staff meeting at a school where she felt she had a good relationship with the staff.  She arrived early and sat at a table.  Slowly teachers arrived and begin to fill the tables around her.  Eventually the tables were all full, except hers.  She still sat alone. The next teacher to arrive approached her and asked, "Is this seat taken?"  She smiled and replied, "No," thinking that the teacher would sit down and join her.  Instead, the teacher took the chair and moved it so she could sit at another table.

Don't get me wrong, staff at many schools were warm and welcoming.  They invited me to join in their lunch groups and included me in their conversations. One school emailed me ahead of time to let me know that they were having a special teacher appreciation luncheon when I would be there for my next visit so 'don't bring a lunch because you're welcome to join us.' How nice is that!!!!

So if you say that you care less about whether kids are academically gifted and more about whether they sit with the lonely kid in the cafeteria, then be the teacher who welcomes the newbie to the staff room - the supply teacher, the itinerant, the new custodian, the secretary who is just here for a day, the high school, college or university student on placement.  As Gandhi  said, "Be the change you want to see in the world."

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Moving is Stressful - Self-Reg in Action!

I haven't blogged in a while as we were busy with a move last month.  We sold our house in Walkerville and moved to a smaller home out on Lake Erie. Then we found out we'd moved to an internet 'dead zone.'  After many calls to multiple internet providers we were finally able to get back online.  Thanks Xplorenet!!!
This move gave me lots of opportunities to put what I've learned about reducing stress through self-reg into action!
We got the keys to our new house late on Monday, July 10.  The new owners of our house were taking possession on July 14th which was the only day I could book movers. So we had three days to get the new house ready for move in and to finish packing up everything to move out.  The tight timeline was definitely causing me stress and so my husband and I took specific steps to reduce the stress as much as possible.
1. Asking for help - When we arrived at the new house around 5:30 pm that Monday, we were shocked to find that the previous owner left all of her food in the fridge and freezer, junk in the drawers in the kitchen, bathrooms and dining room and tons of random 'stuff' in the garage. There were holes in the wall covered with duct tape that had been hidden behind furniture during our walkthrough. Outside, she left broken furniture and more garbage. So our planned celebration turned into a four hour cleaning session. Rather than get really upset, we dealt with the problem and contacted our agent and our real estate lawyer for advise on how to proceed.  I also posted on social media just to vent and received an offer of assistance from a friend who lives nearby.  Instead of saying 'oh no, that's okay' I said "THANK YOU" and she came over and scrubbed for hours. 
2. Monitoring energy/tension levels - instead of going by the clock, we went to bed when we were tired. Even if it was still daylight outside at 9 pm, if we were exhausted we went to bed instead of trying to push on through and stay awake a bit longer.



This is how I felt by Thursday night.  


3. Breaking tasks into manageable chunks - rather than be overwhelmed at the massive packing and unpacking that needed to be done this week, we set small incremental goals like setting up the bookshelves in the office on Saturday morning.  Okay, I was still overwhelmed during the week we packed and moved - definitely high tension/low energy by Thursday.  But unpacking has been at a much more manageable pace.

4.Eliminating some jobs. We usually like to cook most of our meals and eat healthy. This week, we picked up take out salads and simple meals at the grocery store. Our original plan was to eat out but we were too tired and too dirty to go out in public!
5. Stay hydrated! Since the water cooler/ice maker function on the fridge at the new house needs to be cleaned and also needs a new filter, and we had packed the Brita water filter somewhere, we bought a case of water for us and for the movers because it was really hot. I feel a bit guilty about having a recycling bin full of water bottles but it's only for one week and it was important for us to be hydrated. If I get dehydrated, I get really tired and cranky!

Here's the house when we got the keys - food in the fridge and freezer, holes in the wall.  She left the garbage (which we put in bags, not her) but took the TV antennae and the bathroom mirrors.  


Can't wait to post some 'after' pictures later this week.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Recognizing Stressors

We've been learning about how to be stress detectives in our MEHRIT Centre course - digging deeper to find those hidden stressors that are impacting our limbic system even though our Prefrontal Cortex may not even notice.  Hidden stressors can be things like lights, noise and even junk food.

I revised my original popplet to show my learning over the last few weeks (It's easier to see on the link!)






When I posted the original popplet on my blog, it was such a small post I wondered if it was even worth sharing yet it has generated some interesting discussions.  Doug Peterson and Stephen Hurley featured it as one the blogs from Ontario Educators on their podcast at VoicEdRadio.

Doug posted a comment about it on his feature This Week InOntario Edublogs 

In the category of better late than never, comes this post from Lisa Cranston.  In full disclosure, Lisa and I worked together for years, and one of the greatest groups that I had a chance to be part of was our Early Years Technology group.  I learned so much from my colleagues in that group and, when the topic came to visual mindmapping, I thought that I contributed back by showing how to brainstorm and share thoughts visually with our use of the SMARTBoard, SMART Ideas and other applications.

Well, it turns out that I wasn’t all that effective!

 I responded to Doug, but for some reason it didn't show up on his blog. Anyway, I absolutely love using graphic organizers with students and we used lots of them in the Early Years Technology group he spoke of - venn diagrams, T-charts, webs and more.  But I didn't use them as a tool for my own learning. I tended to use lists and maybe a table. But an assignment for my doctoral work required us to create a mind map for our final paper and, after much grumbling and complaining, I found I really liked it. I used iMindMap for my proposal and I've gone back to that mind map multiple times for assignments since then.  

I guess what's good for the students is good for the teacher!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Kindergarten Graduation Alternatives

Each year at this time social media is full of ideas for kindergarten graduation ceremonies - some with caps, gowns and diplomas. There are so many reasons why my school district discourages kindergarten graduation ceremonies.  

1) They aren't graduating! They aren't leaving the school. With full day kindergarten now in every public school in Ontario they are simply going from one full day program to another full day program.  We don't graduate from grade one to grade two, so why from kindergarten to grade one?

2) Grade one is not academic boot camp and our grade one classrooms should be more like kindergarten classrooms. 

Too often, I hear adults say things to 'graduating' kindergarten students like:

"Oh, you're going to be starting big-school now"
"When you get to grade one, there's no more play.  You have to learn how to read now."

OK - no! A thousand times no.

What was developmentally appropriate in June is still developmentally appropriate when the students return as grade one students in September.  The ministry of education in the province of Ontario has provided resources and supports for primary teachers to ensure that the programs for primary students (grades 1 - 3) are more play and inquiry based; more like our kindergarten programs! 

Kindergarten is school.  Play is learning, Students in kindergarten are learning. They are engaged in all kinds of literacy learning, including purposeful, authentic, developmentally appropriate literacy activities.  Kindergarten students are already learning to read - they are developing their concepts of print, they are developing alphabetic awareness, and engaging in texts with their classmates and educators. Learning to read starts when parents and caregivers sit with a child in their lap and read to them. Learning to read starts long before children arrive at school.

3) It takes time away from kindergarten program. Instead of engaging in rich, play-based learning, kindergarten students are practicing marching into the gym for graduation, and practicing new songs to sing during the ceremony. 
  
4) Kindergarten graduation ceremonies are for the adults.  When asked why they have kindergarten graduation ceremonies, almost everyone talks about the adults: the parents love it, the parents ask for it, we've always done it and the parents expect it.  No one ever says it's about the kids. Education should be about what's best for kids and their learning.  

Please don't think I'm a party-pooper who wants everyone working and learning until the last bell rings on the last day of school.  I believe that celebrating transitions is important.  These rituals build community and mark milestones in life's journey.  So instead of a graduation ceremony, here are some alternatives:


Favourite songs concert: Instead of learning new songs for graduation, let's invite the kids to decide what their favourite kindergarten songs and activities are and share those. Invite parents and caregivers to come and engage in the songs and activities with the students instead of kids performing and adults watching. 

Family picnic and games:
Enjoy a picnic together on the school lawn with games, face painting, and music. 


NAEYC: End of the Year Celebrations

The parents will still have photos to post on social media and everyone can relax and have a good time celebrating all the learning and the time spent together in kindergarten.

Here is a great article with links to research if you're trying to convince your colleagues, administration, and/or parents to move from kindergarten graduation to something more appropriate:




Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Creating Opportunities for Sharing

Since we know that supporting adults and students with self-regulation is so important, we were asked in our course this week to think about 'what are the barriers to supporting others in developing their understanding of self-regulation? and then to brainstorm when we might be able to create opportunities to share our knowledge of self-reg and how we can reframe behaviour as stress behaviour rather than misbehaviour, and then go about recognizing and reducing stressors for students.

In an earlier post, I shared some of the barriers, so this post we are going to look at the opportunities to support others, including parents and educators, in developing and deepening their understanding of self-reg.


Some of the opportunities we identified included:
If the teacher is able to engage in discussion, then we can talk about 'what is your goal?'  Just like our students, teachers are not ready to engage in discussion if they are dysregulated themselves. Here's an example from my work as an education consultant.  A kindergarten teacher complained that a student wouldn't sit for whole group time (sometimes called 'circle time') and he was always disruptive.  The only thing that would work was if he sat at a nearby table and played with play doh.  If she did that, he would sit, play with the play doh and listen to what was happening at the whole group.  If she tried to get him to sit at the carpet, he would run out of the room and down the hallways.
So I'm thinking, great - you've already solved this problem.  What do you need me for?  But the teacher was really focused on having him sit at the carpet.  That was her goal.  We had the discussion - why do you want him to sit at the carpet?  Well, that's what they are supposed to do.
Is it disrupting the other students when he sits at the adjacent table?  No.
Are the other students asking to sit at the table because he is at a table? No.
Is he able to listen and learn when he is at the table? Yes.
Can we try letting him sit at the table during group time for a week and see what impact it has on him and also on you?  Okay.
So we did.  And not only was he able to sit and be part of the class, but it really reduced the teacher's stress because she wasn't worrying about him bolting from the class.  She was much more relaxed when she was teaching so group time became more enjoyable for her, for Jacob and the rest of the class.

Sharing our own self-reg success stories from our personal self-reg journey may encourage others to try self-reg themselves. I have used this blog and other social media like Facebook and Twitter to share my self-reg learning journey. By articulating the stressors that we observe - how we recognize and reduce stressors in our own lives, others may begin to recognize and reduce stressors in their own lives. And once they see how self-reg works for them, they will be more willing to try self-reg with their students or their own children.  

Suggestions from others included:
Create opportunities to gently challenge a perspective or belief in a way that creates just enough dissonance for the person to feel the impact of the concept of Step 2.  This is so powerful but such a tricky 'sweet spot' to find. You want to push their thinking far enough to cause some dissonance and create an impetus for change.  I think that's the good stress Stuart Shanker is often talking about - stress that creates growth. Yet you have to be careful not push them so far that you've created too much stress and they go into 'fight or flight' or freeze.
Another suggestion is to edit language choices, protocol descriptions, etc in documents used within the school, the district and with parents. Language is a powerful yet subtle way to promote thinking and this method can be a terrific accompaniment to more overt teaching.

Opportunities to teach the science of self-reg as well as the five steps at regularly scheduled meeting as the brain science behind why self-regulation works can inspire and persuade some reluctant educators and parents.

Modelling self-reg practice for teachers and parents is another practical strategy. If we have an opportunity to show someone how self-reg can help return a child or adult to calm, then we can ignite their curiosity to learn more.  Articulating what we are doing and why we are doing it is part of this modelling practice.

Using the increase in social media attention on the topic of stress - on Twitter, Facebook and other discussion boards and blogs - to heighten interest of our colleagues. Mental health and well-being is 'a hot topic' right now.   
What strategies have you used to share the principles of self-regulation? How can we support teachers and parents with looking at stress behaviour vs misbehaviour; co-regulation instead of punishment; self-regulation instead of self-control?





Monday, 22 May 2017

Barriers to Self-Regulation

Since we know that supporting adults and students with self-regulation is so important, we were asked in our course this week to think about 'what are the barriers to supporting others in developing their understanding of self-regulation?'


Barriers:
I think one of the big barriers to developing others' understanding of Recognizing Stressors in The Shanker Method is the self-control paradigm and all of its accompanying beliefs and practices.  If a child is disruptive in class, and someone (the VP, the support worker, whomever) comes and helps the child by using the steps of self-regulation, this is sometimes upsetting or disappointing to the teacher who is firmly entrenched in the self-control paradigm.  It's not enough that the disruptive behaviour has stopped and that the child (and the classmates) can now learn.  There needs to be a consequence!  He/She must be punished!  It's not about digging deep to find the stressors causing the problem and then reducing them so the child can be calm and ready to learn. It's about applying the rules.  
In addition, if I am a teacher moving from self-control to self-regulation as a way of looking at classroom behaviours, then that is going to have a huge impact on my practice.  In the self-control paradigm, as the teacher I may have a role to play in terms of creating a behaviour plan and handing out rewards or consequences, but the majority of the work for changing the behaviour rests with the student.  If it's a self-regulation paradigm, that changes my work as a teacher.  I need to be a stress detective, and then when the stressors are identified, I need to be part of the solution of reducing those stressors.  If the child is stressed by all the visual clutter in the room, and the bright lights and noise, then I need to make changes, not the child.   
Another barrier is the confusion around 'what is self-reg?.'  There are so many different ideas about what is self-reg and so many different resources that teachers may feel overwhelmed or may look for a product with flashcards and posters rather than learning the Shanker method of five steps.
Other barriers that were mentioned included the disregulation of the staff, especially now at this busy end of the year time.  This disregulation doesn't allow them to reframe student behaviour. When they are feeling tired and overwhelmed, they fall back on what they know - behaviour management and control. 
Time is also a barrier - so much curriculum to cover; no time to stop and reframe, recognize, and reduce stressors for disruptive students. 
What barriers have you noticed?
The Summer Symposium this year, on July 4 - 7 at Trent University in Peterborough, is about "Bringing Down Barriers." After analyzing all the feedback about barriers our Self-Reggers have come across along their Self-Reg journey, MEHRIT centre staff identified 10 key areas which are critical for understanding Self-Reg and moving beyond some of the barriers regularly experienced when embarking on a Self-Reg journey. As well, the final day will be focused on bringing energy to your self-reg initiatives. 



Next post, we'll look at creating opportunities to support educators and parents in developing their understanding of self-reg.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Recognizing Stressors - A Beginning

In our self-reg course, we are beginning to learn more about recognizing stressors in all five domains. We are becoming stress detectives. I've created this popplet to use when charting my learning about recognizing stressors and will add to it as my knowledge and understanding grows. Using mind maps and other graphic organizers is a new strategy for me as a learner, even though I often used them with my students. I'm excited to see how this strategy will support my thinking.






A related post I wrote about exploring mind map software: Exploring MindMaps

Saturday, 29 April 2017

ETFO Kindergarten Conference - April 2017

Two days of amazing learning at the ETFO Early Years Conference: Seeing, Engaging and Empowering our Kindergarten Learners are summed up in this Storify:

Friday, 28 April 2017

Self-regulation and Lying

As a mom, I found it really hard to not respond from my limbic system when my kids would lie.  I think it was the value that I attached to truthfulness made lying an especially frustrating and stressful behaviour for me to deal with.  So the idea of lying as a stress behaviour and not misbehaviour was challenging for me. Viewing lying as a maladaptive coping strategy helps me to reframe this behaviour though soft eyes instead of judgemental eyes.  
Lying can start of as misbehaviour but when pushed and pushed to tell the truth, people can confabulate as a stress behaviour. I was always puzzled when kids or even teens and adults are caught in a lie and yet they stick to it steadfastly.  I can see where the stress of lying could push some people from misbehaviour to stress behaviour. When we respond limbically to children who lie, it only increases the stress for the child and the adult. Instead we need to reduce the stress in order to bring the child's Prefrontal Cortex back online.
I'm still curious and want to learn more about lying as a maladaptive behaviour and how we can promote children's moral growth and truthfulness.  
Here is a resource you might want to explore if you are interested in this topic:



Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Resources for Poetry Month (April)

"Poems are a form of music, and language just happens to be our instrument - language and breath." Terrance Hayes, 2017



So you might ask, "What's the big deal? Why is poetry so important?" Poetry is essential for children because it is 'the best words in the best order.'  The rhythm and rhymes can help children develop a love of language - and a love of reading. Once kids begin flexing their writing muscles, poetry can spark their creativity and let their imaginations soar! 
 J. Patrick Lewis, US Poet Laureate

Poetry can be a powerful tool for writers and readers.  Writers who are reluctant to tackle a larger piece may find a short poem a less intimidating task.  The structure of some poems such as haiku, cinquain, and others provide scaffolds for emerging creative writers.  Reluctant readers may be engaged by the wordplay, rhythm and rhyme of poetry.  Here are some poetry resources you may find helpful for you and your students:

There are lots of amazing lesson plans at ReadWriteThink.org  Here are just a few:

Writing Poetry with Rebus and Rhyme Kindergarten to Grade 2
Composing and performing found poetry - K to Grade 2
Today is World Poetry Day Grades 3 - 12
Weaving the Threads - Integrating Poetry Annotation and Web Technology - Grades 6 - 12
Lonely as a Cloud: Using Poetry to understand similes - Grades 4 - 8

Lesson Plans using Interactive Tools
Theme Poems Using the Five Sense - Grades K - 2
Acrostic Poems - a range of lesson plans from K - 12 using an online acrostic poem tool
Diamante Poems - a range of lesson plans from K - 12 using an online diamante poem tool
Haiku Starter - Grades 2 - 5

Scholastic Poetry Resources 

Education World - comprehensive list of Poetry Month resources

Edutopia - another comprehensive list of poetry resources

Poems & Poets at Poets.org - a searchable database of over 7,000 poems

Research:

Research Into Practice: Performing Poetry: Using Drama to Increase the Comprehension of Poetry 

Research Into Practice: Poetry: A Powerful Medium for Literacy and Technology Development


Ten Poems for Teachers 



Thursday, 13 April 2017

Self-Regulation and Schools

Here's a look at a twitter chat with educators about Self-Regulation in Schools, moderated by the MEHRIT Centre. The next one is May 10 at 7:30 - join us at #TMCTalks. EST.:





Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Five Misconceptions about Self-Regulation

A short video blog on Five Common Misconceptions about Self-Regulation

5. It's  about stuff - exercise bikes, glitter bottles, etc

4. It's only for kids with formal identification such as ADHD, ADD, ODD

3. It's just for kids

2. We do self-regulation as a whole class

1. It's about controlling your behaviour and your emotions





View the video on youtube at https://youtu.be/XHE1pBdOO9I

(Please excuse some of my editing errors - I'll do better next time!)

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Self-Regulation and Mindless Eating

When I was working full-time I would come home from work and, sometimes before I'd even changed my clothes, I would head to the kitchen for something to eat.  I would often just stand in the kitchen and graze - eating crackers from the box, a slice of cheese, cookies, whatever.....  If you had asked me an hour later what I had to eat, I probably wouldn't have been able to tell you.  It was truly mindless eating, and I look back now and realize I was definitely in the lower right box of the Thayer Matrix  - high stress all day at work and then coming home as a single parent to two busy teenagers.  I have no family here in the city so I was pretty much on my own for dealing with any minor or major issues with the kids, the house, the car, etc. Definitely high tension/low energy by 5 pm.
Recently the urge to snack and the mindless eating have been late at night. I had been looking at those cravings through a self-control lens but I decided this afternoon to try to look at them through a self-reg lens.  At first I thought, you can't be/shouldn't be low energy, high tension, you're retired!  But there are still stresses in life, even when you're retired:
  • after six months of working close to home, my husband has been back to travelling all the time for work since early January.  He is usually gone from early Monday morning to late Friday night, and sometimes longer if there are flight delays, etc.  This means I'm in charge of anything that goes wrong with the car, the house, etc unless it can wait till the weekend
  • since I'm retired and hubby's away at work and my kids are both away at university/college, I'm alone a lot more and that's stressful.  I volunteer, and I meet friends for lunch and all of that, but compared to when I was working, I'm still adjusting to the reduction in social contact in retirement
  • being alone at night is more stressful than during the day.  Our house is old and there are weird noises at night!
  • my mom passed away in December 2014 and there is some residual stress from that to deal with
  • my dad is on his own and has some health and mobility issues.  I'm fortunate that my dad also has support from my brothers and sisters-in-law, but there is the stress of making sure he is taken care of - shopping for groceries, cooking meals, running errands, paying bills, and worrying about his mental and physical well-being.  Every time the phone rings and I see his number come up, I hope it's not someone calling to tell me the ambulance is on the way.  It's happened before; it will likely happen again.
  • all the fun physical stresses of menopause - hot flashes, night sweats, slower metabolism, insomnia
  • I submitted the first draft chapter of a book to a publisher who said he'd get back to me in a week.  It's been three weeks.  He must hate it. What was I thinking?
  • studying for my doctorate online through Western.  It's starting to get real, the courses are getting harder, there's so much more writing, I have to defend next spring.  What if I fail?  What was I thinking?
Funny how I am getting better at looking at other people's behaviour with 'soft eyes' but sometimes have a hard time doing that for myself.  I really thought - you're retired, you shouldn't have stressors. I wonder how often people think, 'he's only in kindergarten.  He can't have stress.'  
Anyway this reflection today was very timely since I was beating myself up last night for giving in to my cravings. After eating healthy all day, at about 9 pm I had a glass of red wine and ate a very large Hershey Kiss that I bought as a Christmas stocking stuffer for my husband.  Since he hasn't eaten it by now, I'm hoping he forgot about it.  Change 'son' to 'husband' and this may be my life when he gets home!