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Blue Diamond Natural Oven Roasted Almonds

My mother in law is an excellent judge of character.  She chose my father in law – a warm, caring man who is so great with his grandchildren; she chose me to marry her son – and we all know he got the better end of that bargain (just kidding!!); and she has befriended an almond grower who sends her a beautiful selection of Blue Diamond almonds for Christmas.  This year, his very generous gift arrived during one of our December visits, and she turned over to us a container of these Blue Diamond Natural Oven Roasted Almonds.  Oh my goodness.  I am so in love.

I have not been able to find them in the store since I had them in mid-December, but thanks to my mother in law again, I found them this week.  Our local Walgreens is now carrying them, and then when I went to the Acme today, they had them there as well.  I picked up two flavors today – the ones I had at my mother in law’s house, which were brown sugar cinnamon; and one I had never tried – vanilla bean. 

Each of the plastic containers holds 8 ounces of almonds, and you can tell how much you are eating because they have labeled the side of the container so you can see how much an ounce is.  Thank you.  Now I know I’ve pigged out seriously today.  Really, though, that’s very handy in helping judge portion size.  They tell you an ounce is about 24 almonds, but to see it is much easier than remembering to stop when you’ve hit 24.  Because you won’t.

The Cinnamon Brown Sugar ones smell delicious.  When you open the jar, you will immediately be reminded of the nuts you find at carnivals and theme parks that they sell warm in little paper cones, coated with sugar and goodness.  There is 160 calories in a one ounce serving, 6 grams of protein, 14 grams of fat (okay, a little on the high side, but most nuts are), and, the best part, only 3 grams of sugar!!  But the sugary taste is there, with the cinnamon, and you can microwave them for just a few seconds and feel like you are eating a treat that should be off limits.  Delicious.

Because I had coupons for $1 off, I figured I would try the vanilla bean flavor.  The vanilla smell is not as strong as the cinnamon smell from the other nuts, and the flavor is much more delicate, but it is there and it is good.  The nutrition values are identical on the vanilla, and the kids seemed to like these better as the jar is nearly empty.  These really are a nice way to curb a craving for something sweet and not worry about dumping or breaking your diet.

I’m so grateful to my mother in law for a lot of things.  She has been good to us in so many ways over the years, and we appreciate everything she does for us.  But introducing us to these nuts ranks right up there at the top of the nice things she’s done.  Almost as high on the list as setting me up with my husband.  And on a bad day, the nuts might be a little higher 😉

You Bad

Those were the last coherent words spoken to me by my youngest daughter today as I dropped her off for her first day of school.  After that, she crumbled into a screaming, unintelligible heap.

At her father’s insistence, Granuaile began nursery school today.  She is going to the same school Eilis went to, and I am confident that it is a good school run by people who care about kids, but she does not want to go.  We took her on Friday to meet her teachers and give her an hour of a dry run, but she cried the whole time, and threw up all over herself.  Today, no vomitting, but I don’t think she could have cried anymore if someone had crushed her last teddy bear.

She recognized the place from last week immediately, and began yelling in the car, “No school, I want to go home!” over and over, loudly.  Then she calmed down enough to get in the front door, calmly telling me over and over she wanted to go home.  But as soon as we set foot in the classroom, the hysterics began.  She grabbed my neck, locked her legs around my waist, and had to have her jacket pried off of her.  The teacher asked me what I wanted to do – did I want to stay with her or did I want to just let them take her.  I asked what would be best, and they advised me to let them take her.  They said she needed to learn to trust them.  I don’t know if I did the right thing.  I may never know until I’m sitting at her trial for being a serial killer and she throws herself on the mercy of the jury and tells them this is all her mother’s fault for dumping her in daycare.  I know I don’t want her to be the kid going into regular school crying and having to be dragged up the steps.  I’m hoping this helps us avoid that when the time comes.  I’m also hoping this will help in the potty training department.  She knows when she goes, but hasn’t yet found the patience to sit on the potty when she needs to go.  I know for both other kids, being around the other kids and going on a schedule really helped, so we’ll see how Miss Gracie does.

She has already told me she doesn’t want to go to school tomorrow, and I’m not looking forward to taking her.  I keep telling myself she only really has to be there until June when the other two are out of school, and it makes it seem not so far away, but when I’m handing her off to the teachers tomorrow, and she’s screaming and begging me not to leave her, June might as well be in the next millenium.