One million dollars!

A Million Dots by Andrew ClementsMuah ah ha!

Well, not really, but I couldn’t resist.  Actually, I’m talking about A Million Dots by Andrew Clements.  As we were wandering through the books at our local library, my Little grabbed this off the shelf.  I’m glad she did.  We sat down to read it and I was surprised how entertaining looking at a million dots could be.

Clements starts by showing what 10, 100, 500, and 1000 dots looks like.  Then he tells you to get ready to look at 1,000,000 dots.  I loved the extra information and illustrations of how big a number is.

dots and starsEach page is filled with dots! There is a neat image to go with the dots and on each page there is a featured dot.  It’s a seek and find to locate the circled dot.  When you find it, the number is listed on the page along with a description to to help you imagine how big that number is.

200000 dots pageMy kids favorite part was finding each circled dot.  I’m pretty sure they weren’t listening very closely as I was reading “two hundred thousand pennies would fill twenty-two one-gallon milk jugs.”  I don’t mind though.  I think A Million Dots is a great way to expose kids to large numbers, how to say them, and keep me entertained too.  We’ll check this one out again.


Have you ever noticed that disclaimer on your bag of sugar, the one that says “100% pure cane — contains No Beet.”  I never really thought about it until the beginning of this year.   We had my son tested for food allergies in December.  His results came back in January with IgE reactions for Milk & Beef, and IgG reactions for all dairy and sugar cane.

The beginning of this year marked a change in our diets.  We stopped eating out and started reading food labels.  I studied the FARE website on Milk Allergies.  I still review it.  I went through our cupboards and read all the labels on the food we had.  I found a new bullion to use that didn’t have whey in it.  I stopped using our taco seasoning which had milk in it and made my own.  I was surprised by the many places I found Milk.  I read blogs about others who had milk allergies.  I talked with a local mom who has an amazing allergy story for her children.  I learned about Nucoa buttery sticks and that most margarine products have a form of milk in them.

At first I was overwhelmed by all the changes but now we are settling in to a new food routine.  I’m lucky that my son is old enough to understand that the food he’s allergic to make his body sick and he plays an active roll in asking people if there is milk in the food they offer him.  He’s also a reader, so when he asks for a type of food at the store I ask him to read the label.  Often milk products are highlighted, so he knows right away if it’s a food he can eat or not.

Cutting out beef was not as hard as milk.  It has been easy to substitute pork, chicken, or turkey for beef.  My son loves fish sticks and he learned he loves pork chops too!

After we had a handle on eliminating milk and pork from his diet, I started trying to figure out what I could use as a sugar substitute.  I like baking him cookies and I’ve always used regular sugar that boasts “100% cane.”  After searching locally I came across beet sugar on Amazon.  I was going to make my own brown sugar with molasses, but it turns out that molasses is made from cane sugar too.  One of the things I read online was that coconut sugar has a brown sugar like taste.  I could find coconut sugar in my local grocery stores, but it was $6-7 a pound.  I found a 3 pack of coconut sugar on Amazon for just over $4 a pound.  Yay!  Now I bake cookies with Nucoa, beet, and coconut sugars.  They don’t taste the same, but they are still yummy.