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'Taking more than directed may cause drowsiness' warned the back of the Claritin package. The recommended dosage is 'not more than 1 tablet in 24 hours'. This is the non-drowsy version providing 24 hours of relief. I am the last person to take any medication, having given birth to all three children without drugs. But cedar allergies have pushed me to resort to medication.

Anyone living in Central Texas can attest to the effects of mountain cedar allergies, sometimes referred to as 'cedar fever'. Christmas time is the time of year we see the effects most prevalent and can last until sometime before Valentine's Day. The symptoms are debilitating and one must avoid spending time outdoors if at all possible. 

Today the winds were high as was the pollen count. It was in the red zone according to the allergy forecast for today. Having spent all day indoors yesterday, I did not feel as bad as today when I ventured to the gym this morning. It took only a short walk from my front door to my car and then from the car to the entrance of the gym to cause today's suffering. Itchy and watery eyes, congestion, sneezing, and runny nose. Plus a general discomfort due to all of these symptoms.

Medication is something I would like to avoid and have done so in years past. Starting last year medication became necessary albeit I do not notice much relief. I took one tablet this morning upon return from the gym. I took another this afternoon as my symptoms worsened. Then another tablet tonight in preparation for a good night's rest. I doubt rest will come easily tonight. I eagerly await this month of January to be over.

Another source of frustration today was my Skype chat with Saffron. She showed me the purchases she made earlier today with her allowance money she received from Oma. I was not pleased with her selection of a package of fake nails for which she paid six Euros. The money was not the issue as much as the item she purchased. I informed her of my displeasure of her choice and told her to return the item to the store.

What frustrated me most was the fact Oma did not see this as wrong albeit my ex told me via email that his mother was not aware of what my daughter was purchasing. I didn't buy the reasoning as it was his mother who purchased a large bag of makeup items for my daughter for Christmas even though she is 'totally anti makeup' as my daughter's father informed me.

Barbie dolls are another issue for me as I am against them and what they stand for. Until recently, I have been able to avoid my girls' exposure to the 'pink aisle'. That is, until the new 'almost stepmom' came along who has gifted several Barbie dolls to my girls even though I expressly stated to her I am against Barbies. And no...I do not care if there is an Engineer Barbie, an Entrepreneur Barbie, or an Astronaut Barbie. A Barbie is a Barbie no matter what.