Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving by the Numbers

I am having some writer's block, probably due to general holiday stress and the exhaustive use of the word "no" at my house right now. So instead of a normal blog post, I am going to give you Thanksgiving by numbers.

1...the number of Turkeys that were cooked at my house this year by me.
1...the number of times I have been solely responsible for the Thanksgiving turkey.
13...the number of pounds of my turkey. I almost went bigger. Thank the lord I didn't, or I would have had to cook it in someone else's oven, because mine is for hobbits.
Bird before
Turkey side note:
I would like to say that in my expert humble opinion, it was pretty awesome. 

3...the number of side dishes I made to go along with my turkey. We had, in no particular order, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, and stuffing muffins. The green bean was barely eh. Hubs requested the church potluck favorite of French's green bean goodness covered in those fried onions that I believe should be served like potato chips. It was too soupy, too cold, and too blah. Sorry love, I did a terrible job on the one thing you asked of me. The sweet potatoes on the other hand, were ah-maze-balls. Every year this is my contribution if we are going to someone else's house for Thanksgiving. I like to think I have it perfected. It doesn't hurt that there is enough sugar in the recipe to put Andre the Giant into a diabetic coma and it is covered in a generous helping of brown sugar and nut crumbly stuff. Yurmmmm. The stuffing muffins were compliments of Miss 3packs-a-day-with-some-scotch-thrown-in, Rachel Ray. I swear she has EVOO running through her veins. The muffins were super yummy and not very hard to do. And they looked fancy, which is an added bonus. Special fist pumps: I have to thank my sister-in-law. She contributed in a big way to our feast. As much as I would like to say I did it all, I did not. Please don't think less of me. I still rocked Thanksgiving in a big way.

3.5...the number of hours it took me to make two pies, two casseroles, and the stuffing. All completed during nap time on Wednesday. At warp speed. I do not often find cooking to be relaxing, with all the measuring and counting and the possibility of severe burns and amputated fingers. But that afternoon, I was totally in the zone. The Thanksgiving-I am gonna knock this schmidt out-zone. And I did. Known as the opposite of a fast mover, I feel I really outdid myself. I am now using that as my own personal best. Kind of like a marathon runner's best race. With more butter.

2...the number of pies I made. Two perfectly perfect Kentucky Derby Pies, compliments of my Aunt Susie's recipe. I was going to just have a store bought pecan pie, because I had so much other stuff to do.  Not to mention pecans are crazy expensive. We obviously missed the boat by not selling the pecans that came off the tree at our old house. Another chance to make extra money easily, lost. Any who...the more I thought about it, the more I wanted a Derby pie. My family has it every year and it screams Thanksgiving dessert to me. What's two more things to throw together? Child's play, I say. One pie went in the freezer for later yumminess and one went to the holiday smorgasbord. It was the most lauded part of the dinner, by far. I would like to be humble, but I can't. I would be betreaying the thrue nature of the pie. It is that damn good. If you have had it, you know there is no point. So special shout-out to Susie and her amazing Kentucky Derby Pie.

3...the number of children in my house for four days. Her Highness plus her two cousins. One is three and one is 4mos, so he cannot really be blamed for any of the child shenanigans that took place. Somehow two little girls felt, and sounded like, a class of 35 preschoolers. Not to mention they created a mess that rivaled the city dump. They were dragging out toys that I have not seen in months. Toys I forgot even existed. It looked like a toddler war zone in my living room.

If you were unsure what trouble looked like, now you know.
75,623...the number of times I heard the word mine.
75,623...the number of arguments that had to be settled by one or more adults between two little girls.
934...the number of tears Lady Baby caused because she is a bully and a brute. Don't let the pigtails fool you. A menace, that one.

4...the number of extra people staying at our house. It was tight but cozy. The only way it could have been easier is if we put a port-a-john in the backyard. One bathroom for 5 toilet users is a little rough. The two little ones got off easiest since they have diapers.

7...the number of gifts I purchased on Black Friday. We decided last minute on Thursday night to head over to Friendly on Friday. Naturally, I was super pumped to get some deals and wrestle my gifts out of the hands of other shoppers while we all frantically bought things at 75% off. Fast forward to noon on Friday, and it might as well have been a normal Saturday. In June. People were lackadaisically strolling around, shopping here and there. I got some things on sale, but not amazing, wrestle your mama for the last one, sales. I found it disappointing that not only did I not have to wait in much of a line anywhere, but the sales were pretty blah. I guess if you want the Hunger Games version of Black Friday, you have to go at 3 am to Target with your tent and your pepper spray. Then you can fight with an old lady in her favorite Christmas sweater for a toy you don't really want that your kid will never play with. I miss all the fun.

5...the number of hours my child was awake in the wee hours on Thanksgiving night. We suspect no nap+not enough dinner+excitement over the close proximity of cousins and grandparents to be the culprit. No biggie, I had just been on my feet for two days cooking a bountiful feast and cleaning my house so our guests would not have to wade through pet hair. Sure, I would be happy to stay up and hold Mr Potato head's feet for you while you yell at me to wake up. No problem. My pleasure.

0...the number of bites my child took of the feast I set before her. The only thing she did eat for Thanksgiving was half a cereal bar and a smoothie pouch. Hence, the aforementioned not enough dinner. Apparently its hard to sleep through hunger pains. The child would have never made it in the old days when a family of 5 shared one potato. Wimp.

and last but not least....

That's right...its a butter turkey.  
1...the number of amazing butter sculptures in the likeness of a Turkey that graced my table. It was an awe inspiring work of beauty, that no one dared use. Which made it a wasted $2.00. On the other hand, it really ratcheted up the fancy-schmancynmess of my table by at least 20 points, so I would have to say it was priceless. In an attempt to break the butter ice, I decapitated beautiful butter turkey. And still, no one dared. In my despair over my rash choice to ruin such a delicate work of art, I reattached the head, but it will never be the same. So now Frankenstein butter turkey is in my fridge, destined for the trash when hubs gets tired of looking at it. There is always next year. Maybe I will find a pair of butter pilgrims, or a butter cornucopia. Something to look forward to...

I hope everyone else had a wonderful holiday. Whether you were hosting, eating out, dining with others or not, I hope it was exactly what you wanted it to be. And if you didn't have a Turkey made of butter, while sad, there is always next year.

My one true love and I posing by the bird carcass.
That is pure romance.

Monday, November 14, 2011

That Pesky Rain Cloud

Lately I have had some disappointments. It doesn't matter what they were. Some have been big, others small. Some are my own fault, others are things that are out of my control. The what is not the point. The point is that life can hand you lemon after lemon and it can get exhausting to keep trying to make lemonade. You get tired of trying to find the sugar. Sometimes you just want to smash the lemons and roll around in the sour juice and be a little angry. And that is okay. We can't always smile and pretend that all is right and perfect. Sometimes we have to ugly cry. 

I have to remind myself that I don't have to justify being sad. It doesn't matter whether it is one tiny thing, one huge thing, or lots of somethings in between. Mourn the loss of whatever it is that has come to pass. It is okay to be sad and process the disappointment and really feel it. Too mope is human. You have to roll around with it and let it in.  Only then can you attempt to let it go. Then you can move forward. You have to acknowledge your bummed-outness, even if just for a second, a minute, or a day. Let it smack you around a bit and give it a little respect. By giving it it's due, you have given it the space it needs to move on. Only then you can really say, "Goodbye disappointment. You were a real pisser. A total buzz kill. You rained on my parade and I am glad to see you go. Now get the hell out." Once I do this, I feel like I can start fresh.  I can get out of bed in the morning without the weight of negativity trying to drag me back down. I like to bounce through life, and it is difficult to find your bounce when you keep knocking into a blackcloud hanging over your head. Get up outta here black cloud. You are in my way. I am peppy by nature. I smile and I laugh. I have been told my happiness is borderline nauseating. And I am proud of that.  Right now I don't feel like myself. There is too much rain cloud and not enough happiness and light. I need more happiness and light. So I am staring my disappointments in their ugly faces. I am giving them their due so they will move along. Mama needs her bounce back. 

I will not pretend that things didn't happen. I will not act like everything is okay. Today, I will acknowledge that which is getting me down. Today I will be cranky and ornery and annoyed with the world. But tomorrow is new day. I will not drag my sadness with me into tomorrow. I will shake out my personal baggage. I will drop that frustration like its hot. Tomorrow I will start fresh. Tomorrow I will get up and the black cloud will have receded into a little puff of whiteish-gray, far off in the distance. I will consciously step back into the sunshine. Tomorrow I will look at my child's sweet face and know that having that takes the sting out of anything bitter that comes my way. I will remember what is important and what is not. I will remember who is important and who is not. I will know that every step I take tomorrow is a step away from the disappointments of today. I will walk into a fresh new day with a fresh new attitude and a thankfulness for the goodness in my life.  When the next thing comes along that reminds me that sorrows do exist, I will acknowledge, wallow for a hot second, and move on to live another day with a smile on my face. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Today We Barf

Warning: if you are sensitive to talk of vomit stop now. You won't make it. I wrote it and rereading it is making me a little queasy....

Lady Baby is under the weather. By under the weather I mean she is barfing like a chick after drinking games with tequila at Katie Hill's lake house summer of '97. (It happened to my friend.) In the wee hours of the morning she provided us with a lovely wake-up call of screaming. Loud and insistent Ma-Ma's. This occurred 30 minutes after I had finally gotten her back in her crib after a night of up and down, starting at 12:30. So kind to allow me a full and restful half hour in my bed before she hurled her guts out all over herself, her crib, her Mickey, and her potty book. Turns out the copious amounts of spit-up her first year of life did nothing to toughen her up for the stomach flu. She hates to throw up as much as the rest of us. There are many things I hate to find in my child's hair. Vomit wins.

I need this on my shirt.
We thought that maybe the milk she had for her 2am snack was bad. That *may* have happened once before, when she drank milk that *may* have been out too long. I will neither confirm nor deny. However, bad milk was not the culprit this time. Immediately after 3 sips of water, she leaned over and spewed again. This time ALL OVER ME. Not the best way to ease into the morning at 5:45am. I much prefer coffee and maybe a little Facebook. Instead I got to gag my way through the next fifteen minutes trying to deal with her, my clothes, the couch and the floor.  TGIF baby, TGIF. For those that know me for reals, you know that I am very smell sensitive. You also know that my post pregnancy gag reflex is more taut than the Hub's nerves during a Wolfpack football game. Being doused with milk vomit almost put me over the edge this fine morning.

The worst part is not the pukage. That is saying a lot because it is BAD. Seeing my sweet flower cry and rub her belly, saying, "boo-boo, tummy" over and over is horrible. {Side note: If she ever says this in your presence, batten down the hatches and prepare for epic barfage. Perhaps find a raincoat.} Per the pediatrician's nurse, I have to let her tummy rest for two whole hours after she throws up before she can have one teaspoon of water. Yes, my friends, one measly teaspoon. Unfortunately, the two teaspoons she had spaced at exactly 15 minutes apart, per Nurse Ratchet's instructions, did not stay down. Back to the two hour wait. I started crying when my Toodles was begging me for water and it wasn't time. I told her it wasn't me, it was the nurse that hated her, but she didn't seem to care. Seeing her hurting and thirsty and sad and there is literally nothing I can do to help--that is the worst part.

The only upside is she is very happy to lay on the couch and chillax. As long as we are snuggling, she is content watching TV. I can only hope and pray that On Demand Mickey, DJ Lance, Blue, and Elmo will pull us through. I can only assume it was my amazing karma that kept me from canceling the cable at the end of October. (Though I did get doused with yesterday's dinner, so maybe it is not so great after all.) I guess my mommy guardian angel knew there was major regurgitation in my immediate future. While Her Highness naps beside me I get to blog, read, and watch TV. I will always find that silver lining. In this case it is an excuse for a lie-in of slothly proportions.

While we take turns barfing and cleaning up said barf, the DaDa is running his first half marathon. In Savannah. Five and a half hours away. With my best friend and her husband. Staying at my parent's house. Grrrr. I am missing secret fun. I hate to miss secret fun. Alas, this is what it is to be a parent. It is to hold down the fort when it is being ravaged by the stomach flu. It is to only cry a little when your spouse leaves for the weekend during said flu. It is to sit beside your sad sick girl and listen to her sob and beg for a drink. It is to jump and dive with a towel in hand every time she burps (which has happened a lot and is very wearing on my nerves.)  We love our babes whether they are happy and running around the park or crying and laying in our laps. It is our job to get the boogies, wipe the bottoms and hold their hair back when the barf. At least college prepared me for one out of three. 

I pray to the gods in charge of barfing children that this is a short lived flu. No dehydration, no visit to the ped, no all nighter. I ask for calm tummys, sleep, and no more vomit. Amen.
I pray for no more hurlage.


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