Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Posts tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

Thanksgiving Rehash and Scott’s Singing Career

How was your Thanksgiving? We enjoyed ours.  I can’t really remember what we did, but I definitely remember there was something fun about it.

Thanksgiving is a lot about food.  I remember when I was a stay-at-home mom.  I was so much better at food then.  I had actual recipes with fairly long lists of ingredients I liked to make.  I remember a pumpkin torte that involved multiple layers.  I also made this fruit salad that Scott liked.  The fruit was covered in a homemade custard sauce that involved tempering egg yolks.   I tempered eggs?  I did. Or, maybe that was just a dream.

This year, I worked late the night before Thanksgiving.  Scott came through for me, and bought a cheese tray, hard salami and a veggie platter for his side of the family’s celebration.  I did manage to make some cookies Thanksgiving morning, but that’s it.  That’s all I got.

For my side of the family, I brought nothing.  You’re welcome guys.  Hope you liked it.

Olivia had her heart set on Black Friday shopping this year.  My mom and two sisters and niece and I all decided we’d spend a few hours joining the fun on Friday morning.  And, it definitely was fun.  Especially, if you think fun is like jumping off the high dive into a pool of sharp knives.  It was definitely THAT kind of fun.

I don’t know why people do it.

I felt so overwhelmed.  I just kept giving myself small goals.  Like,  looking for the closest open chair.  One time I just sat right down on the carpeting while Olivia sorted through a giant trash heap of items on sale.  Another time, I sat on a pile of jeans.

My mom wandered off on her own. She told us she got side tracked picking up after a tornado that must have gone through the Boston Store’s shoe department.  She couldn’t help herself.  It looked like those workers needed some disaster relief volunteers.   My mom also found an empty beer bottle in one of the dressing rooms, among all the other wrappers, discarded clothing and empty soda cups.  Black Friday is just a classy thing.

Olivia found a couple of good deals during our shopping trip, and she probably could have shopped all day, but she knew the rest of us were getting weak.  We lasted until lunch.

black friday

Eddie, Zeke and their cousin, Caleb, went out for Black Friday shopping on Thursday night.  Caleb asked my boys to do this with him. Caleb thought it might be fun.  I told Caleb his cousins are really bad shoppers, and I couldn’t really remember Eddie ever shopping on purpose before.  Caleb had confidence they would have fun. So, I believed him.  I gave my boys money, and I told them to pick up some Christmas presents.

They didn’t.

Their first stop was McDonald’s.  Eddie asked the McDonald’s employee if they had any Black Friday specials on chicken.  The guy said he was sorry, but everything was just regularly priced.  He did offer Eddie this special grocery bag.  So, that’s really nice.

blackfriday bag

Here’s a Black Friday Special…Sorry, Eddie got to it first.

Friday night, the cousins played “Pit”.  Do you remember that game?  We used to love playing it when I was a teenager, now my kids do too. “3,3,3”, “2,2,2”!!!

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Saturday, Zeke and Eddie and the other wrestlers on their team, scrimmaged some other wrestling teams.  Some of us parents went and watched, because we’re sick like that.  Zeke, Eddie and Scott are all on the same team now. This has never happened before. I’m excited to watch these boys I love do what they love this winter.

After the scrimmage, we went to see a dog at the humane society. This dog was a precious little thing that someone posted a picture of on my Facebook timeline.  We loved this dog right away.  We’ve never been to the humane society.  Olivia, Zeke and I were super excited to go, because we just love dogs about more than anything else I can think of.  But, guess what?  The humane society isn’t a happy place.  We couldn’t get the dog we saw, because Reggie needs to be neutered.  I know. I know.  You’re going to tell me we should have done that already.  Let’s talk about that later.

Right now, I want to tell you that if you think going to the humane society sounds like a neat thing to do some time, you need to know it isn’t.  I’m not sure why I didn’t know that.  The humane society, by definition, is a place for dogs without homes.  Each dog is contained in a little pen, and they bark and bark and bark.  Olivia and I made the mistake of going back and seeing these dogs.  We couldn’t talk for an hour after we saw these dogs.  We were both so sad.

Olivia’s channeling her sadness by making plans for a her future.  She’s going to start her own shelter where the dogs have much more comfortable accommodations.  She said she is going to also provide care and activities for kids with special needs to interact with these dogs.  She seems really passionate and certain.  I asked her if I could come work for her, and she said she was already planning on it.  Maybe that trip to the humane society wasn’t wasted after all.

Saturday night, the boys were gone, and Scott built a fire for Olivia and me.  Do you know how lazy I am in the evenings?  Really, really lazy.  I have a lot of friends who get very productive in the late evenings.  I don’t.

We sat by the fire and watched, “Nebraska”.  Have you seen that movie?  The whole thing is in black and white.  I thought it would annoy me, but it didn’t.  We really liked this movie.  Even Scott said it was very good.  I don’t remember the last time Scott gave a movie a favorable review.  The main character in “Nebraska” was a nice guy, and he did nice things without expecting anything nice in return.  What’s not to like about that?  It was really nice.

I was thinking that after the movie I should probably try to be productive, but then I decided I’d better lay on the couch some more.  I read my book, and I watched Olivia and Scott perform.  They were dancing to, and singing “Fancy”, by Ziggy Azalea.  They wouldn’t stop, even when I asked them to, and that’s why I think they deserve to have me post part of their performance. I wish you could have seen the whole thing.

I know you’re going to tell me you didn’t know Scott was such a good singer.  Well, he is. He’s thought about pursuing a singing career.  It’s just that we kind of need his insurance.

Sunday we went to church, watched Olivia play basketball, and Zeke and Olivia decorated the tree.  Eddie and Scott are the world’s worst at celebrating holidays.  I don’t know how to make them care, because the really just don’t.  I’m not sure if that’s something they can take medicine for, or if they just are going to live the rest of their lives like that, but they seem happy enough.

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So, I guess that’s that.  You know Christmas is coming at us like a freakin’ freight train.   I think someone should embroider THAT saying on a holiday pillow.  I’d totally buy one of those.

Parent Teacher Conference Fail

This week we had parent teacher conferences.  I’d like to tell all the parents with young children out there this: whatever your teacher said about your kindergarten child this year, is only a slightly different version of the same speech you will hear from your child’s High School teachers. I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard this before, but leopards can’t change their spots.  You got what you got, sister.

That blonde, curly haired, black eyed cutie pie that got in trouble for entertaining his friends by squatting like a monkey on the toilet in Kindergarten,  WILL be getting in trouble for  wearing an obscene wrestling singlet under a robe, which he unveils during a high school Spanish presentation.  Just a couple of vague examples here.  I wouldn’t know anything about a kid like this.  I just know you’ve got your hands full.

I kinda know what my kids’ teachers are going to say about my kids before they even say it.

I told Scott that maybe I wouldn’t go to conferences this year.  He’s a teacher, and he thought that idea wasn’t a good one.  So, I went.  Or, at least I tried to go.

At some point in the busy week, Olivia was shoving this paper in my face.  “Sign up for conferences, Mom.”  I did.  Olivia told me what time and day I signed up for, and I told myself I’d remember.

Only, I didn’t remember. That must come as quite a shock to you.  I’m sorry for that.

I called the school on the day of conferences to ask them to confirm the time I should be there.  The person at the front office nicely said, “Your conference time is 5pm. Yesterday.”

What?  Olivia told me the wrong night.   It’s not like her to be wrong about the details.  She lives for that stuff.  If she’s not careful, I’m not going to let her be in charge of my calendar any more.

I asked the person in the front office which teacher my conference was with, assuming I had actually been there.  The front office person said the teacher I needed to see depended on which “team” Olivia was on, “A” or “B”.   She rattled off some teachers’ names.  I pretended to know which teachers Olivia had, because what kind of parent doesn’t know that?  I’m better than that.

Front office person says, “Oh, then your conference was with Ms. so and so.”

Great.  I knew what to do next.   I crafted a clever, humble and kind email to Olivia’s teacher. I let Olivia’s teacher know how sorry I was for standing her up at the conferences.   I explained that Olivia was enjoying school very much, and to please let us know if there were any concerns, or anything we could to do help.  I think I made some attempt at being witty towards the end of the email, and then, of course, thanked the teacher for all her dedication and hard work as it pertains to our daughter.

That night I told Olivia about the missed conference.  I told her I was a little surprised that she had the wrong date, but it wasn’t a problem, because I sent a long and nice email to her teacher, Ms. So and so.

Olivia said, “What?  Ms. So and So isn’t even my teacher!  Why would you do that?  MISTER So and so is my teacher.”

There you have it.  A story on how to fail at conferences.  I hope you feel better about who you are today.

Generally speaking, my kids are being responsible students, and enjoying school.  Can we just leave me out of it?  I don’t think I’m helping.

You know what else I’m not winning at?  Dieting.

I had this loony idea that it would be fun to have  a family weight loss contest with my sisters and their adult children.  6 weeks to see who could lose the most weight.  Final weigh off is on Thanksgiving.  Winner takes home about about 80 bucks.

Here are my before and afters:

walking posterabs

You can see that I’ve really leaned out here.  Which is cool, because I didn’t even know I could look better than I already did.  Scott’s so bad with technology.  I can’t believe he cut my head out of the after shot.  Plus, he caught me right in the middle of measuring my waist, silly.  How do you use a tape measure again?   They’re tricky.

All participating family members are self-reporting.  We’re on the honor system.  Suckers.

Some of my family members are reporting 5 pound, 7 pound and 10 pound weight losses.  I have lost 8 pounds.  Or, .8 (point 8), actually.  Who wants to get all bogged down with decimals?  I just like to keep things simple.  .8, round up to 8.  Simple.

Uhggg!!!  Losing weight is so hard.

I know what you’re thinking.  You’re healthy, Miki.  Be grateful for the body God gave you, Miki. You already look A.MAY.ZINGGGG, Miki!!!!  Well, the first two things, anyway.  I just like having goals, and I like being on the lower end of the 10 pound swing my body finds most comfortable.  The older I get, the more naturally my body settles on the upper end. Plus, I have my fitness modeling career to think about. I haven’t gotten it off the ground yet, but I have always thought this could be a real money maker for us.

Some of my family members are doing some well thought out weight loss programs.  My program is one I made up.  It’s two steps: no cream in my coffee and no potato chips.  So far, I have not used cream in my coffee…on some of the days.   I think I’m getting awfully close to not eating potato chips too, and I certainly should get credit for that. Have you had potato chips lately?  They are so good.  I mean,  seriously good.  Especially when you’re jamming them in your mouth while you make dinner.

Anyway…I made up the stupid contest, so I can change the rules.  I think I’m changing the rules to, I win.

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