#NaBloPoMo Day 27: What Happened at Thanksgiving

It’s the 27th day of November and the 27th day of NaBloPoMo.  While today’s theme is supposed to be Christmas, I’m going rogue and talking about our disastrous Thanksgiving instead.  Don’t forget to read yesterday’s post about how Hubby and I went rogue and bought a house without seeing it in person!

When I designed my list of NaBloPoMo themes, I thought I might use today to talk about Christmas, because I am one of those people who gets into the Christmas spirit early.  Like, let’s get Halloween and Thanksgiving out of the way already so we can make some fucking Christmas cookies!  (And if you’re a celebrate-Christmas-before-Thanksgiving-er, more power to you!)

But today, instead of looking forward to Christmas, I find myself reflecting on how this past Thanksgiving was something of a disaster.  Before your imagination runs away with you, let me just say that most things food-related turned out really well (with a gravy exception discussed below).  So why was our Thanksgiving so disappointing?  Would it give it away if I suggested we rename it Pukesgiving?

Half of us got a horrible, pukey, 24-hour stomach bug.  It all started when I heard my sister-in-law (SIL) puking in the bathroom on Friday night.  She puked twice and then had a headache and chills.  Then I woke up at about 1am Saturday morning and vomited my brains out.  I threw up 4 more times before actual morning.  And then Ell-Bell barfed all over herself and our bed at about 3am.  And at 4am Hubby spewed an unbelievable amount of his insides out, developed the most violent shivers I’ve ever seen, and then buried himself deep under the covers and became totally dead to the world.  When K-Man woke up for the day at 7am, he said his tummy hurt.  Uh oh.  Over the next 8 hours, he managed to chuck on the rug, the sofa, and the kitchen floor.  Who knew two-year-olds had so much room in their tummies?

I continued to vomit every 1-2 hours for the first half of Saturday, and then I felt like death warmed over for the rest of the day.  Hubby was only out of bed between the hours of 11am and 6pm, and when he was up, he was pretty much just sitting on the couch moaning and shivering.  We have no idea what happened to make us all so sick.  Food poisoning is one potential culprit, but we couldn’t isolate anything that only the sick folks ate, so who knows.

It was pretty brutal, though.  There we were with guests who had come all this way to see us, and we could barely function enough to keep our kids alive, let alone be good hosts.  And if I’m being completely honest, I was pretty bitter that Hubby just helped himself to bed, leaving me solely responsible for our two little vomiting munchkins.  Have you ever tried to clean up toddler vomit alone while keeping a crawling and curious baby at bay?  All while trying to soothe your own ever-increasing urge to barf?

On the bright side, I lost 3 pounds in a day!

Aside from the pukefest, there were the inevitable awkward interpersonal shenanigans that just made the whole weekend kind of uncomfortable.  Caution, major vent sesh ahead.

My SIL and her husband (BIL) would not stop with their miserable bickering.  It was kind of my fault that they weren’t getting along to begin with.  We were talking about BIL’s little brother, and I mentioned something about the brother’s fairly unusual and newly-diagnosed medical condition.  Well, unbeknownst to me, I wasn’t supposed to know about said medical condition.  So BIL really let SIL have it about telling secrets that were not hers to tell.  Never one to leave a damsel in distress, I rushed to her defense: “To be fair, I think I heard about it from [SIL’s dad].”  And then BIL proceeded to flip out because he didn’t know that SIL had told her dad about it either.  So, yeah, I was super helpful there.

But they kept up with their fighting all weekend, and it was majorly uncomfortable.  SIL was a grumpy buttface and treated BIL like dirt, and BIL made no effort to tone down his “go fuck yourselfs” in front of us or the kids.  I have never had to change the subject so much in my life!

BIL was also weirdly combative with Hubby and me about things that just don’t matter. Like, why didn’t we have a baby gate at the top of our stairs?  What if K-Man suddenly developed a sleep walking habit and fell down the stairs in the middle of the night?  Why did K-Man’s training potty have a liftable top lid on it? What was that for?  And back when I had a job, why did I choose to eat breakfast at work instead of at home?  BIL also insisted on taking charge of the gravy for the Thanksgiving meal because “Americans don’t know how to do gravy right” (he’s from the UK).  Guys, he totally wrecked it.  It tasted like watered-down Turkey butt.  While that may be the approximate technical definition of gravy, can I kindly introduce you to my two friends, salt and butter?  I wouldn’t hold it against him if he hadn’t thrown out the whole “Americans don’t know how to…” business.

Also, K-Man and my nephew did not get along.  At all.  Which we expected because they’re both two, and when you’re two, you couldn’t give any shits about caring through sharing.  But my god, could 3 seconds go by before they were both screaming and rolling on the floor, wrestling over a stupid toy that neither one of them wanted to use only moments before?  And of course both sets of parents had to run to the rescue, and there were all kinds of awkward politics as we tried not to directly accuse the other couple’s child of being a complete asshole.

Finally, SIL and BIL just made themselves a little too at home for my taste.  The kind of petty stuff that shouldn’t bother normal people, but I have trouble letting go:

  • SIL decided it would be fun to let her son do sensory play with a bowl full of cranberries on our floor.  She made no effort to clean up or apologize when he spilled them everywhere, stepped on them, peeled them, and smushed them into our carpets.  What the fuck?
  • My nephew was completely naked from the waist down approximately 79% of the time.  Too much baby penis for me.  And maybe you could have your kid put some pants on before he rubs his bare butt all over my furniture?
  • My SIL’s bra broke and she had to borrow one of mine for the rest of the visit.  Is it just a little bit weird that she only brought one bra?

Okay okay.  Petty complaints aside, it really was good to see family for a few days.  And SIL and BIL really stepped up to the plate when Hubby and I were drowning in puke on Saturday.  My SIL even cleaned up one of K-Man’s vomit piles.  That’s the real deal.

Nevertheless, this introvert is exhausted and ready to recharge alone at home for a few days.

Until next time,

Vee

Losing It with the Whole30 (#NaBloPoMo Day 25)

The end is sort of nigh, my friends!  It’s NaBloPoMo Day 25, and today’s theme is Diet.  Don’t forget to read yesterday’s post if you want to know more about my gluttonous shopping habits.

Thanksgiving is over, and the massive stock of leftovers in our fridge is slowly dwindling away.  Honestly, I’m happy to see them go.  If you’re anything like me (aka, have no portion control and eat all the things), you won’t be stepping on the scale for a few days.

Let me just say that I’m all about body positivity, and I’ve worked hard to be happy about my weight over the years, even after my once fantastic metabolism fizzled out at 26.  But! It’s nice to have a diet to resort to here and there when you want to reverse the damage of a particularly gluttonous period, or shave off a few unwanted pounds.

For me, that diet has been the Whole30.

After I had K-Man, I actually lost the baby weight pretty quickly.  The problem was that before I got pregnant with K-Man, I had gained an embarrassing amount of weight.  I’m talking like 20-30 lbs over the course of a year.  Oof.

So I wasn’t happy at my weight and wanted to do something to shave off at least some of those extra lbs.  Exercise wasn’t working, and I didn’t feel awesome about cutting back on the quantity of food I was eating.  Because I was breastfeeding and I was hangry ALL THE TIME.

That’s when I stumbled on the Whole30, a diet that doesn’t restrict how much you eat.  When K-Man was about 8 months old, I decided to give it a try.  It was only a 30-day program, it couldn’t kill me, right?  (Spoiler alert: it didn’t kill me).

Fact: The Whole30 is not easy.  It’s an elimination diet where you pretty much cut out everything that tastes good. I mean everything.  No added sugar.  No dairy.  No grains. No legumes.  No alcohol.  Basically, you’re just eating meat, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and sweet potatoes for 30 days.  (Blech, sweet potatoes, am I right?)  And if you really want to lose more weight, you take it easy on the fruit and nuts.

I struggled epically with the diet, because my normal go-to meals consist of some combination of bread and cheese.  Obvious no-nos on the Whole30.  But I kept going because one rule of the diet is that if you slip up and cheat, you have to start all over again.  Uhm, no thank you!

The first time I did the Whole30, I lost 15 lbs in a month.  Not the most unbelievable amount of weight, but decent considering my frame and how much I had to lose overall.

I did the diet again when Ell-Bell was about 8 months, and it was equally effective.  But this time I threw two cheat days in there.  Because I’m human and because oh my god there were freaking deep fried Reese’s peanut butter cups when we went to the state fair you guys! I’m still fantasizing about those puppies.

On paper the diet is a little inflexible and hippie dippie, but you can take or leave that stuff.  Obviously, the stricter you are, the more weight you’ll lose.  But if you can’t find sugar-free bacon, I don’t think it’s the end of the world if you partake in the real deal. Because bacon.

So what does a day on the Whole30 look like?  Well, there are a ton of officially sanctioned recipes in the book by the people who invented the diet: The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom.  If I’m being honest, while most of those recipes are tasty (my favorites are the Chicken Chowder and the Shepherd’s Pie), I don’t find them super accessible for someone who is cooking challenged or has little free time.  But, still a good source of ideas for fun ways to jazz up meat and veggies.

The more I do the diet, though, the more ok I am with bland, boring food.  It’s only temporary! So I’ll usually just have eggs and avocado or eggs and bacon for breakfast.  A salad with tuna, tomato, avocado, and hard boiled egg for lunch.  And a meat with two veggie sides for dinner.  A Larabar or a handful of almonds with a banana are my go-to snacks.

Skeptical? You should be.  Diets suck! But if your fear is tinged with interest, give it a try! You can always do a Whole7 or a Whole15 to get your feet wet.

Until next time,

Vee

#NaBloPoMo Day 24: Let’s Go To The Mall

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving filled with warmth, family togetherness, and good food.  Now that it’s NaBloPoMo Day 24, the theme is Shopping.  Let’s go to the Mall!

Here in the States, it’s Black Friday, aka, the day of major epic awesome sales in stores nationwide.  These days, it’s not uncommon for Black Friday sales to start on the evening of Thanksgiving.  So folks will finish up their turkey dinners and head out to the stores before they even have time to button their pants back up! Ahh, I love you America.

Truthfully, I’m not much of a Black Friday shopper.  Because people are legit scary out there on this day.  Thank you, internet, for enabling me to take advantage of most Black Friday deals without having to rub elbows with the crazies.  Even though I don’t partake in Black Friday festivities, I do have the shopping bug.  Guys, I have it bad.

I get quite a rush from buying anything, whether necessary or superfluous,  practical or impractical.  Dishwasher detergent from Target? I’m delirious.  New anti-frizz product for my hair?  Yes please.  Even more new dresses for Ell-Bell?  Would love some.  Another Moleskin notebook when I already have 5 and none of them have a single page filled out? Gotta have it!

I’m guessing I inherited my shopping habits from my mom.  She’s the kind of lady who thinks she saved money when she bought something on sale that she wasn’t already planning on buying.  I mock, but here I am years later buying things from Target that I don’t need because I have a coupon for ten cents off.  Yikes. (But guys, I saved ten cents!)

As if my own shopping habits aren’t bad enough, I compounded the problem by marrying another shopaholic.  Hubby, he likes the finer things.  So while I’m out killing us financially by the nickle and dime, he’s browsing the internet for table saws, 900-fill down jackets, and pick-up trucks.

This is all pretty problematic when Hubby and I are somehow supposed to be cutting our expenses down by 75%.  So does that mean all shopping has gone out the window? Honestly, no.  Shopping has always been therapeutic for me, and I can’t bear to give it up completely.  But, I do a lot more near-buys these days.  You know, put it in your cart, walk around with it for a while, and then put it back on the shelf.  What a rush!  I’m living dangerously over here, you guys.

Until next time,

Vee

 

Thankful

Because today is about spending time with family (and stressing my way through hosting Thanksgiving), I’ll keep things brief on this 23rd day of NaBloPoMo.

When I was growing up, my family’s tradition on Thanksgiving was to go around the table and, one-by-one, say what we were each thankful for.  Probably not a very unique tradition, but it did give the day some transcendental meaning.  So in the spirit of nostalgia, here is what I am thankful for over the past year:

  • My cute kids:  Shifting from one to two kids over the past year was a lot harder than I thought it would be, but as low as some of the lows were, the highs were even higher.  I am so blessed to be able to mom these two amazing, adorable, incredible, funny, smart, CUTE FREAKING KIDS.  I need to remember how lucky I am all the time, and not just when I’m feeling sappy at Thanksgiving.
  • My husband: Hubby worked his ASS off this past year.  His 4th year of medical school, the residency interview and match process, his first year of residency.  These are things that drive normal, single medical students insane, and Hubby survived it with a crazy wife and two young kids! He is a super hero (probably sexy sexy Batman, if I get to pick).
  • Our new home: How special is it to be spending this Thanksgiving in our first very own home?  There’s a fire crackling, it’s warm, there’s family, and it smells like delicious-ish food.  This is amazing.
  • Our extended family: Because of Hubby’s crazy schedule and workload, we’ve been pretty delinquent about making the travel rounds this past year.  We are so grateful to our extended family for making the effort to come to us, they’re the real MVPs!
  • This blog: The newest member of our family, haha!  But seriously, though it has only been a month going, I am grateful for this outlet, this newfound hobby, and a few people I’ve gotten to know better through this venue.

Okay, that’s enough sap.  Happy Thanksgiving to all! Go get your Turkey (or Tofurkey) on!

Until next time,

Vee

They’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain (#NaBloPoMo Day 22)

Blue 22! Blue 22! Blue 22! Hut hut hut hut.  It’s the 22nd day of NaBloPoMo, and today’s theme is Visitors.  Speaking of visitors, don’t forget to read all about how my Hubby proposed to me when we were visiting his parents.  (That sequitur tho).

The holidays are upon us, and we’re about to have some visitors up in this piece! Tomorrow, Hubby’s sister (the one with the coveted birth story) and her family will descend upon the #CuteKids household.  We’re not setting any world records here — two adults and two kids — but my anxiety has nevertheless been through the roof for more than a week.  We’re talking crippling, hyperventilating, throat-closing, chest-fluttering anxiety.

Why am I so worked up?  It’s all of the things.  First, I have to cook an entire Thanksgiving meal all by myself.  With no one to watch my two kids while I do it.  Because Hubby will be working and sister-in-law won’t be arriving until right before meal time.  Did I mention I’ve never cooked a turkey before? Sweet Lord help me through this.  At this point, I’m just going to call it a success if I get all of the food cooked and on the table.  I barely even care how it tastes.  (But the pie better be fucking delicious).

And then there’s the cleaning.  My gawd, the cleaning.  With kids, there’s no cleaning ahead of time.  And there’s no cleaning when they’re awake.  So even though I know I can’t do anything about it until after bedtime tonight, I’ve been obsessing about it for weeks.  Mentally running through everything I need to do, trying to make a game plan, wondering if I’ll get it all done in time.  Is there any point to all of this worrying? Nope!

More than anything, though, my anxiety stems from the fact that I’m kind of a turd of a person who doesn’t know how to deal well with other people.  Having even loved ones in my home sends me over the edge because I’m (a) very private and (b) very sensitive to criticism.  I also always expect the worst of guests, and spend weeks ahead of time wondering what invasive or inappropriate behavior they are going to demonstrate.

Is my dad going to comment on my weight?

Is my mom going to criticize us for feeding K-Man mostly just chicken nuggets?

Is my father-in-law going to help himself to windexing the window I already windexed before he arrived?

Is my brother going to stay up all night watching Game Of Thrones and then sleep on the couch the entire next day?

Is my other brother going to get all sweaty on our treadmill and then sit shirtless on our leather chair?

Is my sister going to hold my newborn baby for two hours without giving her back?

Is my sister-in-law going to look the other way every single time the bill comes?

Is my mother-in-law going to take a nap in my bed without asking?

Who knows? Maybe everyone will be on their best behavior (as defined by me, graduate of the None School of Etiquette).  Or maybe they won’t be, but it will be ok, and I just need to CTFO (chill the fuck out).  Wish me luck!

Until next time,

Vee