Sunday, May 31, 2009
½ box spaghetti (1/2 lb)
bread crumbs (2 slices worth if you make your own)
½ - 1 T parsley
½ - 1 T garlic
½ - 1 t salt
Cook spaghetti and drain as usual. Toss everything together. Serve.
Yeah, I’m aware this is a really desperate attempt at a meal, but , heck, sometimes you’re desperate.
Papa Bear returned from his “business” trip to Florida with these guys. The three little ones are his own. The big one was the captain’s condolence prize. A great time was had by all participants…except maybe the ones who got sick and hurled overboard (Papa Bear was not among the lilly-livered).
Friday, May 29, 2009
T-Bear, obviously, has had the largest load to carry. I knew the honeymoon of post-illness “grateful to be alive and feeling good” would pass, and it has. He’s gone from saying “thank you for taking good care of me” after I poke him, to resisting the testing and injections. I can’t blame him. It sucks. And, because of his APD challenges, he’s becoming more non-verbal in expressing his stress. Wining, groaning, whimpering, writhing, crying, clinging. All the behaviors that say “I hate this”, and that make stabbing him several times a day more difficult than it already is.
I think it’s time for a vacation. Oh, yeah, we just had one. Oh, yeah, we’re supposed to still be on one (except for poor Papa Bear). So, why are we not relaxing and enjoying ourselves and one another? Just after Orlando, I had a brief glimpse of a vision of what our family life could be like if I gave up constantly trying to “improve” everything about us. Relaxed, joyful, fun, loving, curious, active. But, then I got sucked back into my efficiency mentality, the long list of what I “should” be doing. What we, as a family, “should” be doing. Ick. The “shoulds” sure are joy suckers.
I think it’s time for me to step back from the “to do” list (after I finish reconciling bank statements), and focus on relaxed, fun, loving time with the family. We could all use it. Of course, that doesn’t mean I can’t still collect and dump one bag of trash from the house per day, does it? :)
My favorite part of this has been the paper shredder. We used to have one of those dinky little things that sits on top of a trash can, designed mostly for home use, I’m sure. But several months ago we got a real-live getting-down-to-business shredder, one that comes with its own receptacle, and is serious enough it can destroy things like credit cards (woohoo!). While our timid little former shredder frequently got jammed and required meticulously picking bits of paper out of its teeth with tweezers to get running again, our new shredder, so far, has stood up very well to my jubilant feeding of it. I am hoping for a long, happy life together.
So, why do I like shredding so much? Brother Bear is a collector. Of everything. Including junk mail. And, it’s rubbed off on Angel Bear. If a catalog makes its way into the house, one or the other of them inevitably must keep it. Indefinitely. And, like most people I know, we get a number of catalogs. Some we get multiple copies of. And I always end up picking them up from wherever they were left. Several times. And, I can’t throw them away, because they must be kept. If I slip them into the trash, I am often found out and angrily confronted with my transgression.
But, if an item finds its way into the shredder, then it’s gone. Permanently. Forever. There’s no getting it back. And if I’m sneaky enough, no one else in the house will know it even existed. What does this mean? It means I will never spend one single additional moment of my precious life dealing with that item. I am completely freed from it. From the entanglement, from the arguments, from the dilemma of whether or not it is worth holding onto. No issue. No stress. The decision has been made, and it is indelible. It’s actually very liberating. And, we’re using the shreddings for the bunny hutch, so it’s being recycled.
Ah, the joy of shredding… Just be sure no one sees you doing it.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
What I like about this book is Walsh doesn’t just say “get rid of a bunch of stuff”, he takes you through a step-by-step, room-by-room program and guides you through the process of dealing with all your stuff. And, he starts in a somewhat unexpected place by asking “what is your vision for your life?”, and then moves on to developing a vision for each room of your home, developing functional zones for each room, and then determining whether or not each item in the room supports the vision. Anything that doesn’t support the vision for that room needs to be removed. Period.
The other thing Walsh points out is, the amount of stuff you can have is limited by the amount of space in the home you live in. Right now. This minute. Period. So, you have to set limits on the amount of stuff you will allow in your home, designate areas and spaces for specific stuff, and then pare down to fit in that limit. And then, “one in, one out”. For each new item you bring into your home, you have to let go of an existing item of similar size or type. Period. If you have two bookcases, all of your books have to fit onto those two bookcases. Today. Right now. And, if they are completely filled, then when you bring home a new book, you have to let go of one. Period. Immediately. It’s the only way to defeat the clutter creep.
I got Angel Bear's room cleaned up the other day (for those who saw it on Saturday night, you know it took a while!). I worked with Brother Bear yesterday on assigning specific purposes to zones in his room, so we can get a start. And, my closet is on the hit-list this week as well. I’m trying not to take on too much at once, but still make some progress. Dare I hope we master the garage this weekend?
Sunday, May 24, 2009
This outfit pretty much embodies
How many shades of green? Our beloved magnolia tree is tempting us with the threat of blooming. It should be spectacular.
Dropletts on the hydrangia.
2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
2/3 cup soy sauce
1 cup chopped green onion
1 T garlic powder
You're supposed to marinade for 24 hours, but ours only stewed for about 8 hours (we use the zip-loc baggie method). Do the whole day-before bit, and it will be even yummier than it was last night. It should sit on the grill for about 45 minutes to cook slowly through. Slice into ribbons to serve.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
BREAD – BASIC YEAST
In small saucepan over low heat, mix
1 c water
1 c milk
¼ cup butter (1/2 stick)
Bring to baby bottle temperature, and remove from heat. In mixing bowl, mix together
3 c flour
3 T sugar
1T + 1t yeast
1 t salt
Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix. Continue adding flour slowly until it forms a ball. Turn out onto floured surface and knead.
Place back in bowl, spray top lightly with cooking spray, cover with clean cloth, and let rise approximately 20 minutes.
Remove from bowl and knead a few times. Form to desired shape, cover with clean cloth, and let rise approximately 20 minutes (I usually give it about 1/2 hour).
Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes.
1 batch makes two loafs.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
I went and calculated his dinner dose, with Papa Bear doing a side-by-side to be sure he could do it, too. And, once again, T-Bear took charge. With Papa Bear and I overseeing, he gave himself the injection using the new rocket device Dr. A gave us. No muss, no fuss, totally in charge. High five, T-Bear!
In the movie "Parenthood", the main character Gil (played by Steve Martin) talks about how rediculous it is for a grown man's entire happiness to be wrapped up in whether or not his 9-year old son catches a pop-fly in a little league game. I know exactly how Gil feels. I was completely bummed out, depressed, and broken hearted today, until T-Bear came through and caught that pop fly. The roller coaster scene at the end of Parenthood says it all. Parenting is an emotional roller coaster. Thank goodness for the highs.
My first real challenge to our new eating was the Sunday before our vacation when David’s cousins came for a visit. His cousins (actually his 2nd cousins) are his mom’s age, from The East, and are a blast. And, I’m pretty sure they’re used to SAD (Standard American Diet). But, I was determined to skip the tried-n-true chip-n-dip appetizers, and present something healthy, yet appealing. I think I did a pretty good job, because most of what I put out (mostly cheeses, fruits and fresh breads) was eaten. We BBQ’d chicken for dinner, and I managed to avoid the usual trappings of the typical American BBQ and serve fresh corn, grilled veggies, black beans, and a knock-out salad with dinner. Oh, and of course, wine. It turns out that one to two glasses of wine each day, with meals, is good for you. Last time I was at the doctor, she told me the recommendation was about three to four glasses per week. So, drink more. It’s good for you.
My next challenge was preparing for our vacation. I packed just about everything wholesome from our fridge into a cooler (I can’t stand to waste food), yanked a bunch of stuff out of the pantry and plopped them into re-usable shopping bags and boxes, and even loaded a bag up with nutritious snacks for the road. It’s kind of an on-going mental exercise to figure out what the next few meals will be, and whether or not I’ve got enough ingredients for it. I even brought along all the ingredients to make banana bread from the bunch of over-ripe bananas that no one will ever eat. Yep, even grabbed the loaf pans, just in case the “fully stocked” kitchen wasn’t. It wasn’t, but I was impressed that it did have a measuring cup and spoons, and a hand mixer.
The BIG CHALLENGE of course came with T-Bear’s diagnosis of diabetes. The first week has been just trying to learn everything I can about timing, dosing, and carb counting. And, what I’ve found is that a lot of “diabetic meals” are just SAD hijacked to reduce the carb count. So, what you end up with is, well, SAD; unhealthy, unappealing food with lower carbs. Now that I’ve just about got my feet back under me, I’m moving back to cooking more and heating up less. I’m determined to get back to cooking real food, slow food, and enjoying the process (gotta knead that lovin’ into every loaf of fresh bread!), and still keep T-Bear (and the rest of us) on a healthy and carb-appropriate diet. I don’t want to fall into the habit of serving Gold Fish for snacks just because I can instantly determine the carb count by reading the nutrition panel. I can do better than that, and so far I’ve been managing about half-n-half; instant snacks half the time, and healthy prepared snacks half the time. As I type, I’ve pulled two baguettes fresh from the oven cooling for lunch, in glorious anticipation of apple/cheddar sandwiches. I’ve never baked the bread fresh before, but the sandwiches served on store-bought “fresh” baguettes have been a hit, so I’m hopeful this will work out.
So, this time around on our trip to Orlando, I had Papa Bear run into the drug store and pick up four sets of bands. He even found some kid-sized bands with funky neon colors. Once again, I was able to keep myself occupied (and, in fact, typed up the notes for this post in the car) without the least bit of motion sickness. It worked great for the kids, too. Gotta love that.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I have to fax T-Bear’s numbers to Dr. A every morning for a couple of weeks, so Doc can track his numbers and make adjustments if necessary. Papa Bear has a fax machine in his home office, but it’s not working. So with a little tutoring from Papa Bear, I managed to scan the document and use Call Wave to fax from my computer. I got a voice mail a couple of hours later confirming the fax, and letting us know no adjustment was needed today. Whew. I just figured out the calculations, and not ready to change them again quite yet.
After breakfast began the Parachute Development Program, which progressed through two models before Papa Bear was content with the design. The final deployment was, I think, successful. At least the LEGO man attached didn’t break an ankle.
T-Bear’s medical ID bracelet came today. Papa Bear snipped out a couple of links to adjust the fit (he’s very handy that way), and T-Bear doesn’t seem to mind wearing his new jewelry.
I've pretty much got my "stuff" all together in one place in the kitchen for figuring, calculating, testing, dosing and recording, plus mundane things like the grocery list. And, of course, the all-important background Mozart or Beethoven on the iPod player.
Mama Bear's Mission Control
Papa Bear is back on his feet, and had his first lesson in testing and dosing before bed time snack. Only a couple more nights of 2:00 am tests. Looking forward to sleeping through the night again (except for the usual insomnia).
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
I was up at 6:30 am (early for me), wrangled T-Bear out of bed by 7:00 am (very early for him), dressed, fed and out the door by 7:30 am to meet his new endocrinologist, Dr. A. It was an hour drive, half-hour check-in procedure, and an hour meeting with Dr. A, who I liked very much. He put T-Bear on a new insulin and a slightly different routine, which I’m working on mastering. We’re still eating three meals and three snacks, and we’re still testing four times a day. But, instead of mixing insulin, we’re doing one “basal” dose in the evening which keeps his glucose steady for 24 hours, and then doing a rapid insulin before each meal and bedtime. It’s giving us more flexibility in eating times and amounts, which is great; we don’t have to worry so much about sticking to “the schedule”, and snacks won’t be as critical. But, it takes more than a little kitchen math to figure out dosing. One unit for every 20 carbs consumed, plus if his glucose tested over 150 give additional rapid insulin based on the formula (BG-100)/50. Except at bedtime it’s one unit for every 40 carbs, plus (BG-100)/100. Once we get used to it, it should be great.
After the visit with Dr. A, the boys and I headed for the park to meet up with our local homeschool group. Our little group, which was just about five families for the longest time, has been growing here and there, and suddenly it seems we've got eight or nine families gathering each week. It's been great to see the rapidly expanding gaggle fo kids running around. (Thanks, S, for playing chauffeur for us).
Dr. A is being more agressive about getting T-Bear's numbers down where they should be, and the new dosing should do that. The transition was a little screwy; T-Bear was very hungry after lunch, and his glucose spiked in the later afternoon which made him even more hungry. We managed to get him a heafty dose of insulin and a nice plate of pasta a little earlier than our planned dinner time, and he felt much better. It's odd how much glucose affects his mood and stress level. But, we started the new basal insulin this evening, so hopefully things will level out for him.
Papa Bear was it hit with a nasty respiratory bug on Sunday, but was feeling a bit better today. Hopefully he’ll be back on his feet in another day or so, and I’ll be able to teach him the routine. In the mean time, the boys and I are on “vacation” for at least a couple of weeks more, setting aside studies in favor of free time. I’ve even bowed out of my on-line book discussion group for a while. I feel like focusing on relationships will be very important right now for everyone. Simplify and de-stress, and try to enjoy one another as much as possible. Not a bad way to spend a few weeks with family.
Monday, May 18, 2009
My other challenge has been getting meals and snacks served up and eaten in a timely manner. It's taking me longer to put a meal together, with all the counting and measuring, so meals have been getting tardier and tardier. T-Bear has to wait at least 2 hours after eating his snack before I can do a glucose test, or the test will read high. So meals have ended up being pushed back. We ended up eating dinner at 9:00 last night, which means T-Bear and I had to be up until 11:00 pm for his last test and snack. I'm determined to do better today.
So, off to start breakfast....
Sunday, May 17, 2009
After our shared snack (well, my snack was technically just a glass of wine), we snuggled down to sleep. But, I had to do a middle-of-the-night blood test around 4:00 am, which was very upsetting for T-Bear (being poked when he's tired is the worst). And even worse, I had to give him additional insulin because his number was still too high. The pee-ing on a stick thing is almost not worth mentioning in light of the poking part, but we had to do that too. Too many carbs during the day (figuring out carbs on the road and in restaurants is tough for us newbies!), not enough water, and no activity due to being stuck in the car for nine hours, all add up to a high number.
But, he settled back down into sleep fairly quickly. My tormented Mommy Heart couldn't help noticing he did NOT want to snuggle with me as he drifted off, which has never happened before. So, I'm awake, and plotting our strategy for tomorrow (technically, today). Lots of water and as much exercise as we can manage to get the excess sugar out of his system. Hopefully we can avoid the additional injections, and maybe even have a little fun together figuring out how to work the Wii Outdoor Adventure game. Oh, yeah, and I promised to jump on the trampoline with him (my poor, overstressed, already aching lower back will NOT thank me for that by evening).
Hoping to get a few hours of rest (dare I even hope for sleep?) before I need to get up and make breakfast...
Saturday, May 16, 2009
We managed to get packed up and out of the resort by about 12:30 pm, despite the added complication trying to get T-Bear into a new routine and working to overcome his fear of needles. Papa Bear even managed to take the boys down to the activity area and get a caricature made of them.
So, here we are, blessedly home. I’ve got a huge pile of laundry to do tomorrow, lots of stuff to put away, a huge pile of medical stuff to figure out where to store, and a new routine to establish for the family. But still, it’s good to be home.
Friday, May 15, 2009
T-Bear is now dependent on me for his care, and believe me that is intimidating. I'm pretty sure I've got a handle on the basics of everything involved in management, but don't I like having the phone number of the Orlando endo docs, and knowing they generally call back within ten minutes. I tested that this evening at dinner time, needing a clarification on whether to use the rapid dose in addition to the regular mixed dose, or only use the rapid dose when not doing the regular mixed dose. Yep, Dr. Banks called back within ten minutes and was patient with my nervous question. Not only that, the doctor's message service called me back to confirm that the on-call doctor had gotten back to us. THAT is excellent service!
Tucking in for the night. Looking forward to our own beds tomorrow night.
Now, in light of T-Bear’s illness, eating well is no longer just a matter of keeping each member of my family “healthy enough”, it has become a matter of controlling a serious disease in one of my children. It’s no longer optional. My challenge will be creating meals that support T-Bear’s prescribed food intake in a way that will be tasty, enticing, and using as many “whole” foods as possible. So, I’ll probably be writing more about food and diet as our family makes this transition, since this will be one of our biggest challenges, and posting some of my initial thoughts on diet from a couple of weeks ago. Odd how our paths progress, isn’t it?
Kim from Child Life came by to play with T-Bear, gave him his own “Me Doll” with medical supplies. She talked to him about diabetes, then they set an IV and give meds to the doll, did a finger prick, and insulin shot. Then, after a snack, we went upstairs to the play room for a game of LINGO (hospital Bingo) with half a dozen other kids. William got a prize, a nifty little flying gizmo, and we headed back to his room for a little rest. He needed one more tiny dose of insulin before lunch, but ate just about everything on his 3-carb plate (that’s a lot!), and we’re just waiting for our last meeting with Sarah, and for the doctor’s okay to exit the building. As nice as everyone has been, we’re both looking forward to getting out of here.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
A great big “thank you” for all of the offers of support and assistance, and all of the prayers and good thoughts. It’s going to be an adjustment for all of us, most particularly for Thunder Bear, but I’m confident we will transition and move forward. Thunder Bear has an excellent chance of living a long, healthy, full life, and there are technologies which should become available in the next few years which will make on-going management even easier. We are blessed to have access to excellent medical care.
Signing off for now….
The hospital staff has been fabulous. Thunder Bear has been very well taken care of, and everyone has been very friendly, attentive, and supportive. We are blessed to have received such great care.
Thunder Bear was transferred to the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, where I joined him around midnight to give Papa Bear time to rest and spend time with the other boys. (Thank you, nurse Scott, for taking such good care of us). By the time IV treatment had been started on Wednesday, Thunder Bear’s blood sugar had spiked above 500, but he responded very well to treatment. By this morning at 8:00, his blood sugar had dropped to 238, which is right where Doctor Banks, our endocrinologist, wants it to be at this stage of treatment. He looks and is feeling better this morning, though still very tired and a little nauseous. Our day nurse, Maureen, hopes he will be feeling well enough to get up and around a bit this afternoon, and possibly spend some time in the play room with the play therapist. The plan is to keep him on IV insulin until around dinnertime, at which point the nurses will train me to test and administer his on-going care. I will probably be meeting with the nutritionist today, and the diabetes educator tomorrow. We are hoping he will be released from the hospital tomorrow (Friday), and that we can return home on Saturday as planned.
I will continue to post updates here as events unfold.
Monday, May 11, 2009
After a short pit-stop along the side of Challenger Memorial Parkway….
…and a little entertainment in the car…
After a bit of wandering about in the Hall of Fame exhibits, and a ride on the shuttle time-warp ride, we zipped outside to see, hear, and feel the launch. Even from ten miles away, though we couldn’t see the launch pad, it was perfectly clear exactly how fast the shuttle was moving, shooting through the clouds and into space.
Then back inside for a bit more exploring, where Brother Bear, Angel Bear and I squeezed into a capsule.
The most important thing I learned today? Astronauts have to be small people. I barely fit into the capsule’s seat. Long-ways, I mean.
On tap for tomorrow: Up early for a tour of the Resort, during which some poor salesman is going to try to sell us a timeshare. Then back to Kennedy Space Center to explore the Visitors’ Center.
So, after the movie, we went back to the rooms for a bit, where the guys presented me with some nice Yankee Candle Company candles. Then Papa Bear took the kids to the pool, while I hung out for some quiet time. After a dinner of pizza, the kids played Line Rider for a couple of hours on my laptop, making a special slide just for me for Mother’s Day. A laid-back evening, a nice bottle of wine. Contentment.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Okay, maybe more than one thing...
This film was f-ing AWESOME! Even if you never had any interested whatsoever in Star Trek, even if you're not into SciFi, even if you can even just barely tolerate big, bold, techie type movies - you will LOVE, I mean LOVE this film! The BEST Star Trek EVER!
Go see it, go see it, go see it, rah, rah, rah!
Who's comin' with me?!? I gotta go again! (Oh, yeah, I'm in Orlando...and you're not...shoot!).
Just kidding. We sat on the patio, which is right on the lake, just next to the ferry launch. It had cooled off enough to be pleasant under the ceiling fans. Although the inside was interesting and exciting, I think it would have proved overwhelming for me and for the tired Cubs...waaaay too much noise and stuff going on! The staff was fabulous, especially our waitress, and the Margarilla was stupendous. But the food was a little disapointing - I suppose I was expecting a lot better from a $30 meal. After dinner we wandered over to the LEGO store, where the boys each picked up a new kit ('cause you can never have too many LEGOs), then headed home.
The moon was beautiful last night, almost full, and orange. It's been hot, but not unbearable. Thunder Bear has been drinking like a camel, and actually drinking water instead of his one-and-only-beverage-of-choice, milk. He actually got up in the middle of the night to get more water.
The boys are working on their LEGO kits this morning. We're heading for Sea World after breakfast, for most of the day I'm sure. It's gonna' be hot today - a high of 95 is expected before cooling on Tuesday.
Oh, yeah! Happy Mother's Day!
Saturday, May 9, 2009
It’s amazing what a little nail polish can do for a tired mommy’s soul…
Papa Bear had to run down to the registration desk to get a new card key. Apparently it got too close to his cell phone, or wet, or something. By the time he got back, the kids were practically begging to dive into the platter of tortellini and shrimp on the table. Yum! After dinner, Papa Bear ventured out to Downtown Disney in search of a nice cigar, which he found, and enjoyed.
That wrapped up Friday for us.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Angel Bear - "This is the perfect pose, Mommy!" I obliged.
6 eggs, beaten
1/4 yellow bell pepper, diced small
fresh rosemary, finely chopped
salt & pepper
Done up like scrambled eggs. They were yummy! Angel Bear ate up every bite. We won't discuss his brothers.
Oh, yeah. I’ve got another blog, which is part of a homeschooling community. There’s some stuff from over there that I’ll re-post over here (I’ll indicate it as a TJEd post in the header so you can skip it if you’ve already read it over there). “So”, you are asking, “why don’t you just post this vacation stuff on your existing blog?” Well, because that blog is pretty specific to the type of homeschooling we do, and that community is pretty conservative, and probably doesn’t want to hear about our vacation or what I’m cooking for dinner tonight. Not that you do, either, but then, you wouldn’t be here, would you?
Off we go….
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Brother Bear is one of the most independent, self confident, and adventurous kids I know. Nothing seems to intimidate him. So, I guess I was a little surprised to see him so upset, not because he goofed and forgot where our room was, but because, in his words, he couldn’t find us. He called for us, and we weren’t there. For ten long minutes, he did not have his family, and that scared and upset him. Independence AND strong family bonds. That’s an unbeatable combination.
Also, the thermostat in our room was set at 62 degrees when we walked in. It took two hours for the temperature to rise to a comfortable (for us) level.
We also saw a dead armadillo on the side of the road, but we’ve got those in Georgia, too.
Can’t wait til tomorrow when we find out exactly how warm 90 degrees in Florida is.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Just knowing that relief was soon to come, he stopped crying as we reached the clinic, and only whimpered a few times while we were waiting to be seen. It was clear the pain had diminished significantly because he actually dozed for a few minutes on the exam table, with his head resting on my lap, his arm resting on the ice pack. Bless the staff, when I asked if he could be seen immediately, they got us right in (despite the one hour wait), and had his arm dressed and us out of there within about half an hour. By then, he was no longer crying, and not in nearly as much pain. He didn’t even need the codeine the clinic prescribed. But, it was nice to have it available, just in case.
I’ve always believed that it was up to the adults to keep calm during any crisis involving a child or children. So often I see parents at the park panicking or over-reacting to a child’s minor bumps or scrapes, and wonder what would happen if the child were actually, seriously injured. Most kids, I think, take their cues from their parent’s reaction. Is this bad? How bad? Should I be crying? Screaming and writhing? Or, is this something that hurts now, but is going to be okay in a little while? I think Papa Bear and I have done a pretty good job of keeping calm in a variety of parental-angst-inducing situations, including Brother Bear climbing 15 ft up the magnolia tree in our front yard. And I think, overall, the kids have benefitted from our mild responses. Angel Bear could have very easily panicked and become hysterical when he burned himself, but he didn’t. He cried, but he stayed very calm. He’s going to always remember the day he was burned by the noodle soup, and he’ll probably always be more cautious in the kitchen (which is a good thing). But he’s not been traumatized by the event, and that’s the most important part for me, and I think for him.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
The first shop I walked into, The Gap, two nice salespersons greeted me. I told them I was looking for some casual shorts with a natural waist. They had no idea what a “natural waist” was. Wrong shop; everything they had was pretty far below the belly button, just barely covering the Netherlands.
The second shop I walked into, Banana Republic, I was a little more hopeful because the sales lady seemed to be about my age, and she knew what a natural waist was. But the shorts she pointed me toward were just not going to do. She was kind enough to lie to me and say “they look cute”, but I know better.
Now I was desperate enough to walk into Ann Taylor Loft, telling myself that if I had to pay a little more for clothes that fit, I would just have to do that. I was greeted by a very nice sales lady, she understood what I was looking for, and had some appropriate shorts. But, even better, there were dresses and skirts and tops that a Real Woman could actually wear. I don’t think I’ve ever tried on more outfits in one shopping trip as I did yesterday. And, a lot of stuff actually FIT and looked pretty good, considering the shape it was covering. It was awesome.
So, here’s where the panic set in. One of the dresses I grabbed to try on, a little halter thing, was a little tight getting over my shoulders. There was no zipper up the back to undo, so I assumed that it would go on over the top (after all, it was a large, so it should fit), which I managed – just barely – to do. It was not quite what I had in mind, putting more emphasis on places I’d rather not emphasis just now (the term “tent” came to mind), so after a quick mental “nope”, I proceeded to pull it off the same way it came on. Except, it wouldn’t come off. I couldn’t get it up over my bosom, much less my shoulders (which are a bit broad for a lady). I had the skirt over my head, my arms criss-crossed in front of my face, tugging on the waistband to try to get it up, and it just was not coming up. And, it was a well-built garment, so it wasn’t giving any. I was stuck. Really.
At this point, I had a decision to make. 1) Rip the dress trying to get it off, sheepishly explain what happened to the nice sales lady (who had taken the trouble to actually introduce herself to me and ask my name), and pay for it. 2) Buy the dress and wear it out of the store, and bolt home where I could cut it off with scissors. 3) Ask the sales lady for help. While I was weighing my options, I caught sight of myself in the mirror and immediately rejected option #3. While I was struggling between option #1 and option #2, and still struggling with the dress, it suddenly occurred to me that there might be a zipper on the side. I managed to sneak a peek under my still upraised left arm and, sure enough, there was a zipper there, which I barely managed to reach and unzip. Whew. I’m not as oversized as I thought I was. And, the sales lady didn’t have to see me in my winter padding and old lady undies (and nothing else, since it was a halter dress).
As it turns out, everything worked out well in the end. I found some really nice skirts and tops and dresses that will get me through summer (and more importantly, vacation), and they were having a buy-one-get-one-free sale on the entire store, so everything was a relative bargain. And, I didn’t have to wear an unflattering dress out of the store. The Shopping Fairies were with me this day, bless ‘em.
So, yes, I embarked on a radical change in our eating, much to the chagrin of my husband (who is trying to be a good sport about it) and children (who are not). I recently finished listening to the audiobook of In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, which I highly recommend. He talks about the development of the food industry and “nutritionism”, and why it’s been so unhealthy for all of us. He points out that being compulsive about reading labels and listening to the advice of diet experts has not made us healthier, but has made us sicker, and explains why. And, he strongly encourages returning to a “native” diet – ANY native diet – for the sake of our health, and explains pretty clearly why those diets seem to work best. That was enough of a nudge for me to run out and buy some herb, tomato and pepper plants, and make a small kitchen garden in the front of the house.
I also pulled out my copy of French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano for some recipes and inspiration, hit the grocery store and loaded up my basket with fresh (okay, semi-fresh) foods, and started cooking. And, we’re moving back to having regular, sit-down meals. Between the real food that doesn’t look or smell or taste like the old food, and the quickly dwindling supply of manufactured snacks in the pantry, I’m pretty sure there’ll be a rebellion pretty soon (unless hubby sneaks out to the grocery store). Thankfully, we’ll have the buffer of our vacation coming up. If I plan things out right, we can have a blending of prepared meals and eating-out meals, and coming home we can hunker down into the “this is how we eat at home” mentality. Although, I’ve not ruled out the possibility of armed resistance.