Reasons My Son’s Not Eating

Some of us are blessed.  Their kids are adventurous.  They will eat all types of foods.  All types of textures.  For some lucky parents, this food can even touch other food. 

Nope.

                     Nope.

We are not blessed in this way.  This is our burden.  Our 8 year old son is a total pain in the ass when it comes to food.  Unless of course, it’s ice cream, then he’s good, but anything else, there are a set of rules that change almost daily.

Therefore, we give you:  THE REASONS OUR SON IS NOT EATING:

1. The pizza has sat out for longer than 5 minutes.

2. The macaroni and cheese is NOT Kraft. Homemade?  Big macaroni noodles?  No go.  Kraft M&C must also not sit on the stove longer than 5 minutes.

3. The noodles are too wide.

4. The noodles are a different color.

5. The noodles are mixed with something.  Anything, even broccoli, which he actually likes.

6. The carrots are mixed with peas.

7. The pizza has bubbles on it.

8. The bread has nuts in it.

9. There’s parsley on it.

10. The grilled cheese has a tiny brown “burn” spot.  (Not really, just browner at that place than he’d like)

11. The jello has fruit in it.

12. It has gravy on it.  Clearly, not my kid.

13. It has any sauce or seasoning on it.

14. It’s breaded with something other than nugget.

15. It touched the ranch.  Which he’s using to dip, but it touched before he’s dipped it.

16. Too much cinnamon on the applesauce.

17.  The carrots have crinkles.

18. It’s leftovers. Of anything. Pizza included.

19. It’s hot dogs. Of any sort.

20. It’s tacos.  Food touching all over the place. And lettuce, don’t forget lettuce. Ick.

21. It’s not the right meatball.

22. The noodles are too wide.

23. The potatoes are mashed.

These are just off the top of my head.  And there are rules on top of that. And if you do find something he likes that is remotely healthy, for the love of God, don’t over serve it.  No more than once every other week.

Now, on the list of Go foods are a few foolproof items, none of which are healthy.

Rolls

PB&J

Ice cream

Candy

Dessert, anything natch.

Every time.

Every time.

And that’s about it.

One might read this and think, “Hell, if that were my kid, I’d make him eat what I give him.”  You, my dear, DO NOT have this kid, because I can guarantee you no parent of a fellow picky eater follows this rule.  We get firm and we choose these food battles fairly often, and sometimes, we do the worst, meanest, most horrible thing a parent can do:  we withhold dessert. For the most part, we desperately try to put something on the table they might just eat a few bites of, but our hopes are dangerously low on the best of days.  We scour the internet, church and family cookbooks, and foolishly click on all the articles about “picky eaters,” but we are always disappointed, because I don’t know anyone whose picky eater will eat “Baked Polenta Fries,” cause mine sure as hell won’t.

Not gonna work bud.

Not gonna work bud.

But we keep on the fighting the good fight.  We pin the hell out of Pinterest.  But, most days, it’s PB&J or nuggets, with the hope that one day, one day soon, they’ll look up and say, “How about Mexican/Italian/Indian food?”

Until then, stay strong picky parents!

Cause he's cute, that's why.

Cause he’s cute, that’s why.

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Birthday Post #2

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So apparently I only write on birthdays.

8 years ago today, in a hospital in Washington DC, I birthed my baby boy.  Well, they surgically removed him, but hey, I was there, and it wasn’t a walk in the park that way either.

We started excited to get up and go that morning to head over to the hospital that was an hour away from our apartment.  We were told to call first to ensure no emergencies had happened that would push the surgery back.  We called and were told that my 11:30 had been cancelled as I had already had the baby via emergency C-section.

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Wait…what?  I looked down.  I was pretty sure I was still pregnant.  Nope, he hadn’t fallen out feet first since that’s the way he was positioned.

Turns out when you have a very generic name, thanks Irish husband, other Jennifers also give birth on that very same day.  Apparently, with the very same birthday as well.  Except for the year.  SHE was older.  But hey, once you verify same name, month and day, the year is just an oversight.  Didn’t matter, this kid was COMING OUT TODAY.  I was done being pregnant.  I hadn’t eaten all day and wanted to meet my son.

So they squeezed us in and by 3 p.m. Bear was born.  It was not fun.  Unknown to me at the time, I had placenta accreta, which meant that my placenta had attached itself to my uterine wall.  Bleck.  So, if my stubborn son hadn’t been feet first and unwilling to move, I would have been in serious trouble after delivery.  So kid, I owe you one.  You saved me that day.

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The birth was just the beginning.  I had spent an immense amount of time reading about MY pregnancy, MY body, MY delivery, and so on, that I kind of overlooked the whole taking care of a brand new person task that was now staring me in the face.  They pulled him out, he gave the best wail I’d ever heard, and my husband looked at me the same way I looked at him.  With wide eyed terror.  What had we just done?!  There was no going back now.  This little person needed us to keep him alive.  What the hell did we JUST DO?

I panicked, like all good mothers.  Realized that the idea of being a mother comes instinctively is total and utter BS.  I had no idea what I was doing.  No instincts kicked in.  I was totally and utterly knocked off my feet.  I guess literally too because the anesthesiologist must have gotten to go home that day, because the idiots left my epidural in for 24 straight hours, which at the time I did not realize was not normal because hey, I was new to this whole motherhood, giving birth thing.

So there I was, numb from the boobs down, trying to take care of my son and be mother of the year just a few hours in.  Mark and my mom were there, but there was no place to sleep, so each night they left me and Bear to drive the hour back to the apartment.  Go ahead, I can handle it I assured them.  I am SUPERMOM!  I can’t feel my feet, but I can take care of this baby by myself!  That was the first time I tried to handle motherhood all by myself and failed miserably.

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By the second night, I hadn’t slept a wink because I was convinced he would stop breathing at any given moment, and tearfully called a nurse at 11:30.  Will you…sniff hiccup sob…take him to the nursery…sob…for just a bit???  Sob hiccup…I’m not a bad mom…hiccup…I swear….hiccup…will you love him if he cries???  She assured me he wouldn’t be ignored in a corner, to get some sleep, and they would bring him to me when it was time to eat.  Sure enough, they did.  I slept a few hours.  He hasn’t gone to therapy yet for the separation, so I think it was ok.

On the third day, they kicked us to the curb and I was happy to go.  I had hubby and mom to support me 24 hours a day and the security and comfort of home waiting for me.

After some bumps in the road, he was breastfeeding well.  Until I got a raging UTI from the catheter being in so long and had to go on some heavy antibiotics for 10 days.  Pump and dump they say.  Sure, no big deal, I’m three days in, I’m a pro.  So, every two hours, I pumped two boobs empty, and dumped that precious tainted gold down the drain.  10 days later, all clear of painful peeing, I went back to nursing my 7 pound bundle of joy.  Who, by the way DID NOT drink the 12+ ounces of boob milk I had been pumping and dumping every 2 hours for 10 days.  I was in so much pain I think I would have fed anyone who asked just for some relief.  I could have seriously supplied much of a third world nation with the supply I was generating.  Needless to say, we got some backup supply while my body and I figured out what he actually needed.

So that was my first 2 weeks of being a first time mother.  How did yours go?  After all that, I wouldn’t trade a day of it.  My son is one of the smartest, funniest, most handsome boys I know.  I am blown away each day at his wit, brains, and thought processes.  He is crafting his own brand of sarcasm that will one day rival my own.  He asks questions that would stump Stephen Hawking, let alone get an answer from me.

We had a rough start at the beginning, but it was well worth the blood, sweat and tears.  He’s my hero.  And one day, we’ll live in his guest house in Malibu, because he loves his parents and wants to share his millions.  Right Bear??

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PS – Trying not to freak out, but I went back to insert pics tonight and couldn’t find anything before 2008.  MARK!!!!  The computer’s broken!!!

Artwork

OK – quick like a bunny. I know, I’ve been gone forever, but I have to read a book for book club (see my Goodreads widget below) by Friday and I just started it. And, like the idiot I am, this introvert volunteered to coach 1st grade boys baseball for the next 8 or so weeks. In the words of my sister, “You have an entire blog devoted to how much you don’t like people, yet you volunteer to coach a team of 1st graders?” Yeah, I don’t get it either, but at least it should provide some entertaining stories to submit unto you all.

But before I get back to my book, here are a few pieces of “art” my beloved children have come up with in the past few days.

1. “The butthole” 2014 Artist: G and Niece E. Media: Draw on Me Kitty Cat.  Because everyone poops.

Butthole

2. “Self Portrait” 2014 Artist: Bear Media: Posterboard and despair*.

Self Portrait

 

*Side Note: Yes, this scared the hell out of me, but we did talk about it and no, this is not how he sees himself. He is just an engineer to the core, finds art a waste of time, just wanted to get it done, all while making himself look bad ass.

Coach Jen Out!

Disney

So, Disney. We took our first trip at the beginning of December and there is so much to tell you, I have been sitting on it for a month.  I have quite a few Disney junkie friends and don’t want to offend, but I also want to give an honest take from a self-diagnosed introvert with anxiety issues, a deep discomfort with large crowds and spending $7 on a Coke.

Before I get started, I will bookend our trip with some of my favorite pics.  First:

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This was pretty much the look on their faces for 7 days.  They were thrilled to be there.  They were troopers.

We didn’t get a stroller to avoid this…

Strollerggedon

Strollerggedon

…so they hoofed it around 4 parks for 5 days.   They didn’t become crazy gotta-have-it kids either.  They had some money and got what they wanted and sometimes had to be patient to get it.  But get it they did…

Hard to see, but let's just say they got every light up, noisy toy available.

Hard to see, but let’s just say they got every light up, noisy toy available.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to pack a Mickey Mouse Fantasia light saber to return home?  We carried that thing from Orlando to Detroit.  Totally normal in Orlando.  In Detroit, kinda weird.

As a side note, Disney is marketing genius.  From the time you step foot in Orlando, you are transported into this magical bubble where it’s all things Disney.  You begin to feel weird for not having a pair of mouse ears on your head.  You feel out of place if you are wearing a shirt without a character on it.  I can’t believe I packed normal clothes.  You totally look out of place when you do.  And when you come back to normal land, you are a little weirded out that no one is wearing mouse ears or carrying a Mickey tote bag/lunch box/purse/backpack/body bag.

The crowds were heavier than what we were anticipating, but not as bad as I think it could have been.  For me however, there were TOO MANY FREAKIN PEOPLE.  People watching was A-may-zing, but that’s exactly what I want to do, watch…not interact.

PEOPLE!

PEOPLE!

PEOPLE IN THE DARK!

PEOPLE IN THE DARK!

Where's Waldo?

Where’s Waldo?

We of course had lunch at the Royal Table in Cinderella’s Castle, where, for the only time during the trip, we became these parents:  “You will get pictures with these damn princesses and eat your $30 chicken nuggets and LIKE IT!!  We didn’t spend $250 for you to sit and stare at them!!!”  And photos we got.  Nevermind the fact we were caught off guard and didn’t have time to run a comb through our poor girl’s hair.

Come on mom, just snap the picture already…

Jasmine.  Poor thing, that wig must itch like crazy.

Jasmine. Where do you get those abs?  Does Iago chase you around?

Sleeping beauty.

Sleeping beauty.  That’s what they call me too.

Snow White

Snow White and a thrilled to pieces G.

Wishing on a star.

Wishing on a star.  My wish?  The food would get here sooner.

For the record, Bear would not be photographed with the Princesses.  He’s not so into the ladies.  Doesn’t G look thrilled?  Then we got a pic with Cindy herself.

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…but she was on a ciggy break, so we took a pic with her crotchless pantied knight instead.

Metal Mike.

Metal Mike.

OK – here she is.

She seemed a little stiff.

She seemed a little stiff.

PSYCH!  ha ha.  OK, we really did meet her and I do have a pic EXACTLY like the ones above of her and Cinderella, but it’s an actual PHOTO and ain’t nobody got time to scan that!

We introduced them to all forms of mass transit.  First up, the plane ride, for which they were seriously geeked.

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Yes, that’s a neck pillow. This is Bear BEFORE he went cold, clammy and sheet white.

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Image taken BEFORE the lady in front of G pleaded with me to get her to stop kicking the hell out of her seat. Sorry!

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My seasoned travelers.

Until we started our descent and Will got airsick and passed out.  Cold.  Don’t worry, on the way home, he just threw up and got almost all of it in the vomit bag.

Waiting for the bus. Not something you do here in Toledo.

Riding on the bus.

 Always in the back.  Always.  Not a good sign.  Back of the bus kids are trouble I tell ya.   Damn youths.

Monorail! This is G puckering up to lick the window.

Train.

Train.

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Boat

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And of course, Dad.

We did shows.  Some were great, some were like meh. Like the Tiki Lounge, which I am told is nostalgic, but really more of an air conditioned place to sit down for a few minutes while some animatronic birds do schtick above you.

Fun with 3-D.  G only broke 1 set of glasses the whole time we were there!

Fun with 3-D. G only broke 1 set of glasses the whole time we were there!

Muppets!

Yes, we NEED 3 pairs of glasses.

Beauty and the Beast.  Someone wouldn't let me sing, for which the entire auditorium thanks her.  BTW - Gaston had crazy guns (if you know what I'm sayin)!  And we had tickets!!

Beauty and the Beast. Someone wouldn’t let me sing, for which the entire auditorium thanked her. BTW – Gaston had crazy guns (if you know what I’m sayin)! And we had tickets!!

We were in a show, only because they had the $25 light up ears they were hawking, and a certain Disney junkie traveling companion for the day DID NOT tell us if you sit in the front rows during Fantasmic, you get REALLY REALLY wet and spend the whole show wiping mist out of your eyes.

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Someone in this pic knows we're going to get wet...and it wasn't me.  I just thought we had really awesome seats.

Someone in this pic knows we’re going to get wet…and it wasn’t me. I just thought we had really awesome seats.

We rode rides…

Watch Mom turn green!

Teacups!  Watch Mom turn green while Dad spins us like a lunatic!

This is a much better spinning ride.  Even though some 2 year old kicked me off my horse!

This is a much better spinning ride. Even though some 2 year old kicked me off my horse!

Guess who was in charge of pushing the button?  Too high Bear TOO HIGH!!  We're all going to die!!

Guess who was in charge of pushing the button? Too high Bear TOO HIGH!! We’re all going to die!!

I just noticed, look at the lady behind us.  How can you be so blasé on the Dumbo ride?!  She looks like, “I am SO OVER this.”

I wish I had pics of us on the bigger roller coasters, but I was too busy holding onto my kid for dear life, you know, cause they could totally fall out.

But, by far, the most exciting ride…the FastPass machines!!

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These are apparently a thing of the past.  We almost never got to experience the magic of booking it to these machines only to find out they were done for the day or not available until 9 p.m. that night.  If you did get one, which we did a few of them (you tend to get less if you are one of the few crazy people who SLEEP IN while on vacation at Disney), they were awesome.  Remember that scene in Wayne’s World where they had the backstage passes and kept flashing them at everyone?  Well, if not, go see it.  Good movie.  Classic for a 90s teenager.  Anywho, that’s how I felt when we got to bypass all the schmucks in the hour long line.  SUCKAS!  I guess now they all have wristbands that you can go online at the hotel and essentially schedule your time to ride the rides (AHEM Cedar Point!!).  We didn’t have one of these because we were GASP!  offsite hotel vacationers and didn’t get one, so I don’t know much about them other then that sometimes it felt like we were traveling in steerage and not allowed in the fancy parts of Disney.

Another sad moment.  We lost a dear friend.  His name was Balloony.  He was a $10 balloon that wasn’t tied tightly enough to his string.  It was a sad moment in the Magic Kingdom.  And no, we didn’t replace him.  It was $10 freakin dollars.  Every time we saw a balloon vendor walk by, we quickly diverted her attention.  Ah, strategery.

Goodbye friend

Goodbye friend

We stayed one night for the parade.  It was cool.  We had some fun waiting for it.

Fun with Lights

Fun with Lights

Then I said forget this, I have full lives in Candy Crush!

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Then it came on and was pretty dang cool.

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We paid a gazillion dollars for character lunches.

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Um, Daisy, could you come back? I just started this mac n cheese.

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Donald was outside sweating his balls off for a very special photo op.  That guy always gets the short end of the stick.

We had good food.

Mark's happy place.

Mark’s happy place.

Do I have something on my face?

Do I have something on my face?

Get off me!  It's time for ZERTS!

Get off me! It’s time for ZERTS!

The best restaurant had a baby with a leaf on his junk, which is apparently HILarious.

MOM!  Look at this baby!  He's naked!!!

MOM! Look at this baby! He’s naked!!!

I attempted to take a Christmas card photo.

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which clearly failed.

We almost got an eye poked out on Phineas’s nose.

PHINEAS!

PHINEAS!

Basically, we had a good time.  It was exhausting.  Really, you should train for 5 days at Disney.  We were not physically prepared for the strenuousness of it.  Overall though, we had a pretty freakin good time.

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Family pic by our new house.

Family pic by our new house.

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Cabin Fever

Day 3 of Snowmaggedon in Snoledo. We haven’t been out of the house in three days. The youngins are secretly planning mutiny. Their father and I are hiding from them at the moment.

Crazy I tell ya!  CRAZY!

Crazy I tell ya! CRAZY!

Games have been played. Play Doh has been ground into the carpet. Video games are becoming boring. Movies have been watched. All Christmas toys have been opened. All projects have been assembled. Legos are together. Barbies are all fully dressed. I am not sure how much longer I can keep them occupied. They are beginning to get the crazy eyes. The eyes that make you wonder what they are planning. if they are secretly planning something scary. Like nail polish wars or indoor paintball.

Hubby has been here for five days. That’s a long time. I have shaved my legs every single day. It’s -10 right now. Thank God somebody got the snip a few years back. No sense in joining the October baby boom. I don’t think I am the only tired one this time around.

The house is clean, the garage sale pile is getting bigger, and the house is getting organized after 7 years here.

We are running out of things to do. Family time is slowly going to kill us. If you are reading this, I am not sure how much longer we can hold on. We are on our last two hot chocolates for the Keurig and the marshmallows are long gone. There is no ice cream in the house. I fear for our well being. Wish us luck, we may not survive this togetherness.

Snowpocalypse!

Snowpocalypse!

You’ve Got a Friend in Me

Being an introvert has its challenges. Being that any sort of unknown scares the hell out of me and the fact that I avoid large gatherings like the plague, finding and making friends is not a skill I possess naturally.  It also doesn’t help that I also have a slightly introverted husband who, as a means of introduction, tells new people we meet that we are “socially awkward and don’t have a lot of friends.”  aawwwkkward.  

But, the perk of being an introvert is, the friends I have made, are long-time, loyal ride and die beotches.   The people I have opened up to have, over time, come to love me in all my weirdness.  Most of my friends, I’ve had for 15+ year, and I will have them forever.  (Mainly because they remember me when I was thin.  Never forget!!!!!  The skinny girl is trapped in there somewhere!)

The best part of these friends is that even though most of them are scattered across the country, we can pick up where we left off and after a lengthy catch up session, we are back cracking the same jokes and acting like we live next door to each other.   

Before we go any farther, I don’t mean to shortchange my close range friends on this post.  Know I love you all, old and new, and am so thankful you are HERE with me in this God forsaken frozen tundra we call northwest Ohio.  NEVER LEAVE ME!!!   We have lost too many already!!!!  Two of my best friends are right here and know I couldn’t live without you.  One gets to see me in all my crazy glory EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  Give this woman an award because let’s face it, I can get seriously annoying when exposed to in large doses.  The other gets to see my lovely face mostly on Sundays and Mondays, when I put on my most angelic face and pretend I am not cray cray.  But, she sees through the facade and loves me anyways.  These girls make me laugh daily and I pray they never abandon me for greener pastures, or say, popular parks ruled by a big mouse.  And I can’t leave out my blood related friends, my sister, but she already got a post, so quit yer bitchin.  And my sisters by marriage, who have put up with me almost as long as my actual sister, I love you three more than you’ll ever know.   (But, seriously SK, when are the Girl Scout cookies coming???) 

This post is for my long distance friends, two of which I had the wonderful pleasure of escaping this freakin freezing weather for a few days and hiding out in Florida with.   

I met these girls in college (remember THIN) and 5 minutes after meeting them, I knew we were soul mates.    Ever meet someone and it just clicks?  Well, that was us.  That was 1997 and even though we are all grown up, we are still closer than ever. 

We couldn’t be more different.  One is a super positive save-the-world social worker, who is seriously the world’s biggest extrovert.  This girl attracts friends like flies.  PEOPLE LOVE HER.  She is one of the most genuine real people you’ll ever meet.    The other is an extremely successful PR genius who is beautiful inside and out.  The one who’s always put together, even when she’s hot and sweaty after a workout.  The one who, after 16 years, still let’s us tease her mercilessly for taking over an hour to get ready every single day.  And me, the neurotic, introverted, long married, mother of two who makes jokes CONSTANTLY.  Especially during the inappropriate moments – that’s when I really shine. 

We have been through it all.   College, hangovers, graduation, job hunts, crazy boyfriends, big moves, promotions, career changes, falling in love, marriage, infertility, sickness, death, postpartum depression, babies.   We are basically married because we hit all the vow highlights.  Love/cherish, sickness/health, good/bad, you get the gist – we are in this until the end that’s for sure. 

I have watched these women grow more beautiful, stronger and smarter with each year.  They make me laugh, help me cry, build me up and support me no matter how far apart we are or how long the time passes between conversations.   We are very different, but share the same love and respect for each other, which makes the bond strong no matter our differences.  Even if one of us did vote for Romney. 

I’ll take these sistas before mistas anyday.

I love you girls and hope this post does you justice.