Thanks, that would really help!

It’s been a rough few days and I’m feeling pretty run down. This is a long rant/vent about today, so please forgive me. After finally attempting to get things back to normal, I’ve now come down with a sinus infection. We went to swim class on Monday and my son and daughter, the latter who refuses to go in the pool if I don’t go with her, both had a wonderful time. I, on the other hand, have always had issues with swimming pools, chlorine, and colds. They almost always turn into a sinus infection if I am not completely better. 

Today has been exceptionally painful and stressful. My son had his allergy retest, for peanuts and all other nuts (he did very well, still allergic to peanuts, but not to other nuts), at lunch time (prime nap time for my daughter too). I woke up at 7 and had to finish the coupon printing for the groceries I had to go pick up at 10am. Meanwhile, my husband (Mr. Man Cold) took the day off so he could be there for the allergy retest, and came downstairs to “help” get kids going (with cereal for breakfast). Then he made coffee (this is important, for later in the story) and sat down on the couch to play a “stupid” game (his words) that he can’t seem to win. As he’s sitting on the couch, I’m finalizing the coupons, making my own breakfast, cleaning out the dishwasher and reloading it, cleaning up from prior night’s dinner, and keep kids content with their random requests (mommy I want fruit, mommy I want marshmallows, mommy I want lemonade, mommy mommy mommy). 

  

While making my breakfast I get a change of clothes for both kids and manage to get my daughter changed and dressed, but leave my son in PJs, because 1) Mr. Man Cold can help him while I’m out picking up my groceries and 2) he can do it himself. Then I get 5 minutes to sit down to eat my oatmeal and my daughter wants some. So I give her some, but now it’s time to go, so I wolf it down as quickly as possible. Meanwhile MMC announces he will wash the dishes from last night, instead of loading them in the dishwasher. I say thanks, that would really help. I also tell him that I have a sinus infection, to which he responds that I don’t take care of myself. Ummm… What?!…. Now I’m annoyed. How the F am I supposed to do that when he spends all his “free” time putzing around on his iPad. 

So I head out to the grocery store, note I haven’t showered and I feel horrendous. I come back a little more than an hour later and the two Pyrex casserole dishes have been cleaned, but my son is still in pajamas and neither have had snacks (it’s been 3 hours since breakfast) and we need to leave in 45 minutes. MMC asks me what time the appointment is and when we need to leave (mind you I’ve told him several times all these things, it’s on the calendar, he even has the info on text to indicate what time everything needs to happen). He freaks out, realizing the time, and says “I need to shower”.  He hauls off upstairs and leaves me to put all the groceries away (some things, like extra meats, need to be bagged and frozen, so additional steps) while both kids are hungry and cranky. I’d like to add that MMC never takes a shower without first pooping, so naturally that has to happen too. I’ve been gone for an hour and nothing significant has been accomplished, other than the two Pyrex dishes. So now I’m trying to make room in fridge, while shuffling kids around everything, and make sure they eat something too. The little one wants to help put everything away too, but instead she’s making everything take that much longer. I also get my son to strip off his clothes and help him get dressed. 

Finally get everything put away and both kids are eating something. MMC comes downstairs at 11:15 and apparently has an opinion on how “late” we are (we’re actually on time and there’s no need to rush), but he’s ramping up the pressure. I’ve already been annoyed and short with the kids, so his attitude isn’t helping. So now I’m trying to keep things calm and happy, but my daughter loses it and only wants me to put her shoes on. 

Finally get in the car and get to the appointment 15 minutes early, the doctor doesn’t see us until well after 12:30 (which is 15 minutes after our appointment time). While we’re waiting my daughter has several meltdowns about nursing, she’s tired, it’s nap time. MMC gets annoyed that I’m nursing her in a doctor’s office, but I’d rather nurse her than have her screaming for nursing in the office. MMC is also all about appearances, so the kids “acting out” is not an option. He’s fully convinced our kids are the only loud ones in existence and I’ve somehow failed at raising “properly” behaved children (he keeps telling our son that he’s being bad and whatever he’s doing is not good behavior). I try, as hard as possible, to use positive language and clear explanation of what he should be doing. Telling someone they’re not behaving properly never tells them how they are expected to behave or what they can do that is ok.

Anyway, I digress, we finish the appointment and my son does very well. My daughter has fallen asleep during my son’s appointment, and she’ll wake up as soon as I try to put her in the car. We go to lunch at Burger King (not my choice, but I go along). After that we head home and I nurse my daughter and finally get to take a shower. After my shower MMC has to get on a call for work at 4:30. Both kids are now bouncing off the walls, because they haven’t spent any real time outside, so I give them bubbles and toys to play with on the deck outside. It’s windy and a little chilly, but the activities seem to do them good. 

I start making dinner and see that the dirty pot, from last night’s dinner, is still sitting on the counter (right in front of the coffee pot, the same coffee pot that MMC made coffee in this morning). MMC has come downstairs at this point. After all the random crap throughout the day now I’m just annoyed. It’s one friggin pot, so I totally get that it’s a little nuts to get upset about this, but I’ve gotten so little help throughout the day (and his comments about me not taking care of myself) that it’s getting to me. I lose it. His excuse is that he didn’t see the pot and didn’t know it needed to be washed. This is a large stock pot that easily fits spaghetti without having to break the noodles for cooking, so I’m very certain that he ignored it, but who am I, right? And, as he finishes cleaning the pot, he tells me “you could just tell me to come into the kitchen and wash it”. Yes, buddy, I could, but why do I have to hound to you on something that’s plain as day. It should’ve been done, just like getting our son dressed or taking 10 seconds to verify (on the calendar or text) what time we need to leave. I have to do everything around here and yet I’m now somehow to blame for the fact that I didn’t tell him. And to add insult to injury he asks how the pot needs to be put away. I tell him and he does it. Then he says “there, now you have your Russian doll pots”. Seriously dude? We live in a decent sized townshouse with a very small kitchen, that has limited storage. The way things are put away allows for us to keep these pots, which aren’t cheap either.
  

Oh… And the other thing from today, that seems to be an ongoing complaint, is that after I use the hot water (in the kitchen sink) I don’t turn the handle back to the center. Apparently this is another thing MMC isn’t capable of managing either. I finally said something (“take the time to look at the handle, that’s what I do”). His response was equally frustrating. “Yeah, but you don’t realize that there’s still hot water in the faucet left over.” Ummm it takes all of a few seconds to let the water run cold. Logically speaking, if you see the handle set to hot, you let the water run cold for a few seconds, so you don’t burn yourself. What am I supposed to do, start constantly making sure I put the handle back to cold and let it run for a few seconds? I don’t have that kind of time AND I usually need the hot water again a few minutes later.
Anyway… That was today and I’m hoping tomorrow will be a little more relaxed and easy, not to mention this darn sinus infection and pressure in my face.

Seriously… Does anyone?

Me. Man Cold strikes again. I swear I don’t make this stuff up. He’s been much more helpful around the house, even though he’s still feeling sick, so I do give him some props for trying…. But…. Check out the pictures below. The first is the bottoms drawer of the dishwasher.

  
Now here’s the top drawer…

  

That little bowl, with marinara sauce…. It was still filled with food. 

Now I’ll admit we have a pretty nice dishwasher (it’s a KitchenAid), but I don’t think the dishwasher is supposed to be washing dishes AND food. So, seriously, does anyone put food filled dishes into the dishwasher and assume that everything will get cleaned (instead of what actually happens, which is the remaining dishes get coated in the said food).

I didn’t even bother saying anything to him, because any attempts to tell him that he needs to take extra food off dishes is met with total and full resistance.

So that was Easter 2016 😳

Airplane at 4yo… Why not?

For the last 3.5 years we’ve had to “struggle” with getting our son to eat. I’ve always offered a variety of foods and when he wants foods he usually asks for healthy options (though from his perspective he knows no different). We do have marshmallows and a few other sweets in the house, but for the most part he will ask for bananas, raspberries, strawberries, and watermelon. Veggies are not his favorite, but we’re working on it (I should say I’m working on it, because Mr. Man Cold is convinced that the meat is more important and I’m the one who’s responsible for about 90% of the foods he eats). My son is not a fan of “combined” foods and will pick everything apart and claim it’s gross before he’s even tried anything, relatively normal for this age, I’ve been told.

Mr. MC’s approach is very old school (basically punishment for not eating), however the threats don’t work well on my son (they may have initial impact, but often present themselves later, nightmares or accidents in his pants (mostly number 2, but recently number 1 as well)). Mr. MC, tonight, was in rare form and the threat did not go over well with me. So what did I do, to get my son to eat… Why, airplane, of course. Did I make myself look like an ass? Probably, but I managed to get him to eat most of his dinner and he was happy while doing it. 

  
I don’t want my kids having an unhealthy relationship with food and certainly don’t want them to have horrible memories, like Mr. MC has, about sitting at the table for hours on end, because he didn’t want to eat something his mother made. There are certainly more foods my husband refuses to eat, than ones that he’s willing to eat and I honestly believe the way he was forced to eat impacted that greatly. I don’t ever remember being told to finish the food on my plate and if I didn’t want to eat, that was okay, but my mother wouldn’t make a separate meal for me either and when I was old enough I could make my own food. At four he’s certainly not able to, but I find it worthwhile to allow him to trust his instincts on when he wants to eat or not, barring any food aversions. He always gets hungry at some point and then he can eat what’s been made for his most recent meal. 
I’m sure there will come a day when we’ll be spending an insane amount of money to keep the fridge stocked for a hungry teenager, but for now he seems to subsisting on the quantities he does manage to eat. I’ll forever be concerned that he’s not eating enough or the right thing, but he’s growing, he’s healthy, and he’s pretty darn adorable and sweet.

Technology shmology

I love technology. I’m pretty addicted to it. For many people it’s a way to connect to the rest of the world and for others it’s a way to disconnect. I find I’m the first, whereas Mr. Man Cold is the latter. So much so that he misses out on a lot of things and I’m constantly calling his name to get his attention. Today, on Good Friday, even though we’re not religious, we partook in the coloring of eggs. On Sunday we’ll hide the eggs and have the kids go on an egg hunt (thankfully this is outside and it’s much harder for Mr. Man Cold to zone out, but he does always seem to be in a hurry to get back inside). I honestly don’t know how he does it, because I constantly have my ears open to anything that’s happening if the kids are around. But, while we were coloring eggs, he had his iPad going and kept checking his phone. Last year he specifically barred me from posting some of the pictures and videos I took, because he was on his iPad the WHOLE time and he didn’t want people to know that. Seriously, dude, if it embarrasses you that much then pick your dang head up and participate. 

Pretty colored eggs, so vibrant

On a more positive note I do feel like he’s being more helpful and I’ve started asking for more help. However he’s now started taking issue with the way I load the dishwasher… Really!? I’ve recently started adding making more things from scratch (pizza dough, bread, stocks, sauces, etc), which requires using some tools that don’t fit well in the dishwasher. Having two young kids hand washing everything is too time consuming and shitz needs to get done. So I load what I can in a manner that allows for everything to get cleaned. Mr. Man Cold apparently believes I am doing it wrong, but I take issue with that.  Whenever I load stuff everything gets cleaned, but when he loads stuff somehow there’s always some dried food stuck on the dishes somewhere (like the garlic press he puts in the dishwasher, closed, so the outside gets cleaned and the garlic inside even gets a washing, but the press itself will need to be washed again). This is also the same guy who puts a pot in the bottom rack and then puts the colander right on top of it, how the HECK does the water reach that to clean it?!?! But I’m the one who needs to learn how to load the dishwasher. 

About two years ago I started designating areas in the utensil basket where each type of utensil goes, this made for easier cleanup (I hate sorting through three sizes of spoons and forks, which are also all mixed together). This was apparently too much for him to handle, including how my pots are all stacked in the cupboard, eight total. It’s always been the same (for the past 3 years) and yet when he puts them away he runs out of room. If they’re stacked correctly then there’s no need to leave one pot out (this is why, when he washes them, he leaves them on the stove). 

See, the pots stack perfectly

Maybe one day he’ll figure it out, but for now I’ll take that he’s washed them for me and left them on the stove, for me to put away.

The pots are clean!

Some days are difficult and then some days just surprise you. Today was the latter. I came downstairs, to the kitchen, with both kids (who insisted on being carried, together, along with blankies and various other items) to find all the pots from last night’s dinner washed and stacked. It was definitely a nice surprise. I should probably also mention that I managed to shower before coming downstairs, which is a significant rarity since having kids.

While most mornings consist of trying to rush to get out of the door, today I decided to take a much slower approach. We made scrambled eggs for breakfast and I had the kids help (each got their own bowl and eggs, which they each cracked and then whisked). They both wanted to help stir the eggs in the frying pan, but our step isn’t tall enough and my 4yo kept getting his arm too close to the edge of the pan. I’d move the learning tower closer, but it’s pretty cramped by the stove as is. He was definitely disappointed that he had to stop, but safety comes first.

We went to our weekly forest school creators group, where both kids had a wonderful time with the other kids and being outside in the woods. We made a trip to Target after, because we needed supplies for homemade popsicles and we were out of bananas, eggs, and strawberries. Sometimes it’s just easier to go to Target, than going to the grocery store, however admittedly today was not one of those day. My 4yo had a complete meltdown when I mentioned it was time to go (I always give them a five minutes and two minutes warning) on top of realizing that, while he absolutely thought he needed the super Dino charge sword, there was no way we would be taking it home. Today this experience was a hard lesson for him. In the past he’s always been understanding, that we won’t be buying something, but today was clearly not that day either. He eventually calmed down and we had a discussion about why we can’t always buy the things we want (because we need to have money for the things we need).

Amish White Bread, made using a KitchenAid

After yesterday’s post about bread, I decided I’d try my hand (again) at making a homemade version. I’m not a fan of kneading bread and, while I loved my bread machine (which I gave away last summer), I was not a fan of the shape of the bread out of the bread machine. So… Pinterest to the rescue. I found a simple recipe for Amish White Bread for the KitchenAid (see image below, if you don’t know about this magical device). Both kids helped to make Daddy’s bread (carefully measuring the yeast, sugar, salt, flour, water, and oil). The mixer did all the hard work for me and the bread came out delicious. 

KitchenAid Stand Mixer, blue

Mr. Man Cold got home a little after 9:20 and both kids were bouncing happily at the door for him. The bread was just about to go into the oven too. So hubby took the 4yo to bed and I put the loaves in the oven. He came back down to get dinner (leftovers) and we were able to spend a few minutes hugging (yes, that’s all that happened) while he waited for the food to warm up. Tomorrow he’ll have fresh bread and he has a day off from work. I’m hopeful for another good day (dying eggs and Chuck E. Cheese’s for the 4yo, with daddy). 

You left the bag wide open!

On any given weeknight Mr. Man Cold gets home anywhere between 8:30pm and much much later (the average time is usually 10pm). He works very long hours, leaving the house by 6:30am and coming home well after mealtime and bedtime. As a result of this schedule the kids’ sleep schedule is somewhat adjusted to that, so he gets to spend time with them during the week. 

Tonight he pulled into the driveway at 9:45pm, but didn’t come inside until about 10:15pm. I heard the car in the driveway and then waited a bit before opening the garage to “check” on him. This usually prompts him to end whatever conference call he’s on and come inside. Both kids are usually bouncing at the open door for him to come inside (it’s really very cute). 

Dinner was leftover meatballs (defrosted and cooked in homemade marinara sauce) with thin linguini, a favorite for everyone. In addition to the noodles Mr. Man Cold likes to eat the noodles and meatballs on bread. Until very recently that bread was some artificially laden crap that tries to pass for the really delicious stuff. As he now puts it, “it’s not natural that this bread doesn’t grow mold”. (Ya think?). For the past 13 years I’ve been trying to convince him that it isn’t healthy to eat and now all of a sudden he’s come to the “dark” side. I used to make bread from scratch, but have been a bit busy to do it myself, so I buy Calandra’s bread, usually whole wheat (all simple ingredients and no added sugar or other additives).

Tonight he asked if I bought him new bread (only refined white will do), but they were all sold out by the time I normally go to the grocery store (Sunday nights, usually after 9pm… Another post for another time). So he’d have to have my whole wheat bread. I took two slices out for him and put them on the counter and then went back into the living room to be with my daughter (the almost three year old). 

  
After he’s done eating it’s time to go to bed, so we clean up the dishes and put away the food. I see the bread on the counter, with one of the slices stuffed back into the bag, but the bag is wide open. Now, I don’t know if anyone else has this issue, but my husband has a HUGE aversion to closing any type of bag (chips, cereal, any bags inside boxes, bread bags, and even the coffee bag, even though that comes with a sticker to seal it). It’s a rather annoying pet peeve of mine (we’ve had to toss almost full bags of chips and cereal, because he just can’t seem to master closing them… Is it rocket science? Does it require a degree is astrophysics? I don’t know, doesn’t seem too complicated to me, but for him it apparently is). So, I gently remind him that this bread is not like his chemically enhanced sugar slices and he has to close the bag. His response, I kid you not, was “you left the bag wide open, I just slid that second piece of bread back on top”. Let that sink in for a second… Maybe re-read the sentence. Now, even though he was the last one to handle the bread, and I did leave it open (I fully admit that), because I wrongly (or correctly) assumed he’d go back to the bag for more (he had too much, so he needed to access the bag either way), it’s my fault that the bag is still wide open…. 

I can’t win…

I guess it’s time for bed! 

Back to routine… Kinda

So, after more than a week of everyone being sick, we’re trying to get back to our normal routine. Mr. Man Cold went back to work today, even though he probably really did need another day of rest, and he’s certainly not feeling better. I’m not better yet either, but I’m at least functional. Tuesday is normally chiropractor followed by a visit to Target/Wholefoods, but today they made it halfway through Target before having a complete meltdown each. Now my, almost three year old, daughter has a set of lungs on her that would rival Rob Halford. My son, who’s four years old, can match her quite sufficiently as well. It was like watching Halford compete with Axl Rose and it wasn’t a pretty sight (definitely got a significant number of stares from the other patrons). 

Now why were these kids screaming like this… Well what any preschooler and toddler would be screaming about. My son wanted to sit on the shopping cart handle car and my daughter didn’t want to be in the shopping cart, but also didn’t want to be carried and didn’t want to walk. Both of them are still not back to feeling 100% better, so they were very obviously tired, a little bit hungry, and disappointed that we had to leave. It took a good 15 minutes to get them both calmed down (and get people to stop staring, no I’m not beating my kids, they just love to scream like it though). 

When we finally got on the road, to head home, they both fell asleep within 10 minutes. They both transferred pretty easily, sleeping, inside and I was able to watch the most recent episodes of “The Walking Dead” and “The Talking Dead”. I’m caught up to volume 24 of the comic book series, as well, and am fascinated by how the tv show deviates from the books.

daughter, asleep for 2 hours
 

Luckily dinner was easy tonight, Nasi Goreng, one my favorites and enough leftovers for a couple lunches. This is basically a stir fried rice. It’s Indonesian and oh so delicious. My daughter even helped make the rice.

Indonesian stir fried rice, Nasi Goreng
 

Slowly things are getting better. Tomorrow it’s supposed to be nice and we’ll, hopefully, be able to spend it in the woods with our friends.