My Kid Stole My Cool

Recovery Update: Hangry

Posted on Sep 13, 2017 in Adulthood Stole My Cool, My Kid Stole My Cool

Recovery Update: Hangry 1

Hi, Friends. I’m nearly four weeks post-surgery and doing fairly well. Some minor discomfort, which is to be expected. And as I mentioned in my previous post, this recovery has been so much better than my last that I can’t complain. My bruising has diminished a lot, but I still look like a puffer fish. This swelling is stubborn, man. And my jaw will be rubber-banded shut for about two more weeks. Which means I’m still on a liquid diet. Which means… I’m officially hangry.

You guys – I would trade my children for a cheeseburger right now if I could actually eat it.

In some messed-up, masochistic form of torture, I can’t stop watching food videos. You know the ones that demonstrate an entire recipe in about 60 seconds? Literally, can’t stop watching them. Hey, it’s 11:43pm and I should be sleeping, but instead I’m going to watch “Oven-Baked Chicken Wings 4 Ways.” This is my life now. It’s sick, I know.

But it all looks so good. The trashier, more junked-up food, the better. A giant meatball filled with spaghetti? OMG I need. Oreo-stuffed donut holes? Get in my belly. Every possible variation on stir-fry you could possibly imagine? I want them all.

 

 

At first glance a Mac-N-Cheese Bun Burger looks disgusting. But after you haven’t eaten solid food in a month, it’s pure genius. I would so eat a Mac-N-Cheese bun burger. Speaking of Mac-N-Cheese, did you know there are 14,738 ways to make it? It’s true. I know because I’ve watched/read every single variation on how to do so. Quesadillas compete with Mac-N-Cheese in terms of sheer volume of recipes. Before I would’ve just thrown some cheese on a tortilla and stuck it in the microwave. Maybe a little guac if I was feeling feisty. But quesadillas can be so much more than that! They hold endless culinary potential! I would’ve never thought to make a quesadilla with flank steak fajitas or BBQ chicken and Gouda or sautéed mushrooms and spinach. So fancy! Thankfully my eyes have been opened.

I now realize what I’ve been missing out on. Why have I never eaten a chocolate cream cheese croissant bake? That sounds amazing! BBQ Bacon Onion Meatball Bomb? I’m intrigued. The only recipes I don’t get excited about involve cauliflower. I just can’t get behind the cauliflower craze. Anyway, I could go on about all the recipe amazingness I’ve discovered during my convalescence – like 50 variations of baked penne – but I’ll stop. In an effort to be productive during the past few weeks I decided to actually take all these newfound recipes and meal plan. I can’t wait to make (and eat) all these weird, delicious things.*

So what am I actually “eating”?

Protein shakes. You knew that was coming.

Everyone who recommended protein shakes to me and insisted they weren’t bad – tasty, even! – YOU ALL LIED.

 

 

Before my surgery I got a little over-enthusiastic about my recovery drinks and bought four different brands of protein powders. Four. Do you understand how large protein powder containers are? I am drowning in protein powder. So even though I think they all taste like sidewalk chalk, I persist. At one point I added coffee ice cream to my Shakeology in a misguided attempt to make it palatable. What a waste of good ice cream. No matter how creative I get with these powders, they just don’t taste good.

 

 

When I initially solicited my friends for their brand recommendations, I was asked for reviews. So here are my rankings, from best to worst:

  1. Vital Proteins: This is actually tasteless. So whoever recommended this, you’re not a liar. But everyone else still is. If you’re going to blow your money on protein powder, buy this kind.
  2. Orgain: No matter how much I doctor this up – almond or coconut milk, fruit, etc. – it still tastes like protein powder. Just not as much as the other brands. I did enjoy the pre-made shake more than anything I blended for myself, so if you still want to drink these things, go that route.
  3. Shakeology: I know a lot of people who swear by Shakeology. Um, okay. I add a few dates as a natural sweetener and a heaping spoonful of peanut butter to make this drinkable. I’m talking Skippy here, not the all-natural, healthy PB you buy for your kids.
  4. Vega Protein & Greens: Sorry friends who like this. You have obviously never enjoyed a mac-n-cheese bun burger (or anything remotely tasty) if you think this is enjoyable. Or even tolerable. The recipe on the top of jar was for, “Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie.” I made this recipe and IT TASTED NOTHING LIKE AN OATMEAL COOKIE.

Don’t make this.

After complaining enough my mom told me to just drink milkshakes. Indeed, even my doctor told me to drink milkshakes. He said, “I don’t care if you drink Oreo milkshakes all day, every day.” He did want me to add protein powder to the milkshakes, but, ew. At first I attempted to avoid the shakes, in an effort to be mindful of my recovery. But after a couple weeks of bone broth and smoothies, I caved. So now I drink the smoothies and the protein shakes and the bone broth, but I also drink a milkshake every day. I’m only human. I will shun these unhealthy sugar-bombs once I’m consuming more than a few hundred calories a day in protein powder.***  But until then, bring on the milkshakes. Want to know my milkshake rankings? This is important.

  1. Chick-Fil-A
  2. McDonald’s
  3. Five Guys

I should note usually my mom makes me milkshakes at home, but every now and then we splurge. Oh, did I mention my mom? Here she is!

Homework Time

This is my mom helping Elisabeth with her homework. That seems fairly unremarkable, except that my mom is supposed to be on a cruise around the British Isles right now, not teaching her granddaughter sight words.

Say what?!

Yes, my saint of a mother ditched her cruise to stay and take care of the kids and me.

My mom collected my kids from California and brought them home Labor Day Weekend. It was great to see them after a month apart, but it was a setback for my recovery. Soon after they arrived my pain increased. At that point I couldn’t speak at all, and trying to communicate with Elisabeth and James was exhausting and frustrating. I didn’t (and still don’t) have the energy to care to them full time. Not to mention, they’re kind of hazardous. I have been headbutted in the face no less than five times. Not good for a jaw that has recently been operated on. Add to that that at the time my mom was supposed to leave, Damon was also leaving for several days and we still thought Irma might hit us and prompt an evacuation. It was all too much for me. (Which I did not like to admit. But the thought of evacuating by myself with two kids, unable to speak or eat, and still dealing with pain was overwhelming.)

So my mom stayed. Because that’s what she does – takes care of other people. I honestly don’t know how I would have survived the past couple of weeks without her, and I am eternally grateful. Thanks, Mom.

 

*Let’s be honest. I’m never actually going to make any of these things.

**This is obviously not a sponsored post.

***Hahaha. No I won’t. Milkshakes are delicious.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Read More

Back to School: The Happiest Time of Year

Posted on Sep 13, 2016 in Adulthood Stole My Cool, My Kid Stole My Cool, Pinterest Stole My Cool

Back to School: The Happiest Time of Year 3

Most of you probably saw the title of this post and thought, “Why is she writing about Back to School now? My kids have been in school for weeks!” No need to rub it in. Yes, your kids have probably been in school for a week, or weeks, or since mid-August (I’m looking at you, Floridians), but my kids just started preschool this week. As in, the week after Labor Day. BUT IT’S FINALLY HERE. MY TIME HAS COME. For weeks I’ve watched (via social media, natch) my friends across the country ship their kids off to school in cute outfits after posing with a cute chalkboard sign while the moms (usually) lament their babies growing up. Now, the first day of school cute outfits? I can get behind cute outfits. The more my kids will hate them when they’re older, the better.       But once we get to the emotional outpourings surrounding the beginning of school, I start to disconnect. My heart must be made of stone because I was literally counting down the hours until I could drop my kids off at class. I only have love for those weepy parents – I promise you, I have my emotional mother moments, too. But back to school ain’t one of them. James, my two-year-old, is in “school” six hours a week. Six out of 168. If your child is like mine and spends not only most of his waking hours with you, but also most of his “sleeping” hours, those six hours of school are a godsend. Elisabeth, my five-year-old, is now in school five days a week, or 15 hours. My sweet girl is a lover. When she’s not at school, you can probably find her with her arms wrapped around me and her head buried in my chest. Her 15 hours at school are 15 glorious hours of me NOT BEING TOUCHED.   So unless my children are going to magically turn into teenagers during those few hours spent at preschool, I’m not going to get emotional about it.     But what I really...

Read More

Battle of the Bad Guys: Hans vs. Gaston

Posted on Apr 3, 2016 in My Kid Stole My Cool, The Kids Are Actually Cute

Battle of the Bad Guys: Hans vs. Gaston 0

If you’ve been keeping up with this blog, you know that Elisabeth was home sick a few weeks ago. During her quarantine we watched Frozen approximately 1,359 times. Eventually I convinced her to try a new film – one of my childhood favorites – Beauty and the Beast. A few hours after the viewing Elisabeth announced, “I think Hans is badder than Gaston.” “No way!” I immediately replied. “Gaston is way badder.” Then I paused. Was Gaston truly “badder” than Hans? With Gaston’s violent attack on the heartbroken Beast still fresh on my mind, he had seemed the obvious answer. Perhaps too obvious. I had to probe further. “Why do you think Hans is badder than Gaston?” I asked Elisabeth, opening up a deeply philosophical discussion on the nature of evil with my four-year-old. “BECAUSE THE DUNGEONS!” Ah, yes. The dungeons. That explained everything. Yet, the question still nagged me. Who is the viler of villains? Why did I automatically assume Gaston was worse? Clearly, I needed to dig into this. At the beginning of Beauty and the Beast, Gaston is established as the antagonist. He’s a narcissistic brute; anyone who brags about his chest hair is a total bro, amiright? The arrogant clown assumes he will easily woo the bookwormish but beautiful Belle, whom he only wants because she’s the prettiest girl in town. He doesn’t even respect her! What a D-bag. So we get it. Gaston is a sleazy scumbag. Sleazy, but not evil. Giphy / GIPHY – via Iframely Meanwhile Hans enters Frozen as the clumsily charming Prince of the Southern Isles. Anna falls for him right away. He’s handsome, kind, funny… What’s not to like? (Also, she hasn’t had any other human contact besides the castle staff for most of her life, so it kind of makes sense she would fall for the first guy she meets.) That he proposed within hours of meeting Anna is kind of a red flag, but Hans just gets her, you know? Giphy / GIPHY – via Iframely Back to Gaston. Rejected by Belle, he plots to blackmail her...

Read More

My Plea to End Valentine’s Day Parties

Posted on Feb 15, 2016 in Adulthood Stole My Cool, My Kid Stole My Cool

My Plea to End Valentine’s Day Parties 2

Hi Friends, Hope you all are enjoying your long weekend. Have you recovered from Valentine’s Day yet? Or how about your kid’s Valentine’s Day party last Friday? Do you have a hoarder, who makes his Valentines treats last until Easter? Or is your child the type to dump her bag of cards and gorge on the candy the moment she gets home? (We were actually out-of-town on Friday, so Elisabeth won’t receive her Valentines until Wednesday. It’s just TORTURE for her to wait.) I’ve gotta be straight with you – I am not a fan of these Valentine’s Day school parties. At least not at the preschool level. Have you made Valentines with a stubborn four-year-old girl? No? Lucky you. I remember sorting through Elisabeth’s V-day haul after her class party last year in a state of shock –what were these elaborate creations her fellow three-year-olds had gifted? How much time did they take to construct? Why did they all include candy and gifts? Was that a requirement? I was briefly overcome with shame and embarrassment at the boring, unadorned Valentines I had sent to school with Elisabeth. I must have looked like I didn’t even care! Oh wait, I didn’t even care. I know some parents who truly love the special time bonding with their children while fashioning festive cards with tasty treats. And that is great for them. But really, there is not enough heart-shaped chocolate candy in the world to make me want to craft homemade Valentine’s Day cards with Elisabeth. (Or anyone.) Even though I didn’t want to put much effort into cards this year, I also didn’t want Elisabeth to have the lamest cards in class again. So I trekked off to Target in search of stress-free (but fun), pre-made Valentines. I walked in and went straight to the stationary section. And found nothing. Surely Target wasn’t sold out of class packs of Valentines a week before the holiday? Surely I hadn’t procrastinated enough that even Target couldn’t provide for my holiday needs? I desperately scanned the stationary section for anything, ANYTHING, I could...

Read More

#SickDay

Posted on Feb 3, 2016 in Adulthood Stole My Cool, My Kid Stole My Cool

#SickDay 1

You’ve probably heard by now, but the Washington, D.C. area got hit by a blizzard over a week ago. It was kind of a big deal. Schools shut down for over a week. Or for parents, an eternity. And then, this past Monday, the clouds parted, a chorus of angels sang down from the heavens, and schools reopened! Hallelujah! After a week mostly spent stuck at home with both kids pretending to have fun playing in the snow and baking and watching Frozen 15 times, I dropped Elisabeth off that Monday full of excitement and joy. But when I picked her up a few hours later, she appeared a bit… peaked.  No. Nope. Not happening. She’s not sick. Yes. Yup. Happening. She was sick. Full on fever, and later that night, puking. And James – who has had The Cough (you know, that nagging cough that kids get in October and doesn’t go away until March) – was particularly mucous-y and gross. So I called it: Tuesday was a sick day. Baton down the hatches, we were staying home. I get it. Kids get sick. It happens. It’s just that the timing of this sick day was a particular affront. Both kids sick days after a week of school closures. There is no justice in this world. #sickday — Diana Loveless (@DianaLoveless1) February 2, 2016 Really? REALLY? Elisabeth gets a fever and upset stomach THE FIRST DAY BACK TO SCHOOL IN OVER A WEEK. Could they not have gotten sick when we were snowed in? I love my kids. But being stuck inside with my 20-month-old boy and four-year-old girl ALL DAY because it would be morally wrong to expose their snotty, feverish, germ-y selves to the outside world is… trying. Sort of like being stuck inside all day with the Tasmanian Devil and Regina George. I started the day off as any good parent would – letting Elisabeth zone out in front of the TV. Unfortunately after that, severe sleep deprivation clouded my judgment and I took out the craft supplies in an effort to “do” something with...

Read More

A Look Back at 2015

Posted on Jan 1, 2016 in Adulthood Stole My Cool, It's the Navy Life, My Kid Stole My Cool, The Kids Are Actually Cute, Travel Traumas

A Look Back at 2015 1

Hello, Friends. This blog has not seen much action this year.  Mainly, because of this rascal: I’d love to write more, and hopefully will in the upcoming months. In the meantime, this post is my attempt to recap everything I would have blogged about this past year had I had the mental capacity to do so. Here it is, 2015 in one blog post: January: The stressful end of 2014 – unending remodel, constantly sick kids, overworked husband, extreme lack of sleep, etc. – continued on into January, but things slowly turned up. The remodel wrapped up, we sort-of sleep-trained James (though it didn’t quite take), we began to settle into a routine. Now that James is a walking, running, climbing little boy, it’s hard to imagine that just a year ago he was still a baby, but it’s true, and this month saw him teething and cruising (or, the beginning of the end for me.) February: Snow, snow, snow. School closures, school closures, school closures. I don’t know if Elisabeth saw the inside of her classroom that month. Instead, she watched a lot of Frozen. I’m a good parent.  I also had an unfortunate incident in a Trader Joe’s parking lot involving my Toyota Highlander, a pole, and a personal injury lawyer’s BMW. Can we talk for a second about how it’s like a requirement that every Trader Joe’s has the worst parking lot in the city? Seriously. Every. Single. One. Anyway, moral of the story is don’t go to a Trader Joe’s on a holiday the day before a massive snowstorm.     Oh, we did have an exceptionally beautifully warm and sunny day in the early month that happened to coincide with our wildly successful housewarming party. Win! March: March was a good month. Mainly because I stopped nursing James. If you read my blog last year, you may remember I basically ate birdseed for the majority of his infancy due to his allergic colitis. Well, that sucked, and he and I were both hungry all the time. So I began eating cheese again and he...

Read More
Page 1 of 612345...Last »