The Relief That Nutella Is Meatless, It Was Mighty

Apr 6, 2012

I’m house-sitting for a friend while her and her family whoop it up on the East Coast for Easter.

Her house is like a second home for us, so my kids feel super comfortable rifling through her drawers and cupboards.  It didn’t take them long to find the Nutella.

In an even shorter amount of time they were outside eating bread smeared with generous portions (because I CAN be a Fun Mom every once in a while, dammit) and I was alone with the jar and a large spoon.  Let’s just say that me and the Nutella had a moment.  As soon as the wonderfulness hit my tongue my eyes rolled into the back of my head and the swear words just started flowing.  Like, “Oh My Word, this is SO F***ING GOOD!”

I was halfway through my second spoonful when I froze in panic.  Wasn’t there something about a special day?  And not eating something?  And it was VERY IMPORTANT not to eat it?  And was I eating that thing I wasn’t supposed to on this special day?  And OH MY GOD…

I was flooded with relief when I realized that the hoopla in my brain was just about not eating meat on Good Friday.  And I was totally fine to keep eating the rest, I mean, that spoonful of Nutella.

Indulging in the forbidden and all that swearing and blasphemy reminded me of a post I wrote about Good Friday three years ago, back when I only had one kid instead of two to worry about damning to hell if I slipped up.


Not A Good Day For Shishkabobs

Apr 10, 2009

I don’t think Jesus is going to strike me down for eating meat on Good Friday. But Gilberto’s mom does.

Every year we forget that the Friday before Easter is Good Friday. It just doesn’t cross our minds. So every year Gilberto will call me in a panic after receiving a call from him mom bright and early in the morning.

Gilberto: Laural! We can’t eat meat today! DON’T EAT MEAT!

Me: Gilberto, that’s silly. You know it doesn’t matter if we eat meat today.

Gilberto: Just don’t do it, okay? Better to be on the safe side, you know?

Me: Honey, nothing is going to happen!


Me: Okay, fine, whatever.

And I don’t. ‘Cause I’m a good wife like that.

This year his mom called while he was driving to work. The calls are actually quite funny. She says hi and wishes him a happy Good Friday, to which he expresses surprise, and she freaks out that he didn’t know and could’ve eaten meat, and he gets upset that he almost damned his soul, and she spends the rest of the conversation making him promise over and over again that he’ll stay true to his roots and not eat meat, and he spends the rest of the conversation promising. And then he immediately calls me.

I got my Good Friday wake-up call at 7:00 this morning.

Gilberto: I can’t eat the lunch you packed for me, it has meat in it!

Me: What? Can’t eat the lunch? Oh, is it Good Friday? Did your mom call?

Gilberto: YES, she called. Or I would’ve eaten it! It would’ve been awful! I could be in hell right now!

Me: It’s not like I tried to poison you! I just forgot! My goodness.

Gilberto: Laural, just promise me that you won’t eat meat. And that includes Gabi.

Me: Gabi?


Me: Okay! Chill out! I wasn’t planning to!

Gilberto: You’ll be sorry if you give her any meat. Just sayin’. Love you, bye.

The warning isn’t without warrant, because the rebel in me is already wanting to do something sinful like roast a pig on a stick on the back patio, or eat a cheeseburger for lunch, just to prove him wrong. But I won’t. Plus, Gabi’s old enough to tell on me.

No meat today.

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Strep A, I Wish I Could Cut You

Mar 27, 2012

It’s not so much that i jinxed myself, but that I spit in the face of ill health and it responded with a vengeance, shoving me back down into my place among mere mortals who don’t know better than to cower against The Universe and all it brings.  Like super germs.

We, as in the whole family, as in ALL FIVE OF US including my mom, have Strep again.  The day after I posted about being better, Gabi was diagnosed, and then the rest of us succumbed in one fell swoop soon after.

What the freaky frick?

I don’t even know what round this is.  Five?  Six?

Oh, and our swabs weren’t even in the dish 24 hours before the microbiologist called to say that we all had raging 4+ Strep A.  That’s some nasty Strep.  Our antibiotics pills are BLACK.

So now we have to figure out if Gilberto and I should get our tonsils out, if we should leave them in and get the kids’ tonsils out, or if we leave as is and just keep medicating until none of us get sick anymore.

I think I’m leaning more towards getting ALL of our tonsils out, because I recently read an article about how the overuse of antibiotics is rendering them ineffective because germs are smarter than we thought and preparing for a war on mankind like we’ve never seen before.  Or like they saw before antibiotics were created.  Either way, you get the picture; living in a world without effective antibiotics is ugly.

I’ve always been cautious about antibiotics, so I’m really happy that this new anti-antibiotic use thinking is spreading, even if it might be a bit too late (check out Moms for Antibiotic Awareness for some great info).  But it also has me super freaked out!  It’s enough to make me want to have surgery that is apparently really difficult for adults to recover from, just so that we don’t have to keep dosing ourselves with meds that we might need for something way more serious later in life, but sorry, we’re screwed.

We’re still looking at all of our options.  Including homeschooling the kids in case school is where the exposure is coming from.  I’m totally kidding.  Kind of.  With out luck we could buy one of those self-sustaining bubble environments and still catch us some Strep.

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The Calm After The Storm

Mar 20, 2012

Mason is miraculously still sleeping, and I’m writing!


My mornings are usually not this quiet.  Waking up Gabi for school is a long, loud process (me rubbing her arm, her yelling at me to go away), and Mason always wakes up to join in on the fun, demanding to eat RIGHT AT THAT VERY MOMENT.

After getting Gabi out of bed, usually by pulling her blankets off of her and letting the cold do it’s work, and dressed, I send her to brush her teeth while I head downstairs to make her lunch and feed Mason.  Fifteen minutes later I have her lunch made, but she is always still in the bathroom, and can’t hear me yelling at her because she’s singing to herself and using her toothbrush as a drum stick.

By then she has five minutes to do her hair, put shoes on and eat something, and I send her out the door to the carpool, a flying, singing, flurry of a girl with toast in her hand.

At least she leaves happy.

I, on the other hand, am left with a toddler who’s still screaming, “EAT! EEEEEAT!”  Even though he has various foods already shoved in his mouth.  And the day goes on from there.

This morning?  Is a miracle.  Gabi woke up without a problem, got ready quickly, brushed her teeth with minimal singing, and was ready at the door, food in her belly, with a full five minutes to spare.  As she was leaving she asked, “Mom, why are you being so nice to me this morning?”  Luckily for her, I didn’t have time to go into the whole If You Only Listened And Did What You Were Supposed To I Wouldn’t Have To Resort To Yelling tirade.  I did shut the door with a chuckle.

Best of all, Mason is still sleeping.  It’s giving me the time I need to finally write again while my brain is still functioning.  By the time I get the kids to bed at night, I’m an intellectual goner.

As for the last five months, I haven’t been here because we’ve been living in a germy cesspool of strep and bronchitis.  We’ve finally overcome it (and while I’m very anti-antibiotic use for unnecessary things, this is when I say, “Bring it on!  And lots of it!”), though the kids’ tonsils fell victim and will soon be out.  Seriously, five months of STREP.  All that combined with my Fribromyalgia fatigue and I couldn’t even pick up a pen, let alone have thoughts to write about.

It feels so good to be sitting at my desk again.

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Skyping Brazil

Oct 17, 2011

I don’t think I mentioned that Gilberto and Gabi are in Brazil right now.

They’ve already been there a few weeks, and this is how we’ve been spending a lot of time!



Getting to see my baby’s face every few days has made the separation a lot more bearable.

Did you notice how we’re using phones?  That’s ghetto Skyping.  It’s what you do when you don’t want to invest any money in fixing a speaker/microphone issue.

Did you also notice the crooked pictures on the wall behind Gabi?  They drive me INSANE!  Every time I’m in Brazil I try to fix them, but for some reason they won’t straighten out.  I even tried to put clear tacks underneath the leaning corner to hold it in place, but the tacks wouldn’t go into the concrete.  It’s becoming a really lame life mission to get those pictures to behave.

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A Hairied Day

Oct 14, 2011

I was stopped at a red light, staring absentmindedly into the distance, when my eyes flickered to the car driving past me.  And straight into the eyes of the woman driving.

I’ve waited at a million red lights, and I’ve never once made eye contact with anyone in the cars around me.  It’s a strange taboo, an awkward invasion of personal space, to look into someone’s car.

But there it was.  We were staring at each other.  And in a fraction of a second I realized this was not some random moment where we’d both accidentally looked at each other at the exact same time.  She was looking at me ON PURPOSE, and with a look of utter disgust.

Our eyes stayed locked even as she turned to drive past me.

I was a bit taken aback, and thought to myself, “What the heck is SHE looking at, ’cause I look great today!  WHATEVER!”  If I can muster anything to help in awkward situations, it’s indignation.

And then I realized that my hand was entwined in my armpit hair.

I had thrown my right arm up on the passenger seat next to me, and my left hand was ever so casually twisting armpit hair around my fingers.

Oh. My. God.  I slowly brought my arm down to my side, cheeks flaming.  I didn’t dare look around to see who else had noticed, choosing to stare straight ahead at the light, begging it to change so I could escape.

It was bad enough that I’d braved showing off my back fat in order to wear a tank top, something I only do when it’s desperately hot outside, but I hadn’t bargained for hairy armpits, too.  And it was way too hot to head home and change, since I’d already sweated buckets trying to get my uncooperative toddler into his car seat.  I couldn’t bear to do that all over again.

The light finally turned green and I continued on my way.

To Trader Joe’s.

For the rest of the ride, I tried giving myself a pep talk.  ”Laural, you can DO THIS!  Just keep your arms glued to your side.  CHIN UP!  ARMS TO THE SIDE!  And don’t forget!  DON’T FORGET!”

The next half hour was spent with me either looking like a robot penguin, trying to reach for things without my arms leaving my sides, or me totally forgetting to keep my arms down and flashing my hairy pits to all the innocent shoppers.

I also ran into TWO people I knew.  I did pretty good at hugging the first person without revealing anything, but the second attempt wasn’t as successful.  I can just imagine the conversation she had with her husband when she got home.

Friend: You should’ve seen the hair under Laural’s armpits today!

Friend’s Husband: She’s from the hippy part of Oregon.

Friend: Ahhh, that explains it.  Though I hope I never have to see that again.

When I got home and looked in the mirror, it was painfully obvious that keeping my arms down hadn’t been enough to hide that I had hairy armpits.  It’d been way too long since I’d shaved.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if I wasn’t a dark brunette.  This is one time I might agree that blondes really do have more fun, because they can get away with unfortunate hair issues.  Not having to worry about chin hairs or the strip you missed on the front of your leg really frees you up to have a good time.

All I have to do is shave, but that means I have to remember to do it.  Since my brain is wrapped in a constant fog, I think I’ll have more luck if I just hide my tank tops until this heat wave is over.

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