Food feud

In keeping my anniversary resolution to focus on the positive reasons why I got married, I have a confession to make. Don’t tell my husband, but one of the reasons (perhaps even the main reason) I married him is because the man can cook – major exclamation point! When we started our relationship almost 19 years ago, I was at beginner level in my cooking skills. I specialized in dishes that could be cooked and eaten in 20 minutes or less. 

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot from my Chef. I’m nowhere near his level of expertise. I still need some semblance of a recipe (steps to reproduce, as it were), on paper or in my head, whereas he can cook up delicious masterpieces on the fly. And that’s o.k.

That’s why I married him.

About a month after we met he asked me to marry him. Naturally, I was hesitant, to say the least. But he won me over, the first time he cooked for me. After that, I knew he was the one. They say the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. If so, I must be part man. (I joke, but that would also explain my style of shopping: in-and-out, no dilly-dallying, just get what I need and get out of the store).

I’ve only known two other men who can cook as well (/better). My uncle Fernando and my eldest brother Irwin. Little does my brother know, he is in an ongoing cook-off with hubby. 

Here’s what’s up. Every once in a while, my brother, bless his soul, brings me a dish of whatever mouth-watering concoction he’s produced. It’s like he has a sixth sense for knowing just when I’m in need of some delicious comfort food. My husband, for reasons unbeknownst to me, sees this as a challenge, and he goes above and beyond to make the next meal he prepares (more often than not a variation of my brother’s dish) extra scrumptious. 

How do I know, you ask? Could it all be in my head, pray tell? I know this for a fact, because for the duration of the meal, and sometimes the day after (if there are any leftovers) he repeatedly asks whether I’m enjoying the meal and how it compares to my brother’s. Not once, not twice, but sometimes as much as five times. 

First time he asks

What I think: Can’t talk. Too busy eating. Lalalalala. Nomnomnom

What I say: “Mmmm, *chomp, chomp* hmmm mmm!”

Second time he asks

What I think: Dude, you’re harshing my food buzz. 😕

What I say: “Yeah, its really delicious!!”

Third  time he asks

What I think: I know you heard me just now. 

What I say: “Yeah!”

Fourth time he asks (as I’m fixing myself another plate!)

What I think: *Sigh*

What I say, every word dipped in monotonous sarcasm: “It’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever eaten. I don’t think I can swallow another bite.” 

Fifth time he asks

What I think: O.k. I’m done with this game.

What I say: “….. I’m sorry, did you say something?”

As I said, I don’t know the reason he feels the need to outcook my brother. Is he that competitive? Is he just jealous I like someone else’s cooking as much (/more)? And why ask for my opinion so many times! Is he just deaf? Or does he get off on the validation?

End-of-year ham. Sinfully delicious!

If I’m in a particularly good mood, I’ll consent to a little bootlicking, especially for his specialty dishes, like his end-of-year turkey and ham. I make it a point to compliment him so profusely, the only thing missing from that scenario would be me doing splits while waving pom poms around. Most days the cheerleader in me is just too pooped to care. She just wants to binge eat, roll over and go to sleep.

Competitive, jealous, deaf, or validation junkie. Je ne sais pas. It could be any or all of the above, really. I’m not gonna overanalyse the cause, I just want the effect, i.e. a tummy filled with lots of yummy stuff. As long as I have that, my marriage is rock solid.

Battle of the baby bulges

If you had told me that this would be the year I’d start exercising again, I’d have laughed in your face. Before my first pregnancy, I had finally reached a weight (low 80s) and size I was happy with. Then my husband went and messed it all up. Yes, I know I’m just as guilty, but I like laying the blame at his feet.

After baby #1, I made several attempts to pick back up my exercise regime, with no success. Thing 1 was so demanding of my time, day and night, that I was left with no energy or desire to move unless absolutely necessary. Somehow, despite the lack of movement and all the stress eating I was doing, I still managed to lose weight. Slooooooooooowly.

Just as I thought, “O.k., I can do this. Let’s turn it up a notch, and really start burning the fat”, what does my idiot husband do? Yep, goes and sticks another baby in me. (It’s almost as if he wants to keep me fat!)

Since I was nowhere near my pre-baby weight by the time I got started on #2, I knew I was fighting an uphill battle. If I couldn’t exercise with one, how would I ever manage with two, tiny humans consuming all of my time and energy?!

Baby bulge #2

I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere along the way I made an unconscious decision to not even try to lose weight this time around. Round two’s post-pregnany weight (when I finally gathered enough courage to step on the scale) was in the high 90s. And it’s been like that ever since. 

Baby #2 exited its host (me) late 2015. When I saw my weight, I put away the scale for good. The path to my exercise machines in the attic grew more and more cluttered, but I couldn’t be bothered to clear it. No time or energy to use them anyhow. About a year and a half passed, in this mind set. 

And then something clicked. I don’t know what it was. I’d like to think some part of me never gave up hope. But probably it was just the superficial inner-me becoming evermore dissatisfied with my wardrobe and throwing a b-fit because I refuse to buy new clothes based on my size rather than my taste. 

Whatever it was, it started compensating for all the stress eating I was still doing. As the days got hotter, I started biking more rather than taking the bus, dragging my two coaches along with me, if only to make the ride harder due to all the extra weight. And runnig after two, superfast, tiny persons – human cheetahs is what I call them – takes its toll on you, not only mentally, but physically as well. The weight started going down again. Sloooooowly. Still, I didn’t cheer, get my hopes up, or make plans to hop aboard the slim train again. Que sera, sera, I thought.

Whatever will be, will be

The future’s not ours to see

Que sera, sera

There, now the song is properly stuck in your head. Sorry…not sorry.-

And then, a sign. A gentle nudge, if you will. It started with something I totally was not expecting. I won a Samsung Gear Fit watch at work. And that started the ball rolling again. With a lump in my throat, I dug up the scale and stepped on it to see what the damage was. 91. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The 80s were in sight again. Woohoo

I started a food journal, no calory counting, just jotting down what I stuff into my mouth. The idea being that I shouldn’t eat it if I don’t want to have to write it down. I must admit, it’s confronting seeing what you eat in black and white. And I quickly noticed I’d think twice before reaching for a chocolate bar. Because I knew I’d re-read the words “chocolate bar” as “had yet another momentary lapse in judgement”. “Slice of cake” would translate to “seriously woman?” And “half a bag of chips” equals “child, you know better than that!” I did NOT want the numbers to go back up, not when my target was closer than it’s been in years.

The watch was showing me the data I needed to keep me motivated. So imagine my mood when, after a week, I stepped on the scale again and the difference was…ZILCH. It took a lot of self control not to spiral into a chocolate-binge fest. I managed to keep it together and the cynic in me was expecting no difference again this week. But guess what, down 1.5 kg. I think the scale might be messing with me as payback for all those months stuck in a stuffy attic.

I don’t know what I’m gonna do when the winter months roll around. The path to the exercise machines is clear again, but I probably won’t get a chance to use them until the boys go to college. I usually don’t touch my bike when the weather gets below 10°C. But never say never. Except in the sentence “I never want to pass 90kg again”. I’m pretty sure I am now willing to do just about anything to keep those numbers going down and the weight off. Even if it means getting a divorce, since I don’t think my husband would agree to a life of celibacy. Or you know, I could tie my tubes. That’s probably cheaper than a divorce. Right?😊

And the Oscar goes to…

I don’t know how I managed it, but I actually ended up with less spare time than usual during the last two long-break weekends. At the end, I was so tired, I looked forward to going to work on Tuesday. But then again, no wonder, because work is where I go to relax: my two little freeloading moochers ride me harder than any paying employer ever has.

The last holiday weekend was especially taxing. My boys were amusing themselves with a riveting game of tag-pooping.

Tag-pooping:

A game in which babies take turn filling their diapers with the stinkiest, most stomach-turning mush they can produce. Points are based on volume of content, stench, and they get bonus points for frequency per hour.

We went about 6 rounds…in 2 hours…I wanted to sever my nose. I was so done with all the kaka, I blurted out:

O.k., by matriarchal decree, I hereby order a cease-poop for the next 24 hours. 

I’d like to say they understood and complied, but I think they just ran out of ammunition. 

I’d also like to say that that is the silliest thing I’ve ever said or done, but it isn’t. I’ve tried reasoning with them on why I need to take a toilet break, saying: 

Mommy doesn’t wear diapers like you, so every now and then mommy has to go to the toilet. Preferably alone.

I can count the amount of times I’ve managed to go to the toilet without an audience – or subsequent incident for having left them by themselves for 10 seconds – on one hand. And I am now an expert in speed-peeing. If that were an Olympic sport, I’d win the gold medal. (No pun intended).

And in the category of most childish things I’ve done, imagine this scenario:

Thing 2, my telenovela king, is crying at the top of his lungs: Weeeeeh, weh, weeeh

Translation:

Why, mama!! Why won’t you let me eat the bread I found in the folds of the couch!! I much prefer it to the fresh and delicious sandwhich that you have placed before me

But I can’t read the subtitles because my eyes are closed since my head hurts as a result of him screaming so loudly. I’ve tried everything to sooth him, but he seems determined to deafen me. So what do I do? I chime in, a few decibels louder: WEEEEH, WEEEH, WEEEEH! 

(And the Oscar goes to…Mommy! Translation omitted due to adult content.)

My Oscar’s in the mail.

At which point, he stops crying, probably because he’s trying to figure out whether I’m being serious or whether I’ve just lost it. (It’s a little of both.

I’ve done and said loads of stupid things since becoming a mom. I just can’t remember it all, mostly due to lack of sleep. So, if I’m still blogging in ten years (by which time I hope I will have regained something resembling a healthy sleep pattern), I’ll be sure to post them.

Until then, my mantra is “sleep is for the weak”.

Tie my tubes already!

Anniversary presents

So yesterday was my 5-year anniversary. As you may have gathered from my previous post, my husband is not big on gifts, and I’m not really bound by occassion. This year, however, I decided to get a gift for the men who do appreciate me, my boys.

The idea came to me one morning. I had just woken up and was laying in bed watching my youngest. He had cried himself awake sometime in the dead of night, and per usual refused to stay asleep unless next to me, and so he ended up in bed with me.

So I’m laying there, examining his face by the early morning light, overcome by love and all the sappy motherly emotions you hope could last all day. Then he wakes up and gives me the cutest smiles and sweetest hugs, I feel so blessed and I realize, this tiny human being, this is my gift. Every year, him and his brother are my anniversary gifts, and I love and cherish them so much I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

Then, in his loving play, he whacks me in the eye and I think, maybe I should have saved the receipt, hrmpff.

I bought them a wooden picnic table for kids with built-in basins for water or sand. My eldest is hypersensitive, so it was recommended he play in/ with sand to help him desensitize a bit. I didn’t know when I bought it that the gift for a 5-year anniversary was wood, but that was a fun coincidence. And we had fun using it, the four of us sitting at the table messing around in the sand. So in the end, our bonus gift was quality family time. No fighting, just fun and laughter.

Until it was naptime. 

Five years of fun times and headaches, happiness  and heartache. And I honestly don’t know how the next five will be, only that I’m in it for the long haul. You know the expression, you made your bed, now you have to lie in it. Well, the first year of marriage was like sleeping in a nice, cozy, new bed. But as the years go by, there’s some wear and tear, and then the lumps appear. My bed’s a little more lumpy than I thought it would be (figuratively, but also literally because of the tiny bodies that keep appearing in it). 

But what do you do with a lumpy bed? You change the mattress, you don’t throw out the whole frame. And even though at times I get so frustrated with my husband that the only thing that helps me through the long hours of the day is fantasizing about being a divorcé (or widow), I think of the commitment we made and what that means to me. 

I search deep and usually come up with a reason to stay in the game. Sometimes it’s a speck of love hidden away in the deep crevices of my heart. Other times, it’s a panick attack like fear of having to raise two small boys on my own. In any case, I usually find a good enough reason to stay married, is what I’m saying.

But after five years, it’s time for a new mattress, a new mindset – time to keep reminding myself and my husband of the reasons we married each other. And since no mattress stays new forever, I just hope the lumps take a little longer to develop this time. The figurative lumps. No more literal ones for me. 

Thing 2 managed to dump a cup full of sand in his diaper

Happy (so-so) mother’s day

Sunday, May 14th. 2017. 7:05 AM. My alarm goes off – my 1,5 yr old son, henceforth to be referred to as Thing 2. I can barely open my eyes, I’m so tired. Perhaps because this is my second unsolicited wake-up call for the day. The first was sometime after 3 AM. This has been going on for the past two weeks and I’ve basically given up on the fact that he’ll go back to sleeping through the night. Sleeping in hasn’t been a thing for me since 2013 anyhow, so I have grown accustomed to minimal rest , I’m sad to say.

So I wake up and go through the morning rituals. Chromecast Thing 2’s favourite YouTube videos to the tv so I get 15 more minutes of shut-eye (that’s just me with my eyes shut listening to his every move), until he decides I’ve lazied about long enough. Then it’s a quick diaper change, and we go down to get him some milk and play until Thing 1 (big bro – 3+ years) wakes up and decides to join the chaos, or better said, bring the chaos, because he is just all over the place.

Breakfast, play, diaper change, play, more diaper change, fight, play, meltdown (everyone gets a turn) and more play. I say play, but it’s more like ‘mess up whatever mom is trying to put away/ clean up’, which seems to bring them loads of joy and entertainment, much to my chagrin.

Eventually, around 11, my husband of five years graces us with his presence. He gives each of the boys a kiss on the forehead, and, almost as an afterthought, he gives me one as well. I resist the tremendous urge to punch him in the throat, seeing as how him being awake and present gives me a little more leeway to tidy up.

After doing the dishes, I step out to throw away the biohazardous waste that my two little captors have produced since waking up. “Happy Mother’s Day”.  That’s my cheery neighbour. I’ve just spent four hours in the trenches doing battle with my two little terrors, and already preparing myself mentally for when I have to go back in, so I don’t really register what she says. I hear myself auto-replying “You too”, hoping it sounded at least half as cheery as she did, because I just dont have it in me to go full-blown-fake happy at the moment. Then it dawns on me, oh yeah, it’s mother’s day. Too late. “Did you forget?”, she asks. “Yeah, just another regular Sunday here”, I say laughingly as I rush back inside, hoping that didn’t come off as bitter, but then again, not having the energy to really care whether it did or not.
As I make my way to the kitchen, I avoid making eye contact with my husband, for fear I won’t be able to stop myself from throttling him with one of the many stuffed animals laying about. I also neglect to mention that our neighbour just gave me another reason to be mad at him. Not that I was expecting gifts: I knew what I was getting into when I married him. And the kids are still too young to guilt into pampering me. But the least he could have done was give me one day – 1 DAY – to sleep in. I think I’ve earned it after all the sleepless nights, all the breastfeeding, all the refereeing. Not asking for much, just one extra hour. Not an afterthought kiss on the forehead. For better or worse. In sickness and in health. Till death do us part. Till death do us part. Till death do us part. Thats my go-to mantra when I’m particularly upset. It calms me for some reason.

Tie my tubes already!

Oh yeah, happy mother’s day. MumbleMumbleGrumbleGrumble

Mama Grinch

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