Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Banana Pudding

Miss Lucile was known for many things during her time on this green earth. One of the grandchildren's fondest memories of her, is banana pudding. She made her own meringue (I had no heart to tell Husband that you cannot buy meringue) and followed the same recipe from the same box on the same card for the last fifty years. Her children remember it, her church remembers it, but her grandchildren- her grandchildren cherished it. They would all laugh how they hated the meringue and would get an extra big serving by scooping underneath the stiff white peeks to get the yellow good stuff.

I have never been a banana pudding fan. I have never been a banana fan. Let's call a spade a spade- it does not matter how much sugar you put on a fruit- I am still not going to eat it.

[As I sit and type, LMC has a spatula in her right hand and bowl of whipped cream in her left- eating, while showing me her tap steps up and down the kitchen. kick-ball-change-kick-ball-change-walk-walk-walk...bite of good stuff... repeat]

My first trip to the farm, MIL invited the whole family over for supper on Saturday night. Let me repeat myself: My first trip to the farm, my mother-in-law invited her four children, the three spouses,  all of her 755 grandchildren, two grandmothers, FIL's sister and husband, the neighbor's dog, and probably the mailman for all I remember. Everybody brought something- but what was on display?

The Banana Pudding with the meringue perfectly peeked and held in place by being broiled for the exact amount of time to create a quick crunch without defeating the purpose of what meringue is made to do.

What that is, exactly, I have no idea.

But I knew- I knew that if I ate nothing else on that buffet table, I was eating banana pudding. Whether I wanted to or not. If Husband and I continued to date, I would slowly show my cards about what a picky eater I am. Until then, a smile on my face... and banana pudding on my plate!

The family looked at me with questionably. Dogs have never liked me, so the neighbor's pet was no help. I was different. I was a stranger amongst their family.

Miss Lucile, though, oh Miss Lucile. Miss Lucile greeted everyone with hugs and kisses. She set down her dessert and quietly made her way over to me. I introduced myself and she enveloped me in a hug. It was one of those grandmother hugs that only grandmothers can give. I closed my eyes and smelled my own grandmother's perfume. In that moment, I felt like kin.

Since our first Thanksgiving by ourselves, I make banana pudding. It's not like Miss Lucile's- I cannot pretend that it is. In my defense, she never mailed the recipe. In her defense, I should have tried harder to get it. I make it more as an homage to the lovely lady whom I remember so fondly and her family's traditions.

I use whipped cream in lieu of meringue and have learned something about banana pudding- no one likes the meringue, but everyone asks where it is, between bites of that whipped cream.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Bring on the ice cream

I knew it was coming. When I was pregnant with LMC, I had it. When I was pregnant with Bennie, I failed my test by two points and the DC doctor said that's practically passing. I took him at his word. Every visit I had with my doctor involved a conversation about diabetes and when I would become the human pin cushion in anticipation of the gd-GD.

Two weeks ago, it was finally time to take the test and receive my diagnosis. I was ready. Ready to count carbs, ready to increase my exercise, ready-- just ready to move on to the third trimester and get gestational diabetes behind me. After my test, I thought I needed something nice and healthy... and carb-y-- like a bowl of rice.


The next day, I treated my parents to lunch at a nice restaurant as a thanks for taking care of my kids. When they asked if we wanted the check, I asked for a piece of peanut butter pie. Looking at my mom, I said, "I'm going out with a bang. Won't be able to have this next week."

And then I had some ice cream after supper, because- well, in a few hours, I knew my doctor would email me with the results and the new set up.

24 hours went by and the crickets were chirping over the world wide web.

No news is good news, except when I can eat Mexican and all the cheese dip I want. Another day, I will give the doc another day before I reach out to receive my diagnosis. In the meantime, a bowl of Cheerios sounds like a good idea.

Dinner came along and that bowl of pasta was too good to pass up. It's a good thing I already planned to email in the morning...

Having satisfied my carb fix for the next ten weeks, I finally opened my email and reached out...

"Not that I want to know, but I probably should be a better patient. What's the damage?"

Since she had not responded by lunch, I figured one more hit off the ole' carb pipe wouldn't be a bad idea. French fries with a sandwich sounded ah-mazing. One please.

As I am looking at my carb friendly options walking through the grocery store, I get an email...

No gestational diabetes.

I respond with a "WTH?!"
She promptly responds with a, "I thought this was good news?"
"It is, it's just surprising. Did I scrape by?"
"No-- flying colors. You passed all four screens by at least 30 points."

SCHWING! Bring on the ice cream!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Oxyclean and Sand

No one has ever claimed me as a domestic goddess. Looking around our house, I am reminded of this fact. Sometimes though,  I get a bee in my bonnet about wanting to make something from scratch. The other day, I told my mom that I was heading to the store for ingredients to make homemade marshmallows.

Every single website said they were "easy" and "delicious." Having learned my lesson with the corn dogs, I actually contemplated this mess I was getting into. The only drawback I saw was I needed to make a simple syrup that involved maintaining a constant temperature of 238F for five minutes without stirring.


Spending about ten days contemplating these homemade marshmallows and the thought of LMC "helping" and Bennie at my feet while the 238F syrup cooks without stirring, I set my dreams of dazzling my few blog readers aside. There were other things I could accomplish with greater ease.

In those ten days, I learned a few things:

-- Bennie likes to eat sand.
-- Sand, when eaten in mass quantities, goes right on through that digestive tract- just like everything else.
-- Oxyclean looks a lot like sand.
-- Oxyclean, according to Doctor Husband and the poison control website is 99% soda ash.
-- Crickets chirp when I hear the words soda ash.
-- Practically a whole box of Oxyclean has to be consumed for it to be dangerous.
-- Oxyclean should not be stored on the floor of one's laundry room.
-- When a mother screams NO in their large pantry at an almost two year old playing in said Oxyclean, they'll cry. Loudly.
-- Crying loudly is good, because it helps that mother look in their mouth to see if they actually ingested any Oxyclean.
-- It's difficult for an almost two year old to consume Oxyclean when they are too busy playing with it.
-- When one calls Doctor Husband and mentions Oxyclean consumption, he knows people. Apparently, Poison Control has a doctor's hotline.
-- Orange juice and a cookie is the recommended protocol. This mother disagreed, but knew better than to not follow doctor's orders.
-- Five years olds are unimpressed when two year olds play in Oxyclean and get screamed at. It gets in the way of their coloring. Until the two year old yanks the paper away from the five year old and both children are crying while mom is on the phone with Doctor Husband.

Last night, as I was attempting to make eucalyptus wreathes (easier said than done), and after Bennie got into the Oxyclean, the household is calm as we await the garage door to open and Husband to walk through the door. As I am pulling stems through a frame and attaching with floral wire- I realize that the florists of the world are safe. I am made to do many things, but making eucalyptus wreaths might as well be asking me to help a child with basic fractions.

It just doesn't work.

Out of the corner of my eye- I see a cabinet door open. No surprise there- Bennie and LMC are in the kitchen with me. Bennie reaches into the cabinet under the sink and pulls out a dishwasher tab. A beautiful, bright orange, squishy plastic pillow full of poison that makes our dishes clean.


She cocks her head and looks at me. I drop my wreath and am right in front of her, repeating myself-- NO!

chirp chirp goes the door.

In walks Husband to two crying kids (LMC thought I was telling her NO to drawing on the table. Glad she thought that; saved me a breath!), the short one holding a bright orange pillow of poison, the mother on the floor next to wire cutters and a plethora of other dangerous things that are required to make a wreath.

Perhaps the marshmallows would have been easier, albeit safer?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


As I sit and type, I have blue tape on my left arm and a bandaid from my flu shot on my right arm. Today is my dreaded three hour gdGD test. I am anticipating great things that will conclude with more pin pricks, more tests, and a new diet. Meh, not my first rodeo. 

Four blood draws + one flu shot = human pin cushion

Baby boy is steadily kicking as the sugar water I rapidly consumed an hour ago has finally crossed over and met his little body. He's a fan. Me? I am hoping to keep it down another two hours. I met with my doctor a few minutes ago and everything looks good. All my numbers are in the healthy range and he is growing as he should. I have put on five pounds. Doc asked me if I have been eating enough and I was quick to tell her about my love of steak biscuits and Totino's pizzas. Oh yeah- I am eating. It's one of my favorite pastimes. 

Husband took his BIG test yesterday-- the one that determines if he will continue to be a pediatric critical care doctor. My parents have been amazing and kept the kids from Sunday until today (Wednesday). This vacation has been a little bit amazing- I've been Christmas shopping, resting, cleaning out the guest room (future nursery), and all those things that I keep putting off. We were going to get them this morning, but with my three hour test and an open house tonight-- it looks like we might pick them up when they're teenagers. 

New baby's bedding came in last week and boy stuff is so different from the soft pinks I have become accustomed to. It's a sherbet orange and turquoise with circus animals and seersucker. Currently, the walls are gray- which makes me think they need to be painted (over my dead body, Husband is saying right now). As I round into the third trimester in two weeks, we will pull the infant bed out of the attic and break down the guest bed.  We still need a dresser- if that is one thing we lack in our house- it is drawer space. We have two dressers/chests. I live out of wire baskets and Bennie lives out of her closet. 

We have tentatively scheduled his due date for the first of February. The countdown is on- less than 90 days. SWEET!