Friday, August 5, 2011

When Life Gives you Lemons, Make Pizza

The last few days have been tough. My anxiety has been out of control and our vacation up north to visit the in-laws wasn't exactly what it was supposed to be. We left Tuesday after lunch. Just before we left, Dh mentioned that Little Bean had spit up a bit in the early morning and he had forgotten to tell me. Well, it turned into being much more than spitting up. In the car on the journey, he threw up hot dog three times and then, during dinner with my in-laws, he got sick again. We kept saying that we should probably come home and not infect them any more than we already had. The in-laws were wonderfully understanding and supportive and they wanted us to stay. We ended up with three days of children throwing up, endless amounts of laundry and not doing any of the things we had hoped to do.

Getting home wasn't much better. Just before we left, our dryer died. This is very bad news for us right now - as teachers, we don't get paid during the summer and the only money we get for the summer is given to us at the beginning of the summer. Given that the summer payment comes from money held back from money earned during the school year and the fact that I only worked two months due to mat leave, I didn't get much at all for the summer. Things are TIGHT. We have insurance on our appliances but the utility company that holds the insurance contracts out to another company to do the repairs. Dh called and booked the service call last Monday. They were set to come this morning. Imagine our surprise when we got home yesterday to a message form the sub-contractors, wanting to book the appointment. It took a great deal of calling to get them to come. Add to that the fact that Little Bean threw up in the night last night and woke up this morning covered in vomit, the fact that dh left his trunk of his car ajar while we were away and the car battery was totally dead this morning and the fact that we then couldn't get the clock in the car to work again (which we feared was going to relate to a bigger and more expensive to fix problem), I was having quite the pity-party this morning.

By lunchtime today, I was pretty upset so I decided that Pk and I were going to do something special. She has been talking for a while about wanting to see a movie at the theatre. I have held off a bit, not sure of what to take her to. I'm not a big Disney fan and I find a lot of films for kids are actually not especially good for little ones. When I saw that "Winnie the Pooh" was coming, I wanted her to see it. I decided that today was the day. I had checked last night and seen that it was playing at our local cinema at 1:45 and I had a coupon for two... this would be perfect.

Pk was over the moon. We had lunch, drove into town and arrived at the theatre. She was humming with excitement. We walked in, I looked at the listings and (I'm sure you can see it coming), no "Winnie". I got up to the counter, asked, and was told "they pulled the movie today." I was crushed (I think it hurt me more than Pk, she was brilliant). I decided to get her a fruit smoothie on the way home (one of her favs), which she dumped into the carseat on the way home. Could this day get any worse?

I drove home in tears, wanting to do nothing more than just go back to bed. I really struggled with myself. I had no money, no ideas and a day that was a shambles. Finally, I decided that I had to do something to make the day better. I wanted to treat the kids to a nice dinner but, in the midst of it all, dh forgot to take the meat out of the freezer for dinner so we didn't even have something planned.

I finally decided what to do. We have been making all of our bread in our bread machine lately. I want to control what the kids are eating and I have been finding it really hard to get bread that wasn't full of additives. We have gotten pretty good at making bread, now, I wanted to try pizza dough. It's not a big thing but it made me feel like we were actually doing something and something that the kids would like.

I used this recipe and while I wasn't sure that it was going to work, I have to say, the final result was delicious. I changed the recipe a bit and instead of using part whole wheat, part white flour, we did all whole wheat. Dh and the kids had their favourite - tomato sauce, ground beef and lots and lots of cheese. My part was more to my liking - pesto, parmesan, black olives and sundried tomatoes. It was delicious (and, it seemed to change our luck - the car started working and it turns out that the only problem with the dryer was a loose belt).

I really have to watch myself. It's so easy to be mired in a bad day and to let the frustration I am feeling ruin everything. I'm proud of myself that I ended up turning things around. And the nice part? My friend, the one who lost her husband to cancer last year and has been feeling really blue, found a wonderful, quaint local theatre that is showing Winnie and she (who is 65 and lonely and not a kid person), is going to come with Pk and I. That will end up being more special for us and, I hope, something special and memorable for her, too. It's been a real gift - I didn't know whether our friendship would survive my having kids but if anything, it's enriched it. She and Pk are kindred spirits I think (she's not gushy or in-your-face and neither is Pk - even when Pk made strange with everyone, she loved her "Grannie Annie", who has spoiled her rotten). I love feeling grateful at the end of a terrible day.


  1. Wow...what a day. So glad there was a little silver lining in it all.

  2. Wow, that's a whole lot of rotten. No wonder you felt put upon and ready to throw in the towel! I'm glad you managed to end on an up note, which would have been a challenge for anyone, even a dyed-in-the-wool optimist, after a few days like that. Give yourself a treat, if you can, and a little mental praise for handling this all really, really well. You're stronger than you think you are, my friend.

  3. Thanks you two! With such a wonderful cheering section, it's always a bit easier to see the up side. Today was much better, thankfully.
    I hope you guys are having a wonderful weekend!