Night Off

Yesterday in therapy Z and I were yet again discussing my increased anxiety this fall. He asked what I thought helped when I was working at Whole Foods because my anxiety disappeared. First I told him that my anxiety most certainly didn’t disappear. I was better than I’ve been in my adult life, but every single time I had to travel to regional for training or meetings (and it was pretty frequent) I desperately tried to get out of it. I also took a terrifying amount of Imodium during that period and a lot of Klonopin as well. He immediately got it. The anxiety wasn’t as crippling, but it was still there trying to take over. Still, I was in pretty good shape. The structure of the job is what helped. That and I seemed to be ok at it. At least I got promoted and it made me feel good. I also worked for some people I really respected and that made me want to produce for them.

It’s why going back to school feels like such a good idea. If I have structure I’m a hard worker. I’m a people pleaser who desperately wants to be perceived as intelligent. If I’m in your class I’m going to do the readings, I’m going to participate in discussion, I’m going to torture myself over the papers. The class this fall was a terrific start. But when I start to reengage the anxiety always increases. That coupled with the nonstop nature of this parenting business, the lack of backup we have here so far from family, Z’s more than full time work life, and I’m really near the edge.

Z told me I need to take more breaks, he said I should get a hotel room this week. Just me. Alone and able to sleep an uninterrupted 8 or even 10 hours. On top of that there are two movies I really want to see and he told me to just go and do it. He’d be with the boys. I just sat there paralyzed, unable to accept. He asked why I brush him off when he offeres to give me a break.

I do. He offeres all the time, sincere offers. And I always have an excuse for why it won’t work. Let me tell you what, I’m not a martyr. I’m a selfish jackass. So what the hell is going on? It sort of hit me when he asked last night. I was terrified to spend the night alone in a hotel. Because what if I fuck it up? It’s my one chance to decompress, what if I can’t fall asleep? Or have an anxiety attack? Or have a stomach bug? What if there is a hotel fire and I get zero rest?

And more importantly what if I get home the next morning and I’m just as overwhelmed and angry and anxious? What if I’ve used up my time away and it does no good? Z and our shrink were awesome. They told me I’d absolutely be just as overwhelmed. But we needed to start somewhere. It felt like a huge weight was lifted off of me. I might go to a hotel this week, I might not. Either way I have permission to still be a basket case after I get some rest. There is no expectation that a night a hotel is going to cure me. And for the record, I’m not looking for that permission from Z or my shrink (OK, a little from my shrink-I am a people pleaser), I need it from myself.

T’s school is having a reopening party today to celebrate a renovation this summer. I made an effort when I got dressed this morning. Boots with a 2″ heel. The gold on the shirt sparkles. I might put on lip gloss. See, Z? I’m trying to be fancy!

Z and T shave together in the mornings. Z puts some shaving cream on T’s chest and T carefully shaves it off.

What am I going to do with this kid?

So You’re Having a Colposcopy!

Let’s get the results, such as they are, out of the way first. The Colposcopy was completely normal, so my doc did 3 biopsies in order to have a better sense of what is going on. I’ll get the results in two weeks. There are two possible scenarios here: 1. I have HPV. I’ve never had a bad Pap before. I pointed out to him that I haven’t had a new sexual partner in almost 15 years. And I trust that my partner has been faithful. My doc is a pip. He told me he agreed-couldn’t imagine anyone cheating on someone as adorable as me. He also said the virus can hang out and not be detected in Pap smears for that long. Which is why they are moving towards a model where they do yearly HVP tests and skip the Paps. 2. I don’t have HPV and there was a mix up with the labs. The doc felt it could go either way, particularly after the Colposcopy showed nothing unusual.

More information in two weeks. Being the visual was clean I’m not that worried. Even if I do have HPV it is probably very manageable at this point.

Ok, things are going to get super graphic. Please just skip the rest if you don’t want unsexy talk of vaginas, biopsies, blood, and fancy mustard. Yes, the mustard part will make sense in a bit. Now here is where I offer advice to other ladies who need to go through this procedure:

1. Bring a friend or family member who will help you stay calm. Hey asshole! That does not mean a 15 month old kid! And C-you were a total trooper. I owe you.

2. Do you have a prescription for a benzo? If the answer is yes, you are pretty much guaranteed to be the kind of person who is going to flip out during or directly after this procedure. Save yourself some major grief and doen’t wait until you are a sobbing mess in your car and miles away from the pills in your bathroom cabinet before realizing you should probably take one.

3. Do you have something important to do after the procedure? Unless you want to miss, say, your second to last class of the semester-the one that had the most interesteing reading so you are pretty sure the seminar was amazing (although the rest of the class was probably thrilled they got a chance to talk for a change). The one where they make CHEESE during the practical. Cheese, people! Missed the chance to make cheese! Yes, I know making ricotta is easy, but I only know the theory, I haven’t actually tried it! Sorry, got carried away there. So yes, unless you want to miss your important thing go ahead and reschedule. If you have an anxiety disorder you will be a mess for the rest of the day.

4. The advice my sister-in-law gave me to take ibuprofen before the procedure was sound. Do this.  The Colposcopy takes a long time. The biopsies take a long time. There is a lot of poking and prodding. It hurts. Even if you like and trust your doc (and I do), even if you don’t have an anxiety disorder, it is incredibly stressful and by the end you really just want all foreign objects out of your vagina. Which is good because you can’t put anything in your vagina for two weeks. Sadly, this is non-negotiable. If I knew this in advance I would have gently prepped Z, rather than blurting it out on the phone as I wept hysterically in the car. I’m thinking that call was not the highlight of his day.

5. If you are getting biopsied you are going to bleed. The doc might even remark you are bleeding a lot. Which will send you in a tailspin if you have a frightening history of ladypart bleeding. I think I would have been able to rally if it weren’t for the bleeding part. But here I am almost 24 hours later, still running to the bathroom every 12 seconds to make sure I’m not passing huge clots. My heart has taken up residence in my throat. I’m in what feels like a never ending anxiety attack.

6. But it isn’t regular bleeding. Which you’d think would make for a pleasant change, instead it is even more disgusting! We ladies are used to blood coming from our vaginas. It’s been happening to me for about 25 years. After the biopsies I spied the nurse holding a glass jar of what looked like fancy mustard. Vinegar is used for the Colposcopy (it makes the bad cells turn white) so I enquired if we were making salad dressing. I kid, I kid. I just asked what the hell was going on. So the mustard stuff is packed onto your cervix because it stops the bleeding. I’m not sure on the magic/science here (feel free to correct in the comments) but I think it makes blood clots form on the biopsy sites. Blood clots are not my friend, so this made me very nervous. Doc assured me I was not getting out of there until the bleeding stopped. And he told me that was part of the whole nothing-in-the-vagina-for-two-weeks deal. Dislodging those blood clots would be really bad news. Also! The mustard stuff will continue to come out of you for about a week! Also! Parts of it will morph into what looks like coffee grounds! Yes! Mustard and coffee grounds coming out of your vagina for a week!

7. For the rest of the day you will hobble around, very very sore in your special area, the mustard stuff hardening right outside the entrance to ladytown and sort of create a pulling, burning, painful sensation. But you can’t do anything about it! Removing it might dislodge the inside stuff, and that is trouble! Also, gobs of mustard will fall out of you, each time convincing you a hemorrhage is beginning (Ok, that’s just me. But I’ve had a hemorrhage so it’s legit I’d feel that way).

Alright, ladies. Yesterday was the opposite of fun. But I hope some gal who is going in for the procedure does stumble upon this someday. Knowing exactly what is going to go down might make things easier for that person. I’m not writing this to scare you, Person-who-needs-a-Colposcopy-in-the-future. Rather, I’m trying to help educate you. You need to do this. It is important. Just know it is going to hurt a bit. Cancel plans for the rest of the day. Take some pain relief. Bring the maxi pad of your choice so you aren’t stuck with the bricks they give you at the doc’s office. Be prepared.

And I’m going to get serious for a minute. It sucked. It sucked balls. But I am so happy I had this procedure done. I feel so lucky to have health insurance. To have excellent medical care and a rockin’ doc who will find out what is going on and help me to fix it. Did I have one unpleasant day? Yes. Who fucking cares in the long run? I’ll also have help and answers and I will not wake up 15 years from now with an endstage cervical cancer that is going to kill me. How extraordinary is that? Don’t you wish every woman was afforded the same opportunity?

And a huge thanks to my friends who have been through this and showered me with awesome, helpful advice. I’m lucky to have all of you in my life.

The good part of missing class is I got to see this. Each Wednesday night this semester Z and the boys have been getting together with our friend and her two boys. She is married to the Professor of my class. I’ll tell you what, it is awesome to see your kid playing super involved games with a friend. They really do a good job and seem to have a lot of fun together. 

Of course, Z wanted in on the action. 

Cheesecake shot this morning.

Probably A Whole Lot of Nothing

On Monday I got a voicemail from a nurse at my Ob/Gyn’s office. My yearly exam was less than two weeks ago so I had a feeling it was not great news about my Pap smear. I called right back and…it was not great news about my pap smear.

Evidently it’s the best kind of bad there is. The overwhelming odds are that this is nothing. My wonderful sister-in-law is finishing up Medical school this year. After contacting Z so I could freak out a little I sent her an email asking what she thought. Her reply was perfect. She clearly explained what to expect during the next step while assuring me this wasn’t a big deal and that even if it turned out the be worst case it still wasn’t a big deal.

Of course it’s pretty much all I’ve been thinking about ever since. I needed to take a chill pill last night because I’m so nervous about going back to the Doc’s today. You see, my Doc is being incredibly accommodating. It looked like I couldn’t get in until next Monday, which really wasn’t long to wait. But they know I’m crazy anxiety gal. The Doc was not going to see patients on Wednesday, he just had a meeting at the hospital in the morning. But he is going to see me anyway. The office can be frustrating to deal with. Having a doctor who delivers his own patients means regular appointments are often rescheduled or include a long wait. But this guy, my doctor, he is a good man and a wonderful doctor. I feel like he really cares about his patients and goes out of his way to ease worry.

So why am I writing about this really personal thing before I’ve even found out what is going on? Um, have we met? On Monday before the phone call came I wrote about wishing the there wasn’t a stigma when it comes to talking about the hard parts of marriage. That same wish extends to medical stuff. Isn’t it more stressful to keep in to yourself? Or rather, it is more stressful for me to keep it to myself.

I don’t think everyone should be forced to talk about the super personal minutia of their lives. If you got a bed Pap test back and talking about it was going to make you more anxious, well, then I think you shouldn’t talk about it. How you handle your problems is up to you and should make you comfortable. I just think keeping quite shouldn’t be the only option. For me it eases my anxiety just a bit to let you guys know that there is an issue and that is it probably nothing. And even though my brain knows it is probably nothing my heart is really scared. It helps me to write it. I’m scared.

I know about half a dozen ladies who have been through this process. Some have just had to get the colposcopy, some have had to have biopsies, some have had the “Loop” procedure. I’ll have a colposcopy this morning and if things look fishy he’ll take some biopsies. I’m pretty worried about that part. One friend who had that done said it hurts pretty damn bad. Even if it does end up being cancer (and the chances for that are ridiculously low) it is a very treatable desease when caught early. I know deep down I’m going to be ok.

When friends have told me they are going through this process I’ve tried to be reassuring by letting them know there are a number of women in my life who have been there. My intent was not to devalue their worry, rather to made them feel less alone. The interesting thing is when I got the phone call I thought of my friends who have been in this position and it didn’t help me one damn bit. I immediately thought of what I’d said to my frightened friends in the past to comfort and I got a sinking feeling that I probably made them feel worse. At least there is one positive thing that is come from this situation-the next time a friend talks to me about her situation I will mostly listen and empathize. The fear is legitimate. Trying to make it into something that isn’t a big deal is easy for the person who isn’t going through it. It is allowed to be a big deal. I’m allowed to be scared. If I want to write a blog post about it I’m allowed to do that as well.

Trying to smile, but just pretty damn scared. I’m wearing a new shirt I got on super sale yesterday.  If I get good news today it’ll become my lucky shirt. If I get bad news I’ll probably throw it away. Because I’m reasonable like that. 

Ah, there’s a smile. Being goofy with this guy always helps. And he’s wearing the bow tie I got him for our anniversary today. Think that will bring me some awesome luck. 

Monster Under the Bed

There was a flat crocheted Holly Hobbie figure hanging from a light pull in the middle of my bedroom in New Jersey. I was 2-4 when we lived there, I’m not sure how old I was when it became a focus, but eventually it scared the living daylights out of me. I was sure it was going to come to life in the middle of the night and kill me. I devised a safety plan. If the blanket was tucked all around my body and over my head the evil Holly Hobbie couldn’t get me.

I’ve had problems with nighttime for as long as I can remember. In 3th grade we lived outside Boston. I remember starting to feel sick to my stomach as soon as it began to get dark every single night. By the time bedtime actually rolled around I’d be seized with terror. In the morning I’d be fine, but each day was a long slide towards dread and fear. In 4th grade we were in Fairfax, VA. My fear had morphed into a faceless intruder coming into my room to kill me. I decided I’d be able to crawl under my bed and into a hole in the mattress to safety. Inside the mattress I imagined I would discover a tunnel that led to an underground world of tunnels and burrows where a population of people hiding from the world came together. I spent a lot of time in my head with those people. I could lose myself in their world and finally relax.

The terror eased when I became a teenager who wanted to sleep all the time. As an adult living in apartments in cities helped. I never felt alone even when Z was away, people surrounded me on all sides. I could faintly hear them living their own lives and it comforted me. Our home in Syracuse is the first single family dwelling I’ve lived in since I left for college in 1995. We moved in the week before T was born. It seems like he didn’t sleep that entire first fall. Very quickly nighttime became sinister to me again. When it would get dark my anxiety would skyrocket. I was so tired and while I wasn’t scared of things that go bump in the night I was filled with dread that once again I wouldn’t be allowed to sleep. And if I’m honest the other kind of fear has also returned when Z goes out of town. I admit it. I’m scared when I’m alone in charge of the kids. A while ago I told my Mom about all of this. She asked why I didn’t tell her I was so frightened when I was a kid. It confused me. I thought that I did. And who knows what really happened? Now that I’m a Mom I can guess. She needed me to get in bed so she could have a fucking tiny little break and I fought her. I probably frustrated the hell out of her.

And now I empathize with her. Because T sure does frustrate the hell out of us. Some nights he makes bedtime into a torturous process, other nights he is completely cooperative and asleep for a solid 10 hours moments after his head hits the pillow. Lately he has started to talk about monsters. We aren’t sure where the fascination came from-we aren’t showing him movies with monsters, we don’t talk about them. When we were traveling last week he was having a hard time settling and Z lost patience. So we traded off and I climbed into the bed with T. He asked for a song about the Monster Owl. I had zero idea what he was talking about. But I made one up about a good monster owl named Harry who protected kids from bad monsters and who everyone wanted in their bedrooms. T dug it, he’s been talking about it since. Unfortunately I can’t remember how it went.

Z and I just want to get him to sleep so we can decompress a bit before starting this whole parenting thing again the next day. But I’ve been wondering if he’s been scared. Last night he woke up crying in the middle of the night for the second day in a row. He was up even earlier last night-at 1am. When he cries in the middle of the night I go in, Z is on C duty. Last night he confirmed my fears, he told me he was scared. I explained that he was safe and he told me there was a monster under his bed. I guess that cliché exists for a reason. We certainly haven’t put that idea in his head. From the time he first got up until 7 (a major sleep in for us) he was in and out of our bed, we were in and out of his bed, we had the light on in his room so he could play. He was completely unsettled and clearly very scared and not interested in sleep.

My heart aches for him. But at the same time today is going to suck ass because I’m so tired. I need my sleep, I’m a really selfish gal. These are the facts, I wish I was a better mother/wife/person. I just want my kid to fucking sleep so we can fucking sleep. My love and hopes and dreams for him are able to pierce that selfishness enough to fill me with worry. I don’t want him to grow up with a fear of nighttime just like mine. I do not know how to help him.

Z and I brainstormed a bit this morning. We asked T what was scaring him specifically and he told us the monster was an ugly doll that has been in his room for almost his entire life. He kept calling it Bobby, which was weird, but we figured out what was going on. The doll has historically been one of his favorites and it is called Beep Bop. But it has sort of fallen out of favor, it isn’t in the bed with him anymore and we haven’t referred to it by name for ages. I guess Bobby is what he remembered. We told him that Bobby was a good monster and he protected people and we’d really like to have him in our bedroom if T doesn’t want him around so he can make us feel safe. T loved that idea. We are also going to do an under the bed search tonight to show him there are no monsters there and perhaps a stuffed animal can stand sentinel to protect T. We wondered if there was another stuffed animal he wanted in his room that would protect him. He asked for the fish snow man. Which is actually a stuffed ghost some kind vendor gave him at the flea market ages ago. I quite enjoy the irony of a ghost protecting him.

Have any of you dealt with this? What did you do, Smart Friends? How do we teach our kid not to be scared of the dark, of night, of monsters? How to we help him get through the night while also getting sleep ourselves so we have something left over for C and laundry and making dinner and work and each other? T needs sleep, he is exhausted. Dude was a major dickhead this morning. Kept throwing wooden blocks at his brother.

It kills me that fear is already part of his emotional vocabulary. Did I do this to him? Does he see how I struggle to get through the day? Is he learning anxiety from me? Did he inherit it from my genes? Was I irresponsible and foolish for sharing my DNA with my children? Those questions tourment me. I don’t think I can handle the answers.

My grumplestiltskin. Jesus, though my haze of sleepiness I hurt for him. I just don’t want him to be scared. I want him to know he is safe here, that his Dad and I will protect him.

And the well rested kid. I’m still confused by the fact that my anxiety-ridden body produced such a content human.

Gossip

Dude, I love gossip. When Z gets home from work the first question I ask him is, “Any juicy gossip today?” If he is in a gossip dry spell I start to threaten him, “Don’t come home if you don’t have gossip.” or “I’m not making you dinner if you don’t have gossip.” What? I’m a stay at home Mom. I need something to help get me through the day. You know, besides being completely contented by spending every waking moment with my wonderful children….

So yes, gossip. I’m pretty shameless in my adoration of hearing other folk’s business. The other day someone told me that a couple we both know almost got a divorce a couple of years ago. I found myself supremely bored. My reply was that I’m pretty sure that every couple I know who have been married more than a decade have almost split up at some point. We sure as hell nearly did-took us less than five years.

Perhaps there are long term marrieds out there who have been happy for their whole relationship. If any of you mythical folks are reading, please identify yourselves! You are amazing! You should totally consider a career in mediation.

The best part of marriage is not being alone. The worst part of marriage is not being alone. Yes, you get a partner in life-for the hard parts and for the fun parts. But you also have to think about someone else’s needs when it come to fucking everything. Life becomes a negotiation. Add kids to the mix and your personal needs are pushed even further into the background. As someone who is not naturally selfless this has been one of the biggest struggles of my adult life. I desperately wanted to not be alone as an adult when I was a kid. I got my wish. But nothing is ever straightforward. I didn’t completely understand what I was asking for. I knew marriage would be hard, but I had no idea what a struggle it would be. I had no idea that sharing my life would be a sacrifice as well as the most fulfilling thing I’d ever do.

So why don’t we talk about this stuff? Why is there a stigma to almost splitting up? Hell, why is there a stigma to actually splitting up? Making it in a marriage does not indicate you are superior to those who don’t. Because who knows if you will get to “till death do us part” until you actually die? Life is hard, marriage is hard, relationships are hard. Wouldn’t it make it a smidge easier if we could talk about that openly?

 I mean, come on, wouldn’t you fight to stay married to someone who can pull off a hat like this?

Or who could talk himself out if tight spots? Z totally got T to stand down. 

Or who (with our friend C) made awesome improvements to T’s X Wing fighter?
Hey! C has started to take a few steps! My kiddos have both been on the late side of the walking game. T was 15 1/2 months when he one day decided to walk and never looked back. C will be 15 months at the end of the month. We still need to really encourage him to take steps, but he’ll get there. And major thanks to the sweet girls who worked with him until he did it! Family does rock.

What I Want for My Family

When I was in high school I pitied people who aspired to do regular things-those who wanted to be accountants or teachers or biologists. I wanted to do something great. I wanted to be known. I wanted to leave a mark. Through my haze of delusions of grandeur I never really nailed down what that greatness looked like. As I made my way through my 20s I slid further and further into mental illness. Greatness seemed like a joke–getting out of the house became more than I could handle.

When I was in high school my biggest fear was being alone as an adult. I often felt deeply lonely then even when surrounded by family or friends. I yearned for someone to share my life with, someone who would make me feel less alone.

I haven’t done anything great with my life, but I also haven’t been alone. It hasn’t always been easy, but Z and I have had each other to lean on. And my priorities have shifted. I don’t dream of greatness. I don’t desire fame. I’d like to not worry about the bills, but I don’t crave massive wealth.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday we stayed with my cousin M, his wife D, and their three kids who are transitioning into adulthood. My Aunt is 10 years older than my Dad. She married when she was 19 and had her eldest shortly after. So my cousin is only 11 or 12 years younger then my dad and almost 20 years older than me. While we are technically the same generation I’ve always felt like a kid to him.

Now I have children of my own and we have much more to talk about. It was an absolute pleasure to spend time with M, with the whole family this holiday. Z told my cousin’s wife that she was such a gracious host that he had trouble believing she wasn’t southern.

We got to watch a slice of the life M and D have built for their family. There is the fun stuff–M gardens and D is a talented cook. They hosted a dinner on Friday night and the fried eggplant and sauce all came out of their garden, along with an amazing vegetable casserole. Z and I aspire to do the same things someday. But the real beauty of their family is much less flashy. Their three children are easy to be around, are also incredibly hospitable, and are invested in their rich family life. They are happy to hang with the extended family, they all seem to genuinely dig each other.

I’m not trying to sell you a bill of goods about their perfect family. None of us has a perfect family. We all have our shit to work through, I’m sure they do too. But they also have real joy and togetherness. They tease and tourment each other. They have an enormous amount of fun. They are not alone. M and D have raised three kids that would make anyone proud. They are surrounded by laughter and love and good food and lots of beer.

My priorities have shifted. I look at their family and see exactly what I want in my life. I am hopeful we are on our way to achieving it. And my definition of greatness is shifting. Being part of a terrific extended family. Continuing to be close to my parents and sister. Also having that closeness with Z’s family. Trying to raise two boys to be kind, good, responsible people. Surrounding ourselves with family and friends that we love and who love us back. It is a quiet greatness. But it is richer and more satisfying than anything I imagined as a teen.

Dad and his brother and sister.
Some of my generation of cousins.  

We unloaded the car when we got home yesterday. As I was piling stuff in the kitchen I heard a crash and looked over to find this. 

Dude has no shame, he just dug in.

Screw Ups

The cookies and pie were made right on schedule Tuesday. Actually, the apple cake was made on schedule as well. But when I took it out of the bunt pan it fell in two pieces and the top of it was burned. Shockingly I didn’t handle it with a lot of grace.

Baking is my thing. I did it for a living for several years. I’m not a pastry chef by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve never worked in a restaurant. But I did make yummy stuff at a tiny wholesale bakery. It gave me an understanding of working with dough and confidence as a home baker. This cake that fell apart is my go-to dessert. My mom got the recipe from a roommate back in the early 70s. It was clipped from a newspaper or magazine where it was part of a Rosh Hashanah  meal menu and had the inspired and creative name of Jewish Apple Cake. It’s my Dad’s favorite and was my first birthday cake. I love making it with apples we’ve picked ourselves in the fall. The bakery I worked at was owned by an Israeli woman, we basically made the same cake for the holidays in individual loaf pans. We did plum cakes as well. The bottom line is this cake and I have history. It’s easy, it’s no hassle, it always comes out right.

I mean except for Tuesday it always comes out right. And it did come out fine the second time. Of course, I failed to take a picture of that one.
Listen, I have self confidence issues. They are a huge part of my anxiety disorder. I wish when the cake fell apart I didn’t fall apart as well. I wish that I didn’t spend a big part of Tuesday beating myself up about it and feeling pathetic. I don’t want my boys to see me losing it when I mess up. I don’t want them to think that it is normal to be so hard on yourself. Some days I feel like I will never beat this anxiety thing, not even enough to function. How do you fight a whispered voice in your head on a never ending loop that tells you that you are a piece of shit because you messed up an easy recipe? After a few hours of hearing the message it is really hard not to believe it.

What I want to be able to tell my boys is that everyone fucks up. That beating yourself up about it is a waste of time. That having 2 out of 3 desserts (or whatever) turn out is probably good enough. That the world isn’t going to end if you don’t remake the cake (or whatever). That life is too damn short to torture yourself. And if I tell them enough times perhaps I’ll start to believe it. In the meantime I’ll make the cake a second time. I’m glad I did. Like I said, it is my Dad’s favorite. And his birthday was yesterday. So he had leftover Jewish Apple Cake as birthday cake.

I told T he could pick out a present for Grandpa. He insisted on getting a cherry picker. I told him Grandpa was turning 64 and asked if he really thought Grandpa wanted a truck. T assured me he totally did. 
I did a crap job with pictures. Here’s the only one of the pumpkin pie. Use your imagination. 

And some gingerbread cookies. 
My fellas just before we headed from one cousin’s house to another’s for Thanksgiving dinner. Sadly, T is speaking volumes with his actions in this one…