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Nantzie

I'm Having A Really Rough Time

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I don't even know where to start. Right now I'm just irritated that no matter what I cook, my kids don't like it. I don't like it either, to be honest. We've kind of gotten into a rut with the food the last few weeks. I'm usually an eat what I made or wait til the next meal type of mom, but right now I can't stand to listen to the whining. So I've been just giving them whatever they want, which is just a few different things, so of course they're sick of it all.

December is really hard for me because my mom and dad both died in December, 12 years apart, both of cancer. Yesterday was the second anniversary of my dad dying. This year I hosted Christmas Eve for my husband's side of the family (which went perfect) so I stayed busy, which worked nicely to give me something to do than just be sad. But now that Christmas is over, it's all hitting me like a ton of bricks.

Add to that I have a family member that has completely kicked me into a ditch. She was one of those people where you don't even question that they'll be there for you. Not only was she not there for me, but she's been lying to me and about me to other family members. By being there for me, I don't mean her coming over and letting me cry on her shoulder. All I ever expected from her was to be able to talk to her on the phone for five minutes if I was having a bad day. As far as the lying, she's not spreading rumors about me or anything, but when other family members ask her how I'm doing, she tells them that I'm doing great and she "just talked to me a couple weeks ago". Even though she hasn't talked to me in six months and doesn't return my calls. There are other issues too of course, but that really sticks in my craw. As some family members are seeing the cracks in her stories and explanations, they're starting to ask her about it a little more pointedly. She's being defensive and telling them I'm doing things that they know I'm not doing and are just as fed up about it as I am.

So I'm in the middle of therapy on the pros and cons of not only severing the relationship, but figuring out how to talk to the other family members about it without making this family member look too bad. I'm actually kind of worried about her, which is why I've still been trying to call her and be there for her. I know I'm not the only one in the world with problems, so I was hoping I could help. Not so much, huh? She's obviously got something going on that has nothing to do with me and that she doesn't want to talk to anyone in the family about. I don't want to completely burn the bridge just in case things change, but I need to put up some roadblocks, barbed wire and maybe a guard dog.

So there's my list of things that are wrong right now -

It's December.

I've got a family member who's gone nuts on me.

My kids and I are sick to death of eating the same things.

Gripe, gripe, gripe.

Any advice, commiserations or recipes welcome. :rolleyes:

Nancy

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When the holidays calm down, notify your kids that the old rules are back, eat or go hungry. ;)

I severed ties with a family member who lies about me all the time. Never looked back and never regretted it. If you haven't spoken in six months, it sounds like if you just go on like you have been, the relationship is already over. Now when someone tells you what they heard from her, you'll be able to say, "That's impossible, we haven't communicated since ____" I wouldn't bother talking about it to other family members until something comes up.

Sorry, no advice on new food, I'm sick of it all, too. I hate eating. It's turned into the family joke.

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1. Go stand on a hill and scream.

2. Assign your kids the task of making dinner. (OK, it might not be what you want, but at least it'll be different.)

3. Tell yourself that it's OK to distance yourself from the relationship with your relative. (I hate to say "sever", because she may get through whatever's going on and want to re-establish. I'd say it's better to distance her now, before too many things have been said that would be hard to work through later).

4. Eat as much chocolate as you want, preferably with red wine. Even if there aren't any health benefits, you'll be a lot happier afterwards! ;)

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I don't have any advice but I'll commiserate. I hate figuring out what we are going to eat more than I hate making it. It's hard to please myself, a picky eater, a vegetarian, and my husband and all eat the same thing or even close to it. My oldest daughter is old enough that if she doesn't like what we are eating I let her make something else. She will make eggs or rice. She, too, has complained that she's tired of what she eats but she's the one who limits her diet so severely.

It was so much easier back in the days when we could just go out to eat and everyone get what they wanted. :rolleyes:

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Guest cassidy

The only advice I have is that you are going through a tough time. Is there anything the kids want to eat? I realize nutrition is important but a couple of unbalanced meals probably won't hurt anyone. If they have a break and eat fun stuff for a while then maybe they will be happier with the food in the future. That is what I do.

I would try not to worry about the family member for a while. If December is hard for you, let yourself mourn the loss of your parents and worry about that next year. January is a fresh start and maybe dealing with one thing at a time would be helpful.

Is there anything that you do that always makes you feel better? Sometimes I go get a facial or a pedicure and it just makes me feel better. Baby yourself a little and hopefully things will seem less overwhelming soon.

Hugs

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The only advice I have is that you are going through a tough time. Is there anything the kids want to eat? I realize nutrition is important but a couple of unbalanced meals probably won't hurt anyone. If they have a break and eat fun stuff for a while then maybe they will be happier with the food in the future. That is what I do.

I would try not to worry about the family member for a while. If December is hard for you, let yourself mourn the loss of your parents and worry about that next year. January is a fresh start and maybe dealing with one thing at a time would be helpful.

Is there anything that you do that always makes you feel better? Sometimes I go get a facial or a pedicure and it just makes me feel better. Baby yourself a little and hopefully things will seem less overwhelming soon.

Hugs

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Hi,

The holidays are alwaya difficult for most people. I did things simply this year beause I had to.

I come from a well educated family, you would think they would understand Celiac Disease. My Dad has it too. But he is still eating gluten. He said his side effects aren't that bad.

I'm a nurse, so I worked Christmas eve and slept Christmas day. I sent my 4 children to my parents house to have fun. I'm a single mom, so I work a lot!

My kids gripe and complain about meals all the time too, but they do a lot of cooking themselves now, simply out of despiration. I try to have easy, quick fix meals for them to prepare when they are hungry. They are 15, 14, 13, and 11. They are always coming and going to school activities, so this works for us.

When they were younger, I did prepare meals.

It is so hard to deal with difficult relatives. If this relative lies about you, you do not need her emotional support. There are pleanty of other wonderful people in this world to look towards for comfort and reassurance. If she knows that she is getting to you, then she will continue. She is controlling you and probably enjoying it very much. This is not normal behavior. Don't be her victim.

Pretend at first that she does not bother you, and eventually you will be freed from her control and she will go on to bug some other poor unfortunate soul.

I have to do it every day with my children's father. Every day I wake up, say a prayer, and hope for a good day. It does not always work, but it does more often than not and it makes the hard days easier to handle!

Shelah

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Nancy, how old are your kids? That would determine what kind of advice I'd give you on the meals problem.

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Oh Nantzie I feel your pain! I am so tired of food and it consuming so much of my life I could just scream! I miss the days of grilled cheese and chicken noodle soup for dinner which I know I could still make but it just isn't the same. I am even more sick of asking for dinner suggestions and getting an "I don't care" in return. There just always seems to be something in the air this time of year with kids too...they are short tempered, ill behaved, etc. Must be the lack of sunlight or something.

I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your parents...not an easy thing to deal with. While I have only lost my mom just less than a year ago, I felt like they were both gone this year. My dad had no desire to do any celebrating which I can completly understand too but....well you know didn't make it any easier. You sound like you are a wonderful person...I mean holy cow, to still have concern about the well being of someone who is treating your poorly is most admirable. However, maybe you should consider the effect of including this person in your life, it sounds as if it might be doing more damage than good. I like you hate to give up on people, I find it very difficult to understand how someone could just be nasty for no apparent reason but the sad truth is some people just are. Protect your sweet soft heart, and if that means eliminating someone from your life, so be it. Good luck to you and these struggles...like all others they will pass, its just a matter of moving out of the rut. I'll make you a deal...I'll try to get out of my food rut if you try to get out of yours! :P

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Oh Nantzie I feel your pain! I am so tired of food and it consuming so much of my life I could just scream! I miss the days of grilled cheese and chicken noodle soup for dinner which I know I could still make but it just isn't the same. I am even more sick of asking for dinner suggestions and getting an "I don't care" in return. There just always seems to be something in the air this time of year with kids too...they are short tempered, ill behaved, etc. Must be the lack of sunlight or something.

I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your parents...not an easy thing to deal with. While I have only lost my mom just less than a year ago, I felt like they were both gone this year. My dad had no desire to do any celebrating which I can completly understand too but....well you know didn't make it any easier. You sound like you are a wonderful person...I mean holy cow, to still have concern about the well being of someone who is treating your poorly is most admirable. However, maybe you should consider the effect of including this person in your life, it sounds as if it might be doing more damage than good. I like you hate to give up on people, I find it very difficult to understand how someone could just be nasty for no apparent reason but the sad truth is some people just are. Protect your sweet soft heart, and if that means eliminating someone from your life, so be it. Good luck to you and these struggles...like all others they will pass, its just a matter of moving out of the rut. I'll make you a deal...I'll try to get out of my food rut if you try to get out of yours! :P

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Hi Nancy,

Sorry you are feeling blue right now. I'm in the same boat as far as thinking of things to make that my kids will like. The kids and I are all gluten-free and cf now and my 4 year old is really really picky. I rack my brain trying to figure out how to make sure they get proper nutrition and something that tastes good at the same time! It is BIG challenge. I don't know if this will help, but I just keep reminding myself that I am doing the best that I can and my children won't starve. Sometimes I do let them eat some junk food just so they get some calories until I can think of and prepare a meal that covers all the bases. I keep experimenting with new recipes and products. I would venture to guess that they accept 1 out of 10 new meals I prepare. :blink: We have spaghetti once a week now (to my dh's horror) because they LOVE it. Hang in there and keep trying. It will get better! Hugs!

Sarah

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Hi Nancy,

I'm sorry your having a bad time, the hollidays can not only make you tired but tax your emotional state. Some years are better than others and your having a not so good one. I bet if you were feeling better, none of this would realy bother you at all. You need to take it easy on yourself and who cares what the family thinks, I'm sure none of them are purfect, I bet none of them listen to any negative things being said, more than likley they are to involved in thier own troubles this time of year.

Give yourself a break and find a good book and take some you time. Find some easy things to put on the tabel and call it good, your not bad for doing that every now and then. Give them some apples and Cerial for dinner, Panda puffs are good and tomorrow you might feel better anyway.

Lots of hugs :)

Cathy

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I just wrote you a really long thing of advice and lost it, so here's the condensed version. LOL!!

It seems like your trusty relative is going through some drama of her own, and rather than torment yourself trying to help both you and her, maybe be a bit selfish and worry about you. It sounds like she doesn't want to talk right now and you have certainly reached out. Let her call you when she's ready. I don't think you need to get angry and cut her off; not just yet anyway. And we're always here for listening and support.

As for the food situation; well I don't have kids, but my husband may as well be a 5 yr. old with the variety of food he eats. Trust me, I COMPLETELY understand the frustration. Maybe take out some cookbooks, flip through and see if there is anything new that sounds appealing to you and then before you make it, run it by the family.

I'm very sorry to hear about your parents. The holidays can be really hard for those that have lost people, and especially if you lost them in the month of December. <<HUGS>>

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Nancy, I'm so sorry you're feeling so sad right now. Sounds like your friend has dug herself into a hole--it may not be possible to ever trust her again, at least, not until you find out what is really going on. In the meantime, steer safely clear of her (without necessarily slamming the door for good), and permit yourself to mourn.

If you tell me what gluteny foods you wish you could eat, I could probably come up with a very decent gluten-free version for you (unless it calls for puff pastry).

Do you have a Sam's Club near you? They have terrific rotisserie chickens (yes, gluten-free!) there. Take the meat off the bones--that's a meal right there, with a salad. Take the bones and throw them into the crockpot with a bag of baby carrots and two sliced big onions. If you have a sweet potato and a parsnip (or turnip), chop them up and throw them in too, along with a couple of cloves of garlic, and some parsely and dill (dried is just fine) Those roast chicken bones make the best chicken soup ever!

gluten-free fettucine or spaghetti broken in thirds is easier than making mock matzah balls, but I do have a good recipe for the mock matzah balls--let me know if you want it.

Brow na pound or two of ground meat with a chopped onion and garlic, and add cooked Tinkyada elbows, a big can of tomato sauce, and a bag of shredded cheddar to make a great comfort food casserole. For a bit of a Greek pastitsio spin on it, add cinnamon, allspice, and oregano to the ground meat.

In the meantime--{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}

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Thanks so much everybody for all the support, advice and recipes. It means so much to me. Hugs back to everyone. I think I got burnt out on cooking trying to get ready for Christmas. Lots of baking. It was all worth it because everyone loved the food, even all the gluten-free stuff. So it was a total success, but a lot of work. I actually threw out Christmas cookies today because I didn't even like the smell of sweet baked goods anymore. Who would have ever thought that could happen? I just want to stay out of the kitchen for a week.

My kids are 3 and 4.5, so they're right in the middle of the time when a lot of kids are picky anyway. The gluten-free just adds another layer on top of the picky. :rolleyes: I've been finding a lot of foods that my husband and I are enjoying, but the kids are a different matter. And if one likes something, the other won't even try it and vice versa. Totally normal for their ages, but still driving me up a wall. Definitely going back to the eat what I serve thing soon.

Ah for the days of fast food, frozen dinners and big old boxes of goldfish crackers... :lol:

I'm not sure what's going to happen with my family member, but I can't just let her keep doing what she's doing. I'm more the type to just leave it alone and let it work itself out. Which is what I did this past year and it went from bad, to worse, to just plain ridiculous. So I've pretty much had it. Not going to burn the bridge, but I'm going to have some conversations and put everything out on the table as gently as possible.

Nancy

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Nancy, I am glad your Christmas dinner went well. You've made it past that hurdle, which probably helped you feel somewhat better.

Fiddle-Faddle's noodle casserole sounds good, most little kids would like that (and big kids, too :P ). I agree with making them eat whatever you serve, because it adds too much stress and work to do otherwise. If they refuse to eat at mealtime, make sure there are healthy snacks available in between (but don't allow them to make meals out of those, they need to learn to eat whatever is served).

When my youngest daughter was three and four, she refused to eat any food that wasn't 'clean'. As in, no potato salad, or gravy on her potatoes (no sauce on her pasta, either, I'd just give her the meat and vegetables before I put sauce in them). She wanted 'clean' potatoes. And the foods had to be all separate on her plate, and weren't allowed to touch. So, if I made potato salad, she would usually sit with me, and eat the foods as I was getting them ready to put in the salad. First, a pickle, then a tomato, maybe some pieces of apple, some cucumber (obviously no onion :blink: ), and then some peeled potatoes (cooked in the skin), maybe some cooked carrots and peas (I put a whole meal into my salad). By the time my potato salad was done, she was finished eating, and was happy to just sit with the rest of us as we ate, and have dessert (if we had any).

I didn't make any special food for her, but still accommodated her need for separate food.

I hope you get things worked out with that family member soon. That situation adds stress you don't need.

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In the spirit of getting out of the food rut, I made a skillet dish that turned out really good. I found about a dozen different versions of it on allrecipes.com, so I figured it would have to be good. And I had all the ingredients without having to go to the store. It turned out really good. My husband and I both had seconds.

My kids didn't eat any. But I gave them some tortilla chips on the side so they at least got something in their stomachs. I'm doing the tired mom logic - tortilla chips are made out of corn and therefore are vegetables. :lol: So not true, but makes me feel better. :rolleyes:

Here's what I made -

Mince half an onion and a clove or two of garlic and sautee in oil until soft. Add pound of hamburger until browned, drain. Add a can of diced tomatoes, a can of kidney beans, a can of corn, a can of tomato sauce, and about two cups cooked rice. Add a tsp of chili powder and half a tsp of cumin. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook until warmed through.

Fiddle - I'm going to go to the grocery store tomorrow, and I'm going to see if I can find out if the rotisserie chickens are gluten-free. If not, I know the turkey breasts are at our store. Then I can do the same thing with the turkey that you're talking about. That sounds so good. I never knew what to do with the bones and never thought about making a soup from them. That sounds really good.

I've thought about having my older one start helping me a little bit. But I've gotten into the "just get it done" mind-set. Maybe if I have her help, even if it's stuff she doesn't necessarily like, it might get her more interested in food. But like a few people said, it's not like they're going to starve if they miss a meal or two or even eat things that aren't the most nutritious.

Right now, I'm having red wine and chocolate.

Like I said, everyone had great advice. :D

Nancy

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Ah for the days of fast food, frozen dinners and big old boxes of goldfish crackers... :lol:

I'm not sure what's going to happen with my family member, but I can't just let her keep doing what she's doing. I'm more the type to just leave it alone and let it work itself out. Which is what I did this past year and it went from bad, to worse, to just plain ridiculous. So I've pretty much had it. Not going to burn the bridge, but I'm going to have some conversations and put everything out on the table as gently as possible.

Nancy

oooh, I used to looove goldfish crackers...

Just wanted to pipe up with a "hang in there." December can really suck, and I think it's worse when you have anniversaries of sad events while everyone around is all merry & bright.

As for the family member in question: do what you need to do for your own mental health. She may or may not be ready to hear what you have to say. You may lay it all out on the table and she might have a huge tantrum and flip the table over. I think it's wise to prepare for that possibility. Speak your mind (gently, as you say) and let it go. She may come around...she may not... again, do what you need to do to be at peace with yourself, because you can't chnage her or solve her issues.

As for the other family members, well.. can you just talk to them directly, so they aren't getting misinformation?

I wish you sunshine and a Happy New Year.

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Do you have a Sam's Club near you? They have terrific rotisserie chickens (yes, gluten-free!) there.

Are you sure their chicken is gluten free? Maybe they changed the recipe, but I remember looking at it about a year ago and the seasoning had wheat in it. I'd be psyched if they did change it because I live about 5 minutes from a Sam's Club and it would be great to know I can get this for a quick dinner.

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I bet it differs from store to store :angry: . Lately, I've been getting the rotisserie chickens from Costco, so it is also possible that I mixed the two up in my mind our Sam's Club moved 5 miles further away from me :angry: )

Better be safe than sorry--check at your local store!!!!!

A slightly more time-consuming way around this is to roast your own chicken(stuff cavity with sliced onion and a bunch of garlic cloves and shove in 350 degree oven for an hour to an hour and a half), and then make soup the next day.

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I'm not too worried about her having a tantrum and flipping the table over, so to speak. I'm a pretty tough chick and I can stand my ground pretty well. My dad was a marine, so tough runs in my veins. :D

I'm basically going to go with the simple approach.

- Ask her if there is anything I may have done or said that upset her. Who knows? Maybe I upset or offended her in some way that I'm not aware of? If I did, of course I'll do what I can to apologize and make ammends.

- If it wasn't something I did, then I'm going to tell her that it appears to me like she's been avoiding me. Then just see what she says on that.

Other than that I'm going to ask her to have whoever asks about me to call me.

That's pretty much it. We'll see what happens in the middle of all that.

For some reason, instead of calling me, the other family members call her, and then ask about me. No idea why...? I think it's because they don't quite know what to say to me or what to do with me. An only child with both parents passed away isn't exactly something that most people are familiar with. Plus, they all think that that family member and I have been sticking together, so I'm sure they think I've got a lot of support in her. I talked to my problem fam member a couple weeks before Christmas (I called her and she actually answered), and she said that one of my aunts called and asked about me and she told her I was doing great. :rolleyes: I'm sure everyone just thinks that everyone else is talking to me. Not the most communicative family in the world...

I'm definitely going to talk to the rest of the family directly. I was hoping this would get better and could just be glossed over because I don't want to make her look bad, ya know? But it's just gotten to that point now.

Oh well, we'll see what happens. All I can do is be gentle, honest and open to whatever she has to say. You just never know what may be happening in another person's life.

Anyway...

On to the food! ;) I never did call to check on the rotisserie chicken, and it had modified food starch on the label. They also didn't have the turkey breasts that I had confirmed to be gluten-free a couple months ago. Maybe it was just a holidays thing? Hope not. Those turkey breasts were GOOD!

I picked up some of those little cookbook magazine type things at the checkout stand too. I gave them to my husband and told him to pick some stuff for us to try. The kids will just have to deal with whatever I make. :)

I was always too scared that I'm mess something up by trying to roast my own chicken, but I'm getting a lot braver. How do you know when the chicken is done? Do you use a probe thermometer or some other way? I'm worried about not cooking it long enough, but then too long isn't good either because it gets so dried out that way. If I could learn how to roast a chicken, that would be really neat.

Nancy

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How do you know when the chicken is done? Do you use a probe thermometer or some other way? I'm worried about not cooking it long enough, but then too long isn't good either because it gets so dried out that way. If I could learn how to roast a chicken, that would be really neat.

If I'm cooking a whole chicken/turkey, I *always* use a probe thermometer - one of the ones you can leave in and is attached to a readout outside of the oven. When it comes out, I check the temperature in the other breast to be sure, and viola.

To keep it from drying: for a chicken, I keep the skin on and keep it in a covered dish. For a turkey, I wrap it up (the whole thing, even underneath, so I make a huge sheet and wrap it) with aluminum foil. Having them covered also allows it to cook more quickly, but the main reason is to keep the liquid inside so you're partially steaming it.

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Nancy,

I've been using those oven bags lately to roast whole chickens. They make clean up so easy.

I season the chicken with Salt, pepper, onion salt, garlic powder and paprika.

Cook it on 350 degrees for at least 20 minutes per pound.

Let it cool a little, then slip the whole thing, bag and all, into a large plastic container. Then ditch the bag.

BTW I had a friend once who never gave her kids sweets or junk food and now I wish I had followed her lead. For snacks they ate fruit, cut up veggies, yogurt, etc.

marcia

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I bet it differs from store to store :angry: . Lately, I've been getting the rotisserie chickens from Costco, so it is also possible that I mixed the two up in my mind our Sam's Club moved 5 miles further away from me :angry: )

Better be safe than sorry--check at your local store!!!!!

A slightly more time-consuming way around this is to roast your own chicken(stuff cavity with sliced onion and a bunch of garlic cloves and shove in 350 degree oven for an hour to an hour and a half), and then make soup the next day.

Wanted to let everyone know, I happened to go to Sam's Club today and they changed how they make the rotisserie chicken. It's now gluten free!!!

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Wanted to let everyone know, I happened to go to Sam's Club today and they changed how they make the rotisserie chicken. It's now gluten free!!!

Wow--that's great news!!!

The last time I looked (which was a while ago), wheat starch was the second ingredient. Before Celiac, we used to love them. Thanks for letting us know :)

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