The Gluten Bigot

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Why Everyone Needs Besties

Hello my little corner of the interweb. It's been a while. I've been discouraged, distracted, uninspired and/or busy since my last post. There have been many times where I wanted to sit down and write, if only because it's easier than therapy, but I have been feeling constrained by what this blog used to be. I just don't know what it is. Perhaps I will try to post when the mood strikes and we will see what happens. 

For those of you who read, but don't know me personally, my mom passed away almost exactly seven months ago and within a two week span of that we closed on our townhouse. Almost exactly four months ago I had my second baby. After a fantastic 12 week leave I transitioned back to work. To say life has been chaotic would be an enormous understatement.

It is not an understatement to say I could not have done the last few months without my besties. I'm so blessed that I have friends who are so fabulous. I don't see them often, in fact aside from my husband I don't have close friends in NYC, but a have some amazing people who I know would be there for me in a second if needed. And sometimes it's when you go through the real shit that you recognize those connections.

It's the friends who messaged and texted when they found out about my mom's and didn't judge me for not replying. And for not telling them I was in town.  The friends who came to her funeral. My friend (and one of my mentors) who was about the only one I really felt I could break down to because she knew EXACTLY all my feelings. The friends who sat with my after the funeral and talked about anything but my mom because I was six months pregnant and just couldn't with the feelings and helped make me look busy so I didn't have to speak to people I didn't know.

The friends who sent things for my boys after Bricktini arrived just because them love them.

My friend who messages with me daily and listens to my rants and offered to come cook, clean my house and do actual helpful things after Bricktini was born. 

I'm far on the introversion scale. And I don't do well with having any feelings (good or bad). But holy shit friends, it means the world to me even if I don't call you when I have a rough one to know that you would be there if I needed.

Losing a parent makes you feel isolated - you just lost someone you turned to, and your family is grieving too and for me I have a hard time having feelings when someone else is. Having a newborn literally isolates you. You people (you know who you are) have made me feel like I was never alone and have been so kind to make space for whatever I needed.

I can't thank anyone enough who's been through the last year with me. Truly. 

If anyone reading this is going through a rough patch, and is feeling along, I hope and I encourage you to really look around. Look hard because it's hard to recognize when you're in the middle of it and the support they give may be subtle. I hope you find amazing people around you who you love the way I was able to fully see and appreciate the people around me.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

#MomProblems | Love You Forever

My baby is a crazy guy like the one in
the book. This is him on the coffee
table (he's not allowed to ride it like a
surfboard but did anyways.
Have you read that book, Love You Forever by Robert Munsch? I remember reading this as a kid at story time, and I remember really liking it. I was able to fully recall the story (and song) decades later. It was one of the books that I really wanted to Bricklet to have so I ordered it for him. This post is basically about why I cry almost every time I read it. 

In fairness, this story is one of more than a slight over-attachment. The mother drives across town in the middle of the night, breaks into her son's house, and rocks him. As an adult I find that creepy, and maybe think it would be a great premise for a horror movie. But I love the sentiment of the book, and that it's really about that eternal and unbreakable love between parent and child. 

When Bricklet was a few weeks old several friends shared on Facebook the interview where he talks about how he wrote the story, and that the song was for two stillborn children him and his wife had. Holding my little squish, and knowing how scared I was before he was born that something would go wrong, and now that he was there in my arms something would go wrong, and that even though we had just met I could not imagine my world without him I became a basketcase. I was post-partum, overwhelmed with visitors, and having the feelings.

I didn't attempt to read him the story for a few months. One day, right before I went back to work, I had the brilliant idea to read him the book. I started and was weeping by page 2, and gave up at page 5. 

Now he's a big toddler, he picks out his own books, so a few weeks ago he handed me Love You Forever. I managed to keep it together until the point where he moves out. The next few readings it transitioned to somewhere between him moving out and where his mom is sick (this part still gets me).

Bricklet must hate me. Because last weekend he decided this is his favorite book. And he wants to read to him 5 consecutive times. He doesn't know why mommy is crying. The upside is, I can now read it without my eyes leaking consistently. I still hit the points where I get choked up. But I can do it without being a total weirdo.

What I never expected about this book, and about being a parent, was just how much you love that baby. Bricklet is 18 months old and 100% toddler, but he's still my baby, and he will be when he's 2, 9, a moody teenager and a grown-up man. And I hope that we grow up to have a relationship that when I'm old and sick he will want to be there for me. 

Although I promise to never break into his house. That's still creepy.


Friday, September 4, 2015

Getting It Together at Home

We've been in our most recent place for more than a year now. It has more space than our old place, so we were able to buy a dresser (yay) and we have more wall space, and I would love to get a storage bench for the entry way. 

We moved in right as I was going back to work. We tend to keep really freakin' busy, so honestly most of our place has never gotten fully sorted. It feels unfinished. We don't like knick-knacks and crap out, but I do like to make it feel like it's lived in (aside from the odd bit of clutter as the week goes on). 

There is one corner I do love though - and it happens to be the dresser area. After looking at a million or so online, I decided the one that would go best with out bed and taste was this one from West Elm. The picture is actually a photo I took when we were in Paris; I got a random groupon to have it printed on canvas (I just chose the cheapest option, there were several). Going with the Parisian theme, I've kept an old bottle of Chanel No.5 there, along with my Christian Louboutin nail varnishes (the bottles are beautiful). A candle, some fresh flowers, and the ring tray that used to be my grandmother's finish it off. It's right in eyesight when you walk in the room, and I can actually see it from my usual spot in our living room. It's just a happy space that I think came out nicely.

I'd really like to 'finish' more spaces before we move again (we never 'finished' our first place we lived in for 3 years). Any good sites you can recommend for inspiration or goods would be greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Gluten Free Disney World

As avid global travelers, one thing we really didn't want to do when we started having kids was have every holiday at Disney. Bricklet gets one holiday a year targeted at him, tops, the rest needs to have things for us. That said, a couple of months ago I did attend a conference in Orlando and J and Bricklet came to meet me there and we made a long weekend of it. I was a bad blogger and didn't photograph any of my food - but did learn exactly how hyper-friendly Disney is for food allergies.

I stayed at the HIlton Buena Vista, which was really GF friendly. I ate in all restuarants and each accomodated me. They had good quick grab items (like Kind Bars) in the deli. I was so really excited as this was the first conference I've been to where they had GF meals ready upon request (sandwiches, with bread that was actually good). 

We only went to the Magic Kingdom one day since Bricklet was still quite small and we have extended family in Florida, so we only had to sort out two meals. We ended up at Tortuga Tavern for lunch (it was meh), and Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe for a late lunch (also meh). While the food was really mediocre, the service was good everywhere we went. Oh, and I may have had more than one chocolate covered banana. Those things were totally as good as I remembered!


Downtown Disney has the only place I've been to with gluten free onion rings - Raglan Road. The place is horrendous in that Disney over the top tourist trap type way, but the food is very good (and GF onion rings FTW!). I went twice. My best suggestion is, especially over a weekend ensure you reserve (and reserve far ahead, the week prior didn't do me any good, so we only managed to get tables during the week) . 


T-Rex was the funnest place we went. Bricklet loved the animatronic dinosaurs - and it aligned with our goal of making him obsessed with dinosaurs (because they're awesome). We managed to get a day before late lunch reservation. The queue that you wait in when you have a reservation was quite shocking... but Downtown Disney + weekend = it is what it is. 

Out of Downtown Disney and the hotel we went to Ruth's Chris for steak (filet was great), Sea Dog Brewing (yum, burgers). 

My only disappointment was Erin McKenna's (Babycakes) was listed as still being in Downtown Disney, but it had closed / moved. 

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