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October 11, 2019

airbnb: Hell personified, plus pics for proof

The actual apartment was great, if Coach and I had been traveling with one or two children.  The promised air mattresses did not exist.  There were 5 bath towels.  No kitchen towels.  Four dinner plates, etc.  Two cheap rolls of toilet paper, and one partial roll of cheap paper towels.  There were no garbage bags or a kitchen garbage receptacle.  At all.  

The smaller bedroom had a diagonal wall, so it fit one twin bed that Lad nabbed.  It was not possible to fit an air mattress on the floor in that room because of the angular space.  I emailed immediately and demanded that she deliver the air mattresses that she had promised, plus sufficient bath towels, and bedding. 

Master bedroom with twin air bed
 at the foot.  Can you say cozy?
We left the apartment for a few hours and when we returned they still had not dropped off the supplies. Finally at 9 pm someone dropped off a couple of queen air mattresses, a few blankets that reeked of smoke, and a couple more bath towels.  Trying to figure out where to stuff blown up air mattresses in this itty bitty place was the next dilemma.

One twin mattress, that Eddie claimed, went at the foot of the bed in the tiny master.  We then moved all of the stools into the kitchen from in front of the counter top overhang bar and slid them into the kitchen area.  Then we pushed the two love-seats and the coffee table up against the wall.  Now we could wedge two queen air mattresses onto the floor in the living room making it look like a trampoline room.  


Not sure if someone was being a wise ass,
photo bomber, or if they were just trying to
 move about in the crowded space.  Behind
the hand you can see someone - Curly maybe
sleeping on the coveted hallway twin
jammed down between the walls. 
The last twin air mattress we pounded on until it was stuck between the two walls in the hallway.  This meant that in order for Lad to get out of his room and maneuver down the hall, he had to step diagonally across the twin into the laundry closet, then take another giant diagonal step over the bed to land on the other side just outside the bathroom door.  

Our tribe of Shenanigans is not accustomed to fancy surroundings.  We have slept in tents in Yellowstone - even after they flooded.  We have jammed more people than you could think possible into a hotel room.  Our home sweet home is in a constant state of disarray and chaos.  We were bummed that the situation dictated that we had to reconfigure the space each morning in order to use the kitchen and the couches, and then back again when it was time to sleep.  


Three kids in the trampoline room.
 Reg, far left, Mini in the middle and Tank.
I think this is Curly's hair in the lower left corner. 
We were watching comedian Jim Gaffigan.  Note
 the air mattress turned on its side so we
 could sit on the furniture.  Reg, Lad, and Coach
 are sitting on kitchen bar stools. 
What can I say, we are a close family.
It should come as no surprise that no one wanted to sleep in the trampoline space.  The two twin mattresses were coveted by the kids.  Coach and I had to coax people into accepting their lot in life and assign sleeping spots.  One morning one of the 3 kids assigned the trampoline space, ended up curling up on the love-seat adjacent to the air mattresses.  We asked, but the answer was a resounding ‘No, it was not more comfortable than the air mattress, but so and so (I think Mini was the culprit) kicks too much.’

The times when we were awake, we mostly spent out and about in the city.  One of the days was our whale watching tour followed by time on Victoria.  By the time we arrived home it was basically the middle of the night and we all collapsed.  Lad managed to hook up his laptop to the TV one night and we crowded around the love-seats and the queen air mattresses to watch some Jim Gaffigan on Netflix.  We laughed our butts off.  He is hilarious and mostly acceptable for all ages.  Stuff that was not appropriate went over the little kids’ heads.

Of course I fully enjoyed the full size fridge and freezer, but assigning times for everyone to shower and finding places for towels to hang was a pain.  Of course we ran out of toilet paper and paper towels.  Coach hollered at me from time to time insisting that I must have missed something in the directions from the chick because the garbage was hard to deal with. 

This is the morning we left - bags packed, air beds
deflated, waiting for our driver to carefully take us
out of the building thru the garage.  A bit after
this photo was taken was when our children caused a
 scene at the gate as they fought for the last few
 handfuls of cheese popcorn that I packed.
I finally threw my hands up and motioned around the place, ‘Really?  You think I missed some detail about where we could toss garbage like a garbage shoot?  Look around you dude, this space-case was short on info.  Obviously!’  

Then he left me alone.  We continued to tie kitchen garbage in small grocery bags, stack them on the kitchen floor, and dance around them when we opened the fridge, etc.  

Why oh why was there no hidden camera to capture our airbnb doing an awesome imitation of a clown car at the circus?  We would be millionaires.  

Note:  hallway air mattress raised up at the end
 of the hall to allow Lad to exit his room and all
 of us to exit the apartment.  Ed and Curly eating
 breakfast.  This demonstrates perfectly why no one
 could sleep once anyone was awake.  Sorry, Mini.  
The morning we needed to leave for the airport, Coach and I were up early.  We were not leaving for hours, but we wanted to be organized.  Not to mention, there were 8 of us practically sleeping on top of one another, sleeping late was NOT happening.  I squeezed between the misplaced kitchen stools to make my oatmeal.  Coach showered.  One by one the kids woke up.  Eventually a half asleep Mini asked us what time it was.  We told her it was 8:30 am.  She was APPALLED.  Why were we already awake if our flight wasn’t for hours?  

More wild motioning with my arms around the place, ‘Well, I am sorry but in this place someone breathes and everyone is awake.  Or had you not noticed the shoebox we have been sleeping in for the last 3 days?’ 

October 9, 2019

getting there half the fun, or not, relying on WIFI & a dingbat


Our cell phones do not get service while outside of the United States.  No phone calls or text, only email or ‘what’s app’ while WIFI.  Note to anyone who enjoys normal cell service:  DO NOT EVER SWITCH TO T-FAMILY MOBILE THRU WALMART.  Enough said.  

I have no great photos of me trying to
 get in touch with Flighty Airbnb Lady,
so I thought I would share this gem.
  Us visiting a fish distillery.
If you recall, I suspected that our last minute airbnb reservation was most likely going to disappoint.  Would they have enough beds?  Bedding?  Every time I communicated with the lady, she managed to gloss over my concerns and focus entirely on the fact that we needed to be discreet.  No one could know that we were using this apartment as an airbnb unit.  I kept emailing her back, ‘Yeah, yeah I get it.  We will follow your instructions, but by the way about the number of people that the place sleeps . . .

I also kept reminding her that I would struggle to communicate with her while in Canada.  I could email her only while I had WIFI.  Every time we were in the hotel I sent her messages inquiring about how we were going to get into the unit.  I was looking for important details, like, um - THE ADDRESS!  She did not respond. 

We also hoped to be able to get into the place a bit early because we did not want to spend an entire day moving stuff from the two hotel rooms, to hotel storage followed by time to do some awesome sightseeing (that did not involve scaling a mountain in the rain), and then drag ourselves back to the hotel storage and then haul stuff to the airbnb.  I was also considering the food that I did not want to stick in storage in our coolers and hope that it stayed cold without a fridge.  Tank hoped the food would spoil, so we could eat every meal at a restaurant like ‘normal’ vacationers.  

A glimpse of the packing task.
She finally got in touch with me to say that we could get in the place early.  No address though.  It was like we were secret agents on a covert mission.  At last she explained that a driver would meet us at a Starbucks around the corner from our hotel.  It ended up being right next door to the airbnb.  She emailed me a time that he would meet us and we set to work packing our stuff and preparing to leave the hotel.  (It is implied here that packing our stuff up after several days is a CHORE).

Thankfully Starbucks has WIFI, so I could let her know that the driver did not show up as scheduled around 12:15.  He was over 30 minutes late.  When he arrived, he took our big bags, all of the big boys, and Coach into his SUV and drove them into the basement parking garage of the airbnb.  I waited downstairs with the younger three kids until Coach came down and let us in.  

Coach ended up arranging with this driver, who was super nice and was merely hired by the dingbat’s company and did not know her personally, to drive us to the airport a few days later.  This helped alleviate the stress of following the very specific directions about how we would exit the building (take this elevator and not that one) so as not draw suspicions that we were renting a space there. 

BECAUSE GOD FORBID ANYONE KNOW WE WERE STAYING IN AN AIRBNB THERE - DRILLED INTO ME, I TELL YOU!

October 7, 2019

a crazy-people-climb, birds of prey, foggy views

This is the next bit of our adventure portion of our trip to Vancouver:  
An eager hiker walked in front of me while I was taking a photo of the family just before our hike.  Take my word for it, we were all still smiling.  Ed and Lad and Reg enjoyed the ordeal.  They took off and we did not see them until the rest of us took our sweet careful time getting up to the top.  They did it in about an hour and a half we did it in about 2 hours.  I think.  I have tried to block it from my memory.  
The gondola:  transport
UP THE MOUNTAIN
 for sane people.  The Shenanigans opted
 to take it down only (walking down the
 mountain not an option as it is too steep. 
Hello?!  Why was this info not shared with me
 prior to our death defying morning?!  Curly and
 Eddie's ears/hair are in the left side of the
 picture after we got our ride down.

5.     Grouse Mountain:  Coach read about this in a tourist book.  Very popular thing to do.  You could either hike up the mountain and take a gondola down, or you could take the gondola both ways.  At the top of the mountain there were all kinds of cool shows and things to do.  


These bird photos in the
 fog turned out pretty cool..
I was sorry for the lack of other pictures.  
     The book described the climb up the mountain as suitable for avid workout types.  Um, they left out the rest of the phrase:  avid workout types who are in fact CRAZY!  I workout daily.  I run or walk about 5 miles most days.  In addition I do a 45 minute strength class most of those days (especially in the summer when I am not babysitting).  I consider myself in shape.  Coach is in shape.  Our kids are athletic.  

     















This hike was essentially 2 miles straight up a mountain.  It started to drizzle shortly after we started and the rocky path was wet.  I was worried I would fall.  With each step, we needed to examine where we could get a good foothold.  So not ideal!  I hated almost every minute of it.  

This is not Tank, but it could
have been.  The birds were
 a bit confused in the weather and they
were landing in random spots.  
     When we got to the top, we were expecting to see beautiful views - the best in Vancouver.  Unfortunately, it was all fog and rain and there were no photos to be had or views to enjoy.  There is a picture of me sitting, or basically collapsing, at a table in the restaurant at the top.  I refuse to share.  My hair is completely slicked back to my head.  I look hideous and miserable.  I felt similarly.  

     The shows that we wanted to see were mostly cancelled because of the steady rain.  We stood in the rain and watched the birds of prey show, which was cool.  By the way, Tank left his brand new raincoat on his chair in the kitchen in Chicago after I told him a million times to put stuff in a bag before I left so I knew he would bring what he needed.  Grrr.  He monopolized the umbrella while we all stood there with our raincoats on and our hoods up. 
Curly checking out glass blowing
 during one of our visits to Granville Island.



6.  We also really enjoyed taking the cute people-ferry over to the little island off of Vancouver called Granville Island.  They have shops, restaurants, street performers, an awesome market place, farmers market, etc.  Loved it so much!  We visited multiple times - the ferry was walking distance to both our hotel and our hellacious airbnb.  


More on that next . . . 



 






October 4, 2019

not in real time, get me my microwave or else, feeding the masses, Stanley Park

This is us getting off bikes to take a photo
at Stanley Park.  I am not going to lie, some fools
 rented those tandem bikes and had no idea how
 to ride them.  I was a bit nervous when a big group
 got close to us and I begged my gang to hang out
 a few times until a clumsy group passes us.  Who
wants to fall off of a bike on vacation, right Beth?
 (could not resist!)
Going to do this in bullet points, because it is now early October and this freaking vacation took place in July.  This is the drawback to NOT writing in real-time, but if I try to share shit as it happens, well - that would just make me frazzled and my family needs to eat, #2 is exhibit A:

1.      When the girls and I checked into the hotel, our room had no fridge.  I freaked out.  I chose this hotel because the reservation person assured me that I would have both a microwave and a fridge.  Not so much.  Our room was equipped with a fridge chock full of snacks.  If you touched the snacks (I mean picked one up and looked at it, but did not eat it and returned it to its specific place), you were charged.  (I know this because we WERE charged when the kids picked up stuff but did not eat it).  

     I called the front desk while staring at my enormous bag of food that Curly worried I had smuggled illegally into the country.  Much of it was frozen and therefore cooling the non-frozen stuff, but still.  I needed a fridge.  How was I going to heat up dinner without the microwave?  I tossed around my celiac disease and insisted that the fridge/micro promise was the reason I booked the room.  I was told the equipment I needed was on a first come first serve basis, and they were out.  I am not ashamed to admit that my squeaky wheel approach paid off.  I had a microwave and a fridge within the hour.  Phew!

Getting my space on the hotel desk
ready to make lunches.
2.    The boys arrived in Vancouver as the staff were cleaning our adjoining room.  The girls and I were hanging out in their untouched room waiting for our room to be clean.  Remember our cell phones did not get service out of the USA, so Coach could not text me to say they were thru customs and on their way to the hotel or any other kind of heads up.  I was in the process of making lunch.  They literally burst into the room, dropped their bags and demanded food.  That pretty much set the tone for the trip.  All I did was field questions like:  when are we eating, what else do you have to feed me, what are we eating for our next meal, can I have something else to eat?

3.    I tried not to let them snarf down everything in the first 5 minutes, because there was PLENTY of food.  Tank threw his arms up:  Are we at war or something?  Why are we rationing?’  This is the same boy that told the caddy master a few summers ago that he couldn’t be reached by cell phone because he did not yet have a phone.  The reason:   because his parents were Amish.  (reality, our kids don’t get a phone till high school).
Me bringing up the rear at Stanley Park.

4.    Stanley Park:  we rented bikes and biked around Stanley Park.  Very fun!  I loved that there was water, mountains, and a great park all in the middle of or in close proximity to the city.

The mountain part though, well - that backfired for us . . . 


October 3, 2019

VOTE NOW: unplanned post: outfit vote request, traveling tomorrow, (read story later if needed)!

Packing central on my bed.
 This picture does not do
 the softness justice.  These pants feel like butter.
  They are like leggings, but heavier than that.
 A denim color with white flowers and some
 green leaves and a touch of pink.  Love.
  
Mini and I went on a covert mission last night.  I am a weird shopper -one with expensive taste but who refuses to pay top dollar.  I buy things, and I hold off wearing them if I anticipate the price might be marked lower.  Then I try and buy them at a lower price.

In this case I bought the pants twice.  They were supposed to be $200.  I know.  But, they are cute, no?  I paid $150- knowing I would NEVER keep them if I could not get a price adjustment or buy them again at a lower price.  Then I bought a second pair at $100 several weeks later.  I have yet to wear either but Coach and I fly to NY tomorrow for Lad's senior water polo games, and I am ready to rip the tags off of ONE of them!

Last night Mini and I dropped Curly at dancing and then we drove to the mall.  I had called earlier and a saleswoman by the name of Joelle had told me that I could not return them and re-buy them right then and there. 

I dropped Mini off at a different entrance, because we were going to pretend we were not together.  You follow?  Our identical-ness is hard to deny, but we gave it a try.  I entered thru the door I always enter through.  I returned the pants at $150. 

Mini had cash in her pocket and planned to re-purchase the pants (that I had JUST returned) at a lower price.  I hoped they would end up being marked down to $50 after my return- a full 75% off the original price.  There were no more pairs on the rack, so we were hoping to buy this pair and then at a later date I could return the $100 pair I still had at home. 

Too bad you all could not have seen my daughter.  I am so proud.  She lived up to the Mini monkier.  She and I tried not to make eye contact.  Only communicated via text.  From across the store while I returned at the register, I spotted her in another section.  She waited until I saw her, and then she lowered herself like one of those fake electric animals on a Disney ride.  Once low enough so that I could not see her, she scooted to a nearby rack and slowly reappeared at full height.  I was watching her from over my cashier's shoulder.  I had to bite my lip to avoid busting a gut laughing. 

Option 1:  please ignore the orange sports
 bra peeking out at the top.  I quickly tried
 the clothes on when Mom stopped by so
 she could photograph me.  Um, that was
 an adventure.  My mom does not do cell
 phones.  She did something crazy and
 ended up taking like 35 pictures of each pose.  
Anyway, the saleswoman never put the pants back on the rack.  She left them folded on the counter.  Initially I continued to shop in an adjacent section and Mini circled the area like a hawk desperate for a pair of cute pants.  At one point, Mini texted me to meet her in the nearby lounge.  'Abort mission.'  I casually hurried to the lounge. 

Mini was worried that the my saleswoman (Joelle) and the saleswoman 'Evelyn' in the nearby section were talking about me.  Mini heard Evelyn come over to Joelle's section and say, 'I told her I cannot do a price adjustment unless there is another item still on the rack.'  I reassured Mini that Evelyn was not talking about me.  I had not asked her for a price adjustment.  We were back on track.

Eventually Mini and I met upstairs and continued to shop.  Me:  'Isn't this cute?'  Mini:  'For me or for you?'  Is there a difference?  Apparently. 

On our way out of the store, Mini tried again to buy the pants.  Now Joelle had them hanging on a tiny rack at the end of the counter waiting to be re-hung on a sales-rack.  I guess.  When Joelle walked away, Mini saw her chance, grabbed the pants, and started to march over to Evelyn's register. 

To avoid suspicion, I exited the building and told Mini I would pick her up at 'her' door.  She texted me that the pants had not been reduced.  The tag still said $150.  I texted back that the tag didn't matter - the computer would ring them up correctly. 

Alas.  It was too late, Mini had plopped them back where Joelle was storing them.  Joelle returned from the fitting room so Mini just stomped out to where I was in the car super frustrated.  I told her not to worry.  It was a rookie mistake.  I blame myself for not better training efforts. 

I knew I only had one baby to sit for today because another kiddo was sick, so I told Mini I would call the store in the morning and try to put them on hold.  If they were there, I would go back up to the mall with one baby and buy them. 

Option 2:  This is the white blouse option.
 Note the mean-ass pantry door in the
 background that tried to amputate my
 toe at 3 am.  My insides were still
adjusting to the colonoscopy aftermath and
I was experiencing a level of discomfort that
 only gluten free cereal can fix.  It is a cereal
I only eat in emergencies such as this.  I was
 left cleaning up blood and icing the toe while
 eating cereal.  Fun.  Before I went to the
 mall, baby and I stopped to have my stitches
 removed from a prior/separate injury.  THAT
 is another story.  I will share later.  It is quite
honestly, hard to be me at the moment.  All
kidding and colonoscopies aside, life has
 dealt a few frustrating hands of late and I am
waiting for something to turn around.
 Cute pants don't hurt. 
Especially when they are 75% off.
UPDATE:  Before I left for the mall, my mom stopped by to make sure she knew which key works in my door.  She will be unlocking the house on Sunday at noon so the kids can return from their friends' houses and work on homework and probably destroy a few things.  Anyway, I showed my mom my outfits.  I wanted to know if she liked it better with the blouse or the jacket. 

My Mom started laughing.  SHE BOUGHT HERSELF THE SAME EXACT PANTS MONTHS AGO.  Of course, she paid full price.  My description of what I do to get them at a discount makes her nervous as all Hell.

Show of hands for who thinks these are old lady pants?  That was Mini's orignal take on them when I bought them.  I think she has warmed to them, but knowing my mom bought a pair.  Hmmm.

I called right after my mom left and a different sales lady answered the phone.  She found the pants and put them on hold.  She told me they had been marked down to $49 - hallelujah!  I took the baby to the mall, walked in, and there was Joelle.  Now, I am not doing anything illegal.  The pants ARE for sale.  Anyone could buy them.  Still.  Awkward.

Joelle was standing on the other side of the register area talking to someone with her back to me.  A different sales lady asked if she could help me.  I pointed to the pants on the 'hold' rack and she grabbed them and greeted me with the fake name that I used when I requested them to be put on hold.  'Oh hi Veronica!' 

I whispered that I would be paying cash and I quickly put the bills on the counter and then bent down as if I was tying my shoe.  I messed around in my bag pretending to search for things for the baby.  I kept my face hidden by my hair.  Reached up from my bent position and accepted the change.  The lady put it in the bag and I checked to see where Joelle was.  She still had not turned around  - still talking to someone.  I took the bag from the saleslady and headed to the elevator with my stroller at record breaking, suspicious for shop lifting speed. 

People:  I have the pants. 

And that, is how it is done!

VOTE:  Sorry I was not going to tell THE WHOLE STORY, but it is a good story, no?  I head to the airport at 10 am tomorrow.  Would love your input beforehand - but will accept late entries. I did not think it would take me this long to post this little ditty.

I could wear the leggings/pants with a green jacket with a tank top under it.  I am not going to lie.  The jacket is from the early 90's.  There are slight shoulder pads in there.  OR I could wear it with the white blouse and a greenish cami underneath.  I had some cute new shoes I was going to wear but I was up in the middle of the night and I managed to open the pantry door across my big toe.  Bleeding.  Bruise.  I am now thinking I am going to go with open toe super comfy but very sharp sandals. 


October 2, 2019

saving seats, foul language (you ain't heard nothing), results, & the boys are coming!

These shoes were not made for running,
but it was a short distance from the hotel to
 the venue and I had no problems - other
 than a drip of ice cream on my dress
 that almost led to blows . . . 
After my short jog in my pretty dress and orange sandals, I found the girls at our row of seats.  I put Curly's dress and the camera bag on one of the chairs.  We still had plenty of time before the announcements would begin.  I told them I was going to the bathroom to clean a drip of ice cream off my dress.  I would be right back.

I stopped to talk to another mom from one of our former dance schools.  Then I returned to our seats.  The girls were a bit frazzled.  They had been standing in the isle ADJACENT TO OUR SEATS chatting with friends when this couple came and sat down ON TOP OF OUR THINGS on our saved chairs.  Curly looked at me wide eyed.  ‘No problem,’ I assured her.  ‘We just have to explain that these are our seats.’  

The rude bastards would not budge.  I stood there blinking at them.  What in the world?  They were older than me.  I pointed out that my girls had stepped into the isle to say hi to a friend, but that our things were on our seats.  

No saving seats,’ the man said.  I told him, ‘Yeah, but my girls were here all along.’  Then he told me that he had been coming to this competition for years.  Well bully for you - I have been too.  

I said to him, ‘Well welcome back - I have been here for years as well, now get your ass off of my camera bag and move along.  You are actually sitting on my stuff.  I was here and I just went to the bathroom to clean ice cream off of my dress.’ 

Still no movement.  More muttering about not saving seats.  I wanted to say, if you have been coming here for years as you claim, then you know that people always save their seats and you should have showed up earlier. 
How cool was this logo?

I refused to move and was hovering right in front of them.  I started to raises my voice and said a few more aggressive things in their direction, like:  ‘For Christ’s sake you know these were our chairs and my kids were right here the whole time, just get up off of my things!’  I tugged and pushed at the fellow in order to free my camera bag from under his butt.  For real.  They got up in a huff and grumbled about my foul language.  I assured them they had heard nothing yet, but if they stuck around they would be in for a real shock.  

Mini and Curly were unsettled by the whole thing.  One of the girls in Curly’s dancing class had been hanging in the isle chatting with the girls.  She told Curly that she thought I was a badass.  When the situation dictates, I am not going to hesitate.  

Curly went on to place 20th and was very excited.  20th in the nation is nothing to sneeze at.  She noticed once the results from all the judges were posted that her hard shoes seemed to be her lowest score.  Always good to have something to work on.  Also, always good to be DONE.  

We walked back to the hotel happy and laughing and chatting about the results.  Then Mini said it:  ‘Oh gosh, the boys come tomorrow!’ 

I don’t think any of us were quite ready to give up our HGTV and our spacious hotel room to be invaded by 4 brothers and Coach the next day.  We would add another room, but there is still never enough space. 


September 30, 2019

yay jello-to a point, not my first rodeo, seeking truth

I thought we could play a
 little game of see how
 many things of jello I made in
 preparation for my jello-eating day.
I once again interrupt my Vancouver stories to share pressing news.  Trust me here - the airbnb stuff is coming soon and you must tune in.  It is pretty comical.  Especially after the fact.  To be honest, I think a few of our other yet-to-be-told adventures are somewhat unbelievable too.  Enough about that peeps, because I am a little slap happy from consuming an all liquid diet today.  Let's roll with it. 

I know you will find this exciting, but Monday Sept 30th I am having a colonoscopy.  Hot diggety - just what you wanted to hear about on your Monday morning!

Unfortunately this is not my first rodeo.  For years, like before I was even married, I saw a doctor who could NOT figure out what was wrong with me.  Turns out he was looking at the wrong angle.  It wasn't until 2015 that I was diagnosed with celiac disease when a different gastro dude bothered to perform the more appropriate-for-my issues endoscopy.  Since the prep is much easier, I would sign up for one of those any day over the colon-nasti-oscopy.  

GoLytely (compliments: WellRx) - this stuff is
the worst possible thing to consume.
Reflecting back on my first colonoscopy, I must admit that the stuff they made me drink that first time was paramount to torture.  It was called GoLytely.  I just googled it and was surprised that it still exists, because I am following my doctor's orders and going with Miralax, Dulcolax, and your tough to swallow because it is so CRAZY sweet -Magnesium Citrate.    No need to go with GoLytely people, and anyone who is still suggesting that drink as a prep for your procedure should be shot.  No exaggeration there.  

I was gagging on it back when I lived on my own in 1995 and was forcing myself to gulp it down.  The memory lives.

That first colonoscopy resulted in this fun little post about me being a bit groggy and misunderstanding what was on the news.  As long as we are poking fun (and poking other long tubes) at colons - you may as well check it out.  It is short - unlike my colon.  This is too easy, friends.

All this jello ingesting has reminded me of college dining hall and the cafeteria style restaurants at rest stops my folks used to stop at as we drove to Ohio to compete in Irish dancing competitions.  I thought there was nothing more exciting than a little glass cup of jello cut into squares and topped with cool whip.  Am I right?  Of course red jello is the best, and for whatever medical bull shit reason red jello is banned from my prep.  How dare they take all the fun out of my jello-only diet.

I have been at this clear diet thing all day.
  A moment ago I got some hunger pangs
 and I thought:  'Oh, great.  I get to have
some more jello.'   I almost wept.
Am I the only person who went away to college (or entered adulthood) completely (and I mean completely) clueless when it came to eating right?  My mother does not like much besides meat and potatoes, so that is all I was accustomed to.  I had never eaten a taco (Mom also does not do spicy) or a green pepper or a vegetable that didn't come from a can for that matter.  I didn't know that cheese was fattening.  Sugar - what was wrong with sugar?  It made everything better?  Donuts - two on a plate as I scooted my tray through the self serve line.  Now we're talking!  I thought salad was a head of iceberg lettuce still wet from being rinsed, sprinkled with some shredded cheese and maybe a bite of hard boiled egg after having been divided up between about 5 of us and then drowned in French dressing.  

I made an abundance of jello in preparation for the test and I lost track of the number of times I practically had to arm wrestle one of my kids to fight them off as they tried to sample my jiggly stash.  Note to self:  next time I want them to clean their rooms, make jello!

Tomorrow (because today is Sunday -writing this while I still have strength) is the day.  I hope to get answers.  As in, why oh why do I often wake up hours before my alarm writhing in pain - in the same damn place?  Do I need to start eating dinner at 2:00 in the afternoon so the pipes can be cleared out before I crawl into bed?  Unless they decide to keep me on a liquid diet, how am I supposed to keep the pipes ultra clear?  

I have heard from the doc many times that it could just be that I eat too much fiber.  Perhaps.  I do eat a lot of fiber now that I am gluten free.  I do not eat fake gluten free food (ie:  pasta, bread, cereal, cake).  I prefer food to be naturally gluten free, so that leaves me with oatmeal (which does have to be a pricey gluten free brand), eggs, a kick ass cobb salad, meat, yogurt, certain protein bars, and fruit.  Repeat.  

Anyway, I hope for answers.  I also hope that said answers do not come with any kind of awful information.  I look forward to it being over, because I am starving and the test is not until 12:30.  That's a long wait.  I also am feeling drained.  Literally.  OK, OK, enough of the bathroom humor.  Speaking of the bathroom . . .