January 26, 2023

eating out minus PTSD with no cobb, Grayson talk, & a lot of blarney

The other moms and I are waiting for a signal that we can prepare meals/organize a meal train for the twin's family. Curly has informed me that they have A LOT OF FOOD, so we're holding off. I'm guessing you're all familiar with the feeling of helplessness that occurs when something like this happens. For me, food prep and sharing food is one way to feel useful. 

In the meantime, I wake up during the night with a pit or butterflies in my stomach. Then I remember. I can only imagine what it feels like to wake up in their world. The twins are attending school/ playing in their basketball games, but Curly told me C went home from school yesterday. People they barely know are offering condolences in the school hallway - well-intentioned, but he felt overwhelmed and had to go. They told Curly it helps to keep busy. 

In other meal news, I wanted to fill you in on the road trip to Ed's college. Remember the early morning drive? We arrived an hour and 45 minutes before tip off. I get that we weren't sure about game day traffic, but- say it with me: 


Indiana University, Ed's school, lost. We were down 15 most of the game. After a  run in the 4th, we threw up a more-than-half-court buzzer beater and made it . . . to lose by 1. 

Welcome to the nose bleed section.
And bad lighting makes for a decent blog-share photo.

Afterwards we went to a restaurant. It was Sunday at 3:30, so the place wasn't crowded, which was good because PTSD from the night before. It was a Thai place. At first I wasn't sure I was up for something so adventurous. I don't like spicy, or fish, or ingredients I've never heard of. Ed gave me an eyeroll, so I said SURE. 

5 years ago, he and I were on a college visit out east and we went to a restaurant. Their salads were 'funky'. 


They could not. Ed eye-rolled. The salad I ate was DELICIOUS, complete with warm quinoa. A first for me. Ed has never let me forget how well that adventure ended. If he thinks I'm veering into the WON'T-TRY-NEW-THINGS lane, he mimics me:  UM, CAN YOU JUST MAKE ME A COBB SALAD PLEASE. 

My Thai meal was delicious. Everyone liked their food. It cancelled the frustration from the night before, except that Lad wasn't with us. *but didn't cancel my half-b-day-summer-Wildfire plan. 

You might catch a glimpse of my fam's faces here, but look at that food.

I don't remember when it started, but Ed likes to talk about his future kid. He'll only have one child - a son. His name will be Grayson. It isn't something he's serious about and it doesn't come up often, but we were having a field day with 'Grayson' talk that day. He'll only eat healthy food. He'll be very academic. He'll be a brown-noser. He'll wear Hosier (Ed's college mascot) related clothing, etc. 

We were cracking up. We may have even teased that Grayson will hit the side of the backboard when he plays basketball - something that Ed did, and can't live down, in his first high school varsity game appearances. Ouch. 


Speaking of Tank, he's struggling in Limerick. I drafted an email to Creighton, but held off. Today I called. The woman in charge of the Ireland program at Creighton started in August, so she inherited the issues. 

This was the main subject of my post and I'm JUST getting to it. 

Summary:  Is this program not sponsored by his college? Look up classes, compare with Creighton equivalents, and petition Creighton to allow him to count the credit. This took weeks in the fall to map out. Creighton SHOULD hand him a list of approved Limerick classes. 

The day before he left Univ of Limerick's class schedule came out. Some of his approved classes overlapped- had to petition for OTHER classes. He and I worked on a feasible schedule for 4 hours while I was babysitting/ he was packing. 

Missed his first class - unclear it was zoom. After a week of orientation - they never said THIS BUILDING IS MOSTLY BUSINESS CLASSES. Was told he couldn't choose his tutorials-worried they might conflict with his other classes and mess up his schedule again. 

Can't travel outside of Ireland without a student visa, but appointments aren't offered often and students get little warning. He got appointment. The lady in student affairs cancelled  it (without asking him) because she thought he wanted to attend a student trip to Cork. Meanwhile he got the visa appointment email, so he refunded his Cork ticket. Then he found out she cancelled his visa appointment. 

He wakes up with knots in his stomach fearing what will be screwed up next. Very frustrated. 

Yesterday Aunt Leprechaun gave me contact info for her friend's son who is studying in Limerick - like 2nd or 3rd year. He's from the States, but studies there. Hoping he can show Tank around. Tank would like to meet Irish students, but is housed with all US kids. He said his neighbors are Irish 'at some point' he might bring over some beer and say hello. I told him to make 'at some point' today. 


Do you know anyone in Limerick? Do you think Ed will have a son named Grayson? If so, any other characteristics that you think he'll have that we may have glossed over? Do you like Thai food? Am I the only non-adventurous eater out there? 


mbmom11 said...

I am a very unadventurous eater. You have cause to be cautious- celiac disease is not pleasant. I'm just picky! And I don't want to waste money on food I don't like.

Nicole MacPherson said...

I absolutely love Thai food. A lot of Thai food is vegan/ vegetarian, so it's a huge plus for me. I also love quinoa.
In terms of a meal train for your friend, in my experience there is always a flurry of help at the beginning. Then, a month in, everyone moves on with their lives, but that's when the person needs MORE help. So maybe touch base in a month or so? That would be my idea anyway.

Nance said...

I'll try anything, but I don't have the challenge of celiac. Thai food is tough for me because it's big on coconut milk and I detest all things coconut.

I knew a lovely Russian Blue cat named Grayson. He was quite the man-about-town, very outgoing and loved to visit everyone in the neighborhood. He was particularly fond of lying on our driveway in the sunshine and making overtures to my female cat, Marlowe, who watched him from the bedroom window.

Anonymous said...

Oh my. Tank without a contingent must be like the rest of us without oxygen. Perhaps we should write to him? His own Mob of (spare) Mom's? Or in my case Gaggle of (spare) Grannies?
Maybe just the threat of us would motivate him to action?
Just let me know! I have pen and paper at the ready. Well, actually I have ancient computer and printer standing by. No one could read my handwriting. Including me some days. To be sure, to be sure. (I looked up Irish salutations.)
Tank's spare sapling friend!

Jenny in WV said...

I've never had Thai food. I'd like to try it, but I want someone who knows what everything is to go with me.

That sounds really annoying for Tank! I hope things get straightened out soon, study abroad should be a highlight of one's college experience.

Ernie said...

mbmom - Prior to celiac I would probably have been considered somewhat picky, or maybe just not very adventurous. Thai food was happily easy to eat while avoiding gluten. Who knew? I would eat it again.

Ernie said...

Nicole - I found out that it was fairly easy to make Thai food GF too, so I will have to look for a Thia place near home and give it a try once in a while. It did help that Ed had eaten there before because he had some suggestions for us.

I totally agree that a meal train can fade just when it is needed most. I will do my best to spread the love over the next several months. Knowing this group of moms, I don't anticipate that it will be difficult to drop a meal off 2 or 3 times a week for months.

Ernie said...

Nance - I used to hate cocunut, but I've learned to accept it because with celiac I have to pick my battles. Some things are still a hard no for me - like sushi. I don't think I would notice cocunt milk in a main dish.

Your Grayson sounds like an interesting fellow. I do wonder if Ed will attempt to name a kid Grayson at some point. A middle name? I think he likes to get me worked up because I favor Irish names. I do not let him ruffle my feathers - not with this thing at lease.

Ernie said...

Sapling friend - Ha. I'm sure he would appreciate that. I didn't even get his address until he was there a week. I do think his college should know his housing address BEFORE he ever left the country. Get it together, Creighton.

Things sound a bit better this morning. He asked the lady who cancelled his appointment to schedule he and his buddy for appointments next week on Saturday as a favor and she said OK. He said he likes his marketing class - glad for a positive. He has some anxiety issues, so this is hard for him - but honestly it has been so ridiculous that I feel like it would've been tough for anyone.

Ernie said...

Jenny - I highly recommend eating Thai food with someone who has done so before. Ed had eaten there before, so he helped us figure out what we should order.

I do believe his experience will improve. I'm confident these issues will be resolved soon, but it really shouldn't have been so difficult. The class selection alone should be much more streamlined. Good grief. I'm grateful he doesn't have a language barrier to contend with.

Busy Bee Suz said...

We go to a Thai place close to us a few times a month; it's not so adventurous for me as I get a chicken, veggie, and awesome cashew dish. A tad spicy but not crazy.
You are a challenged food person and it's not really fair.

The deal with Tank sounds so very frustrating when he should be having the time of his life! Sorry!

When you mentioned Grayson, I could only think of the Chrisley's youngest son; Grayson. (his parents are going to prison for tax fraud--- tell Ed to get an honest and reputable CPA!)

Ally Bean said...

I remember trying to understand course schedules in college then picking out the ones I wanted, knowing I'd probably get the ones I get. I studied in England for a term but was housed in a dorm with all English girls so I was totally immersed into a new culture. I know Tank will figure it out, nice you could help him. I was tossed in sink or swim, no phone calls home back then.

I like Thai but we don't make it often. We rarely eat out, but I could go for some of it IF there was a good restaurant nearby.

Kara said...

Nance is my people! I also don't like Thai because of the coconut. I detest all things coconut too. Luckily my husband feels the same way about coconut (and peas, but that's a different tangen

Anonymous said...

I do like Thai food, especially because I'm much more likely to find a lot of GF at a Thai restaurant-- they're much more likely to use tamari instead of soy sauce. And where I am, the Thai places are really good at labeling what's GF on their menus, which also helps.

I find what happened with the twins' mom to be so heartbreaking, especially because she sounds like she was a genuinely nice person and a good parent. Aside from meal train stuff... you or Coach could ask the dad if he would like some help with the admin transitions that may need to be happening. Our household somehow ended up VERY gendered in terms of kid admin responsibilities. My phone number and email address are the ones with doctors, dentists, school programs, camps, etc. My husband isn't even on most of the school mailing lists, and he doesn't know about or check the various Google doc school newsletters that I have to seek out weekly. (Between teachers and administrators, I think I'm on 4-5 email lists, plus it's on me to check all of the elementary teachers' Google newsletters weekly.)

Also: I don't think there's a way to not have it be weird, but-- for the girl of the twins, period-related supplies may become an issue in the coming months. And not just for dealing with flow. I had horribly painful periods before I had a period start unexpectedly during a sleepover, and a friend's mom asked the awkward questions about what I thought was a bad recurring stomachache. My friend's mom give me ibuprofen and must have had a word with my mom: we always had ibuprofen in the house after that. If Curly's friend has a need like that, her dad may be clueless.

Ernie said...

Suz - The Thai food was more 'normal' than I thought it would be. I really do not like curry, but I think that is more common in Indian food. The dish you order sounds like something that would be right up my alley.

I told him to ask the lady who cancelled his appointment to score him an appointment for next Satruday along with his buddy, and she did. So now they have that scheduled and they can plan accordingly. I am confident things will improve - in the meantime I'm urging him to take a breath.

Your Grayson comment cracked me up. I will share that with Ed. ;)

Ernie said...

Ally - Tank really wanted to take an Irish history class and he couldn't. When I went to Ireland to study, I don't recall there were many options but I sure didn't have to do any work in terms of convincing my base school to accept the classes I was registering for. That was all done for me. I'm sure it will all work out, but they have a different way of doing it (lectures and cooresponding tutorials) so there was a learning curve. They could've done a much better job at helping the kids transition, espeically since they arrived a full week before the Irish students. Tank would've liked to live with Irish students. He's living with all US students. I'm hoping he knocks on his neighbors door and makes a connection there. He's not exacty shy.

I'm going to have to keep an ear out for a Thai place recommendation. We don't get out much, but it'll be nice to have another GF go to.

Ernie said...

Kara - That's funny. I don't think my meal had cocunt in it, but if it did it was not prominent. I can do rice - so I guess I could say they had me at rice. How nice that you and your husband have aligned your taste buds - mostly.

Ernie said...

Anonymous - I found that exact thing- easy to find GF options there. Silly me for not checking it out before now.

I have thought of those exact things - the contact info from the schools. When do the kids need to go back to the dermatologist or get haircuts or schedule stuff that she normally does. It is impossible to imagine.

Feminine issues and products - yep. That is on my radar too. I think I will have Curly chat with K in the coming weeks to see what she needs from the store or be sure to tell her to talk to me if she has any issues she needs to talk through. I know that Lisa was an only child and I think he just has one brother, so it sounds like they don't have a large family, but they have us now.

Kari said...

I can't believe I've never tried Thai food, but when you mentioned it was spicy, I realized why. That, combined with my migraine and acid reflux, is probably why I haven't. I really like Vietnamese food. It's not as spicy, but it's very fresh, and it's another safe bet if you're gluten-free.

On the Meal Train, I agree with Nicole. I recently set it up for friends of ours, and it got a lot of traction at first, then nothing after a month. 😶

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

I love Thai food and am so glad you had a good experience!

Ed's future son is adorable and I hope that he DOES one day have a son named Grayson.

The Limerick school stuff sounds SO frustrating! What is going on over there?!?!

I hope that you are able to get involved with a meal train. I completely understand the feeling of wanting to do SOMETHING, and making food is always one of my go-tos

Colleen said...

That's awful how disorganized his study abroad is! They should be set up with classes picked with their advisor, get their student visa through the school, and have some kind of orientation even if it's through zoom. Kids will fail and flounder instead of flourish! I'm so frustrated for him. On a high note, that food looked great!

Pat Birnie said...

I agree with the others that help for the family Re food could be a couple months down the road…when people get back to their own lives. Also helping with admin- just saying “I’m helping; give me a task”, is a take charge kind of move. Ed is hilarious and I’m sure Grayson will be too!! Sorry about the Limerick issues. Finally, Ernie you are busy and a fast typer but I can’t not mention the weird typo you keep making with the word coconut in your responses to comments.

Beth Cotell said...

I'm sorry Tank is having issues in Limerick! I hope he is still able to have a wonderful semester. Dan is currently in Kilkeel but that appears to be on the other side of the country from Limerick!

Ernie said...

Kari - I am not saying Thai food IS spicy - it was an assumption that I made because I was unfamiliar. I was able to tell them how spicy I wanted mine, so it is doable for us non-spicy types.

Ernie said...

suzanne - Yes, it feels like this was a big secret that I didn't know about. Silly me.

Grayson sounds adorable made me laugh.

I think his class schedule is finally sorted out, so I'm hoping that will alleviate some of his anxiety.

C told Curly he'd like me to come and watch him play b-ball today, so I'm off to do that. I can't tell you how good it feels to be needed right now.

Ernie said...

Colleen - I totally agree. The system is not working for this program. I called the person who runs the program, but it won't due Tank any good. I will not rest until they fix it.

Yep, glad to have Thai as an option.

Ernie said...

Pat - I'm alarmed about whatever my typos are, but racing off to go to C's b-ball game so I will look later. Eek. Something is up with my internet and I'm not getting any autocorrect on my laptop. I've noticed that it is weird and I'm trying to pay closer attention but my contacts are a mess with all the crying the last few days.

Ed is so funny with his Grayson tales. I am confident that Limerick will improve, but it is tough at the moment. And I don't mind being bossy and saying, I'm here to help, give me something to do.

Ernie said...

Beth - Ha - Dan is so close, but so far away.

Bibliomama said...

I agree, it feels like everything is a useless gesture when people are grieving, so it might as well be a useless gesture that you can eat. It will probably be really useful and appreciated if you hold your food and care for a few weeks until all the first-responders are dying away and they're settling in for the true grind.
Love the Grayson thing. People who are determined that they can decide what genders of kids they will have kill me - and it often works! What's with that?

Ernie said...

Ali - I think I will give it another week before I reach out and offer to organize the forces of moms in the group. I did text him recently to let him know of my plan to become involved in the scheduling of ortho stuff and maybe driving behind the wheel hours. I like your reasoning - feeling like a gesture may was well be one that can be eaten. Right on.

The Grayson thing is very entertaining. I can't even remember all of the little jabs and jokes, but it was funny.