TBT: Thanksgiving with Ninny

Today’s #TBT photo is from November 2005 when my mother and her parents traveled from Texas for a visit to Cincinnati, where we were celebrating Thanksgiving. It was the first time my maternal grandmother Ninny met Miss C as we had just moved back to the United States from Italy a few months earlier. Miss C was two years old.

The Pastry Chef

Today was really awful for me.

The constant nausea and inability to keep most solids down are bad, but the retching is the WORST! (“My God, it’s like you are bringing up the world’s largest hairball.” Thanks, Martin.)

Finally, after a particularly horrible spell that had me curled up on the floor, my husband asked, “Is there ANYTHING that will make you feel better?”

I had been looking at recipes earlier in the day in preparation for this weekend, so I half-jokingly blurted out the last one that captured my interest: cherry pie! I assumed he would realize I was trying to be lighthearted.

We have no pie here at home, and unlike the United States, there are no 24-hour shops or drive-thrus with dessert menus over here.

But wouldn’t you know, here is my husband at 9 pm on a Tuesday night, baking me a pie. He remembered I had some filling in the pantry. Marrying a man who practically grew up in a bakery pays off!

Thanks, Martin.

And did a popular Warrant song going off in your head just now? Totally appropriate. I believe the German band was covering a lot of ’80s hairband hits the night we got ourselves in this situation. 

When the pie was finished, it smelled and looked delicious, but alas, I could only tolerate a spoonful. Fortunately, he went to bed before it was finished baking, so he didn’t have to witness the reaction. But I will try again tomorrow!

Because I *know* this pie is amazing, and so is the man who made it. Just seeing him care so much made me feel less pitiful, and I know that was his intent.


As for meds for this sickness, I may try some Unisom here at the house, and am pretty sure I can get the B6 from the American commissary, too! I don’t recall being THIS flattened the previous pregnancies, but I don’t know if that’s selective forgetfulness or being geriatric. Ha!

And trust me, I’ve looked for those “preggo pops” to help. You would think with all the military families around here, they would keep these in stock, but they don’t. Ha! Up until the past few days, sour candy and anything mint were helping me along. And I actually have a block of saltine crackers in my purse at all times these days. If it weren’t for them, I don’t know what I’d do!

But for now, it’s clutching the bathroom rug and whispering to Miss C, “Let this be a lesson…..”

Cheese, Please

We visited the local annual winter bazaar, and just as he was last year, my daughter’s friend was there again, helping to sell his grandfather’s cheese from the Netherlands.

He was quite the salesman: we left with a bag FULL of it!

Gouda cheese and horseradish mustard are my EVERYTHING at the moment.


Big Sister

Martin is out of town for work this week, so Big Sister stepped up to accompany me to my first appointment/sonogram today.

As we stood in line to check in, I noticed the necklace she picked to wear for the occasion.

Good news: everything looks fantastic. I’m healthy and the baby’s got two arms and two legs, and a strong heartbeat. We’re on track for a mid-June arrival.

When I called Martin, he asked how the reactions were when I told them this is my fifth pregnancy (3 kids, 1 miscarriage, plus this one).

Me: Now that you say it, the nurse and doctor DID look a bit shocked and repeated the number to be sure they understood correctly.

Martin: Well, remember, the birth rate over here is like 1.3 per woman. They don’t know what to think.

Food from Home

According to the date on the box, it appears that right after learning he’s got another grandkid on the way, my Dad went out and bought $100-worth of Cincinnati chili, and shipped it over here right away.

He knows this stuff must be imprinted into DNA as early as possible.

Unfortunately, though, doner kebabs, German salami/cheese pretzel sandwiches, bacon, Nutella, Cincinnati chili … all my favorite things are now a big NOPE on the list of things I can stomach right now. If I needed a sign that this was absolutely the last time Martin and I are doing this, THIS IS IT. Continue reading


I thought I had an ulcer.

Every symptom I was suffering pointed to it. A burning sensation in the middle of my stomach between meals, and late at night. It got worse — an uncomfortable rolling sensation of nauseating fire — any time I thought about the office and my work, so in my mind, it was all clearly stress-related.

Then came the bloating, and the inability to easily button my pants. So I kept drinking water, and up’ed my time on the elliptical, attempting to fight off the results of my apparent stress-eating. To dull the ache, I had a giant bottle of calcium antacid tablets in my purse, as well as on my nightstand, and at my office.

It didn’t dawn on me that it could be anything other than an ulcer. Continue reading