Recipe for Exhaustion

November 12, 2014

Of course Miss M had to break her arm when her daddy was out of town for several days. Of course she did. And of course she did it the afternoon I was hosting my Suburban Mom Book Club in a matter of hours and was running around like a lunatic.

And of course, she immediately told her teacher that she thought she broke her arm but neglected to tell ME that when I picked her up from school. By then, she was more concerned about the gushing wound on her face (which was alarmingly large and red, resembling a crimson, Hitler-like mustache). I have to admit, I was more concerned about her pitiful face, too. It wasn’t until I went to get her into the bath late that night that I noticed that her arm was hanging a little funny.


“Does it hurt?” I asked.

“Everything hurts,” she replied.  “My face, my arm, my skinned knees.”

“I don’t like the look of that arm, though” I said. “We’ll re-assess in the morning, okay?”

Re-assessment happened at 4am, when I woke to a howling Miss M. “My arm is killing me,” she cried. I gave her an ice pack and some pain medicine and as soon as I dropped Miss D. off at school, we headed in for an x-ray.

“Waiting for someone to read the films,” I texted my husband.

“Okay. In meetings right now but keep me posted.”

Half an hour later, I texted: “Broken.”

“Crap!” my husband texted.

Then I whisked Miss M. off to the orthopedic clinic and an hour later, sent the message: “Needs surgery.”

“Fuck!” my husband texted.

Fuck indeed, because by the time Miss M. came home after surgery, it was almost 4 o’clock. Almost eight hours, start to finish, ferrying her to doctors and waiting for surgery and driving to the pharmacy and trying to secure a ride home for my older daughter.

I felt so bad for M., and she was very brave through it all, but surgery is scary stuff.

I also felt bad for myself because after all that, I was exhausted and my support crew was all the way in Louisiana, so the only person following the directions to, “wake her up every 4 hours for some food, her medication, and a fresh ice pack” was going to be me.

I knew that first night was going to be hairy, but what I didn’t count on was the hairy things in my house to be the problem. Miss M. enured the cycle of waking, eating, medicating and icing like a pro, but the animals in my house were gorked to the gills by all of that mid-night activity.

Aria howled and caterwauled and paced constantly, and even when I put her in the garage, the sound was deafening. Mozz man wasn’t upset, but he sure was interested in my every move, so every dang time I got up from the couch to tend to M., he’d shoot out of his kennel, tail wagging, head cocked, looking at me like, “Hey mom? What’s goin’on? Whatcha doin’, mom? Huh? Huh?”

And then he had to get in half a dozen face licks and demand a few more belly rubs before he’d settle back down. I think that first night after surgery, I got four hours sleep, if that. I *may* have even, somewhere around 2:30am, hollered out, “I am not fucking Doctor Dolittle! Go the Hell to sleep!”

I don’t deal so well with sleep deprivation, but somehow I managed to lurch through the next two days and keep everyone alive and reasonably entertained and taken care of, although I realized on Sunday evening that I’d eaten cold pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner most of the weekend. I was too tired to figure anything else out for myself, so pizza it was. Oh, and popcorn. In the toughest of times, popcorn sees me through.

I almost cried when my husband walked through the door Sunday evening. I was so grateful to see him that I didn’t even beat him around the head when he proceeded to tell me all of the amazing things he’d had to eat/drink in NOLA. Cretin.

Current situation: I am still exhausted and not bouncing back as quickly as I’d like. Old age is not my friend in that regard. Miss M. is on the mend–she still has her temporary cast on for another week, but she wants you all to know that when she gets the real deal, she’s going to get something snazzy and will proudly show it to you all when it’s on.  It may not be as Seussical as her last one, but I know it’ll be good.

Be still my heart. She looks so little here ^


As I write this, she is returning to school, although figuring out how any writing is going to get done will be interesting, because of course, she broke her dominant arm. Of course she did.

An ordeal like this calls for some comfort food (now that I’m capable of producing more than pizza). Especially since the snow and brittle cold arrived, just in time for my one-armed kid to navigate slick streets and faltering coordination.  It’s going to feel like -15 degrees tonight (!) and the nasty cold weather is supposed to last through the week, so I think I’ll be cooking up some warm and nourishing things.

But not quite yet. I think I may just have one more night of pizza in me, after all.

Question: What are your comfort foods that you turn to when times get tough and/or the weather gets wintry?

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Abby November 12, 2014 at 7:59 am

Ugh. I can’t believe she didn’t “know” it was broke the second it happened! That cast doesn’t look like something for a tiny little fracture. Kids are amazing. I would have been wailing like a baby. As for food, anything warm–oatmeal, big bowls of grains with beans and veggies and (vegan) butter (a daily staple,) pizza, pasta–sense a theme?


Karen November 12, 2014 at 8:12 am

Sorry for all of this and especially for the start of winter. On the bright side, you probably know when that little arm will be healed. The end of winter…not so much.

I’ve got two favorite comfort foods. My first is Shepherd’s Pie. I mix sage sausage with the ground beef and use a whole lot of cheese on top. Second is cheese fondue, lots of it.

Hope things ease up for you soon!


Shannon November 12, 2014 at 8:15 am

Oh, I’m so sorry Miss M had to go through all of this.
Popcorn is my comfort food and my go to dinner when no one else is around. Also, grilled cheese.


Dana Talusani November 12, 2014 at 5:41 pm


I just tried something with grilled cheese that was a REVELATION. Make your favorite grilled cheese (I like sharp cheddar and provolone) and instead of coating the outside of the bread with butter, use mayonnaise. I know! Sounds like heresy, right? Oh my, my. Delicious.


Lisa @ The Meaning of Me November 12, 2014 at 9:43 am

Oh, poor Miss M.! And all the rest of you along with her. What a brave girl, though!
Popcorn solves everything. Try it with wine…no kidding. It’s awesome.
Comfort foods…mashed potatoes. Mac and cheese (sometimes good homemade…sometimes just the crap in the box – it has its merits). I love meatloaf if it’s my homemade or my Mom’s, and of course that goes with mashed potatoes! Swedish meatballs are the Kidzilla’s absolute favorite so I love making a huge batch of those – we get one meal of way-too-large helpings, then two regular size meals for the freezer out of one batch. And I always love soup, which is how I ended up doing Soup of the Week. And on that note, I have to go finish mine for this week and get it posted!


Lisa @ The Meaning of Me November 12, 2014 at 9:58 am

Oh, and hamburger goulash! I always think that sounds gross, but I have a recipe that is sooooo good. Found it years ago in a supermarket cookbook and it’s a family favorite since. It’s going to get cold here this weekend…I just might pull it out and throw it over mashed potatoes since I have a few potatoes that need to be used. Thanks for getting me thinking about winter comfort food!


Dana Talusani November 12, 2014 at 5:42 pm


Mashed potatoes are the epicenter of all comfort foods for me. And, true confession: my kids hate all mac and cheese that isn’t crap in the box.


Biz November 12, 2014 at 10:46 am

I can’t believe she lasted that long with a broken arm – she must have a high tolerance for pain! Glad she’s on the mend.

Mac n Cheese, cheeseburgers, fries, steak, fried chicken – all of my favorite comfort foods and in no particular order!


Dana Talusani November 12, 2014 at 5:43 pm


So funny that you listed those things, because I am not usually a burger girl but DAMN I want one right now!


Kel November 12, 2014 at 11:52 am

Poor Divine Miss M! Can I offer one piece of “be glad…” though? Be glad she has the cast. The Ambassador busted his arm when he got hit by a minivan when he was 6 (he was on his bike) and it snapped clean about 3 inches from his shoulder joint. They couldn’t cast it. Let me just repeat those details. 6 year old kid. Completely broken bone. NO CAST. I was supposed to “make sure he doesn’t move it around”. ?!??!

I wound up designing an L-shaped, tube sling the velcroed behind his back so his hand was encased too (no temptation to use it) and it bound his arm to his chest. One to wash one to wear, and we managed to get through 6 weeks of summer. Insane.

But comfort food? Chicken pot pie. Beef stew with homemade bread (especially if Donna Currie provided the recipe!).

My favorite, though? Soup. Roasted potato, leek, and Andouille sausage soup. Heaven.

Hope you’re both on the mend soon.


Dana Talusani November 12, 2014 at 5:22 pm


Pardon my language, but how the FUCK was that an acceptable thing to do for your kid? That sounds horrifying!

As for homemade bread, I keep waiting for Donna to deliver some, because I can’t bake worth a damn. :)


Kel November 12, 2014 at 6:16 pm

Yeah it was a mess. By the time I got him to a good ortho instead of the dillholes that were in the ER that night, it had started to knit back together.

I was pretty stunned. He spent 5 weeks with his arm in either Pokemon or Veggie Tales fabric, pinned tightly to his body so it stayed immobile. CRAZY.

I am so damn jealous of you – you’re close enough that she can deliver! I can only post-it flag 90% of the recipes in her book and trash my kitchen on the weekends. =)


Kel November 12, 2014 at 6:55 pm

Hey Miss M – snazzy casts are awesome. How ’bout lime green and traffic cone orange like Knox has?


C. Troubadour November 12, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Surgery and sleep deprivation and yowling animals … what a cluster.

I’m glad surgery went all right and that Miss M. is recovering. I think some mandated waiting-on-mama time is in order from your support crew!

Regarding comfort food (and boy do I need it right now), I have a pot of white bean soup on the burner as I type this. Homemade chicken stock, ground chicken (or turkey leftovers if you like, especially post Thanksgiving), celery, onions, garbanzos, cannellinis, and lots of thyme. Really good with extra pasta noodles thrown in to get nice and fat at the end.


Dana Talusani November 12, 2014 at 5:24 pm


White bean soup is a favorite of mine! I love it especially with rosemary or thyme.


Erica November 12, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Miss M sure is one tough cookie. So is her mom.

Comfort food: Pizza, mac & cheese
Cold weather, hearty food: Chili, gumbo, cassoulet, sauerkraut stew


Dana Talusani November 12, 2014 at 5:16 pm


Must know more about sauerkraut stew. Sounds like Daddy-O in a pot!


Velva November 12, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Oh whoa! Little Miss M. did a doozy on her arm. her cast is bigger than she is (smile). No worries, my friend this will give you plenty of blogging material as soon as you rest up. She is going to be jst fine too :-).



Dana Talusani November 12, 2014 at 5:34 pm


Actually, that picture is the cast from her “last” broken arm. It was a monster, right? I think this one will be smaller, as she broke the wrist, not the elbow and didn’t have to have pins put in. Still, I picked her up from school early because the sidewalks were really icy and we don’t need her to fall on that!


Dana Talusani November 17, 2014 at 7:45 pm


Danged if she didn’t go for her new cast today and they gave her another elbow one! Gah! I think they are just being cautious about it because of the former break but boy, that Minx was mad! xo


Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri November 13, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Oh, Miss M. I feel for her and you. Sending hugs.

Comfort food: Baked potato loaded with cheese or s’mores.


Dana Talusani November 17, 2014 at 7:47 pm


Did my Midwestern body trade places with yours? Because my comfort foods are lentil dal and rice with ghee.


Sherri November 13, 2014 at 6:57 pm

Poor Miss M and her mommy (she’s so pretty – btw – standing there with her new cast :(. Well… she’ll be the popular one at school with that cast. Get some rest…. And… regarding that comfort food – chili, chicken pot pie…. a couple of suggestions that keep for a few days.


Arnebya November 14, 2014 at 10:02 am

She is gorgeous, Seussified or not. I’ve lost my affinity for cold pizza. Can’t do it. I do hope you’ve made yourself something warm.


Dana Talusani November 17, 2014 at 7:48 pm


Does a vodka tonic count as warm?


Alison November 16, 2014 at 12:16 am

Awww. Poor girl, poor you! Feel better Miss M.


Pamela November 16, 2014 at 9:40 pm

Oh i am so sorry about all of this. I did the broken arm solo this year too. Totally scary. You are a rock star. Miss m too. Xoxo


Dana Talusani November 17, 2014 at 7:53 pm


She was a BadAss! They couldn’t hit a vein for the IV and had to do it 3 times! She was bleeding all over the place and I was trying to distract her by singing her favorite song (7 Nation Army by the White Stripes) but I am thinking…song not really appropriate with “hounds of hell” in it…but hey, the girl digs rock music. Whatcha gonna do?


Naptimewriting November 18, 2014 at 10:21 pm

Oh, pumpkin! I had no idea. I was out of town and not reading…poor M and Mama!

My comfort foods are horror shows. Rice drowning in white vinegar. Frozen mac and cheese warmed and glopped on sourdough. Anything that would fit a scene of a curmudgeonly shut-in who hasn’t left the apartment in four months and constructs weird levers and pulleys to bring the food to her living room perch by the radiator.

What? When I’m stressed I pretend I’m an eccentric New York recluse. What of it?



Dana Talusani November 20, 2014 at 12:03 pm


The lever-and-pulley method of getting food to a person needs to be invented immediately! And I love rice with a drizzle of seasoned rice vinegar. Heaven!


Tiffany November 19, 2014 at 8:32 pm

I’m so sorry this happened…especially when hubs was out of town!!,


Tiffany December 14, 2014 at 7:12 am

Poor baby and poor you!! Surgery?!? Scary! Glad she’s ok.


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