Celebrating 12 years of life

On July 31, I took my daughter and six of her friends to spend the day at Infinity on the Beach to celebrate her birthday. All in all we had a great time. 7109047_28_zFrom our arrival to departure we were treated well and while there were a few hiccups along the way, including a mix up about lunch, everything was handled with such professionalism and class that we will definitely be returning.

The receptionist, Nahlia, was pleasant and not once did she show irritation when confronted with the number of guests checking in and out; persons making strange requests and managing the telephone. There was a constant flow of traffic and she kept her composure even when the pressure was on. For that alone, we commend her. I also want to commend Jennifer who assisted us during lunch along with the team during the buffet! Excellent staff is another bonus.

Best feature……there are two pools. Both were clean and nice with one being 3 feet in depth and the other 4’4″ in depth. Perfect for 12 year old girls to play in safely without a parent worrying about them having to stay from the deep end.

Lunch was delicious. There was a Sunday buffet and we were all accommodated with a tasty meal, having a choice of one each starch, meat, salad and a soft drink. We were entertained to the sounds of steelpan music and I could hear the kids singing along even though the songs were oldies!13879246_1045387622163739_5995996734252648249_n

I have to say that this was probably one of the nicest experiences, I have had for a while and would definitely return to this establishment again. Thanks to Renee Coppin and her team for making my daughter’s 12th birthday such a hit.

The girls did not want to leave but we had another venue to visit for mini golf. Another birthday, another party and it was a success.

Day pass rates: Adults – $74 ($34 redeemable in the restaurant), Children – $37  ($17 redeemable in the restaurant).

If you are looking for a day pass without the hassle, check out Infinity on the Beach!

 

School is in session….

labimg_870_Back-to-school-minionsToday marked the first day of the school term and I picked up both children from their grandparents. As they entered the car and buckled their seat belts, I turned to ask them each how their respective day was.

The 11YO has a project to make a musical instrument, a history project to complete and an art project that she needed to print ASAP. The 8YO just replied that it was fine and basically shut down.

As we approached the house and parked the car the 8YO suddenly came to life. “Mummy”, he chirped, “We had art today, and you will never guess what happened”. Of course I am dreading asking but knowing that if I don’t he will just continue uninterrupted. So I asked “what happened?”

“The Art teacher asked us to put our heads on the desk for 10 minutes so we could think about what we wanted to draw”, he stated, continuing excitedly, “but the whole class fell asleep including me”.

I swear some teachers have the best ways to deal with children. School is definitely in session!

It’s Hard, Sometimes….

 

black-and-white-person-woman-girl-largeIt’s hard, sometimes, to be in a place alone; where no one knows who you are. They don’t know the same jokes you do. Nor do they understand you and what you stand for.

It’s hard, sometimes, to face unfriendly faces every day, when all you would rather do is run far away, but know that you have 11 years more to endure. When the very people who went through the bad times, rebuke you for freedom.

It’s hard, sometimes, when you face ugly words that make you feel so bad about yourself, that you start believing them. Even when you know it’s meant to hit at your most vulnerable spots.

It’s hard, sometimes, to wipe tears from your eyes every time you do drop offs because a piece of your heart is torn away as you see those pieces of your heart crying too.

It’s hard, sometimes, when there is no one in the new world who can champion your causes; fight your battles; wipe your tears and show someone that wrongs you, that they will stand up for you.

It’s hard, sometimes, to face every day with fear and wonder when the next battle will start. When all you want is peace and the chance to get on with things. Yet, daily there are snide remarks, undeserved comments at every turn that make you question your relevance. Some of these from unwanted circles.

It’s hard, sometimes, when you continuously take the high road, to be pulled into verbal assaults. The ones that you tried to escape legally, but still linger uncivilly.

It’s hard, sometimes, to be strong for everyone but not having anyone to be strong for you. To fight the battles of a life gone day in and day out but never seem to win. When no one cares that you did your best and regardless of the failure, it was best for everyone. Yet no one seems to understand why.

It’s hard, sometimes, to see your Cain fighting private battles of will and struggling to keep it together. All you can do is pray that year two will be better than year one and plan for the future.

It’s hard, all the time, to just know that regardless of what everyone thinks they know, they don’t really know, what you know. So while you are judged by a jury of your peers, they have not walked in your shoes, so they don’t know how small a size they were. They don’t know how good it feels to finally find a pair that fits perfectly; that lets your feet forget pain.

Do you know what? It’s easy to claim victim, but it’s hard to stand up and admit your wicked heart. It’s hard to accept responsibility and easy to shift blame. To walk around like the world owes you and your family but destroy someone at every turn with words and actions that belong on the playground.

It was hard to walk away, but it easy to leave!

New Year, New Resolution

fire worksEvery time we celebrate a New Year, I remind myself that I am not making any resolutions and this year is no different. I didn’t plan to make any. In fact, I forgot as I was busy finishing a ham for a get together, trying to complete some end of year work that I had backed up and getting ready for New Year’s Eve service.

However, on quiet reflection, after the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, I thought why can’t I make a few resolutions. Not the cookie cutter ones like lose weight, save money, eat healthier; but I could make resolutions that can improve my life. So here they are:

Resolution #1: Start family game night. We have designated Wednesday evenings as the night and did it over the holidays. This is one way to reconnect as a family for a couple of hours. No television. No cell phone. No landline calls. It is scheduled in my calendar and the children have a host of games to play from Jenga to Uno we have it covered.

Resolution #2: Take up the saving plan of saving in $1 increments every week for 52 weeks. Okay so this is a bit cookie cutter but when I saw this online, I thought “maybe I can do this”.

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Resolution #3: Read more. I have not read a book in over three years. I recently started reading the last book in the Crossfire series and I am about half way. I got bored. This never happened to me! I think it was culture shock – not the content of the novel but my inability to sit still for a couple of hours and lose myself in a book. So I am taking up this challenge!

Goodreads

Resolution #4: Become more charitable. I read a story of a father who purchased items at the Dollar Store (in Barbados, it will be the $3+ store) and filled Ziploc bags with them in case he ever met a homeless person who needed a meal or assistance. I thought why not go a step further and purchase items that I can give all year round. This is a work in progress but I plan to really work on this and maybe do a donation at year’s end.

Resolution #5: Spend more time discovering who I am both spiritually and personally. I recently helped coach a client for a job interview and asked her “Tell me about yourself”. She could not answer me. How many of us can answer that question? It got me asking myself “Just who are you?”. This year will be for me to learn that. I can love again without being afraid. I can let my children have their own experiences while I let go of my fear that something bad will happen if I don’t watch them 24/7. I can grow, mature and find me again.

These are my top five resolutions in random order. Did you make any? What are yours? Tell me by emailing girlinterruptedtoo@gmail.com

The Good, Bad and Ugly of My Gluten Free Life

It’s been about 8 weeks since my son was put on this gluten free diet and I have to say, without a doubt, that there have been moments during this time where I have prayed for patience and for some wheat! Let’s take a look at the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of my Gluten Free Life!

GOOD: My son is asthmatic and after being diagnosed with a chest infection we found out, that he had certain allergies that were affecting him. We removed the various foods that were causing him discomfort and since then he has improved a lot physically. I have found tons of great gluten free, dairy free, egg free products in the supermarket – wraps, chocolate chip cookies, cereal, chips to name a few. Plus he has a better selection of fruit and vegetables than before and a love/hate relationship with cassava and sweet potato!

BAD: When this whole thing started, I promised my son that I would eat whatever he was eating in solidarity. That was a bad idea. Never make promises your Gluten loving body can’t keep!!!!  I ended up cheating on the diet daily and hiding it from him. The worse thing about this dual world I have been living was the guilt.

Another bad was the unlimited amounts of whining that he did. I spent countless hours, when he was visiting his dad, with him calling me and complaining about the fact that he was hungry because he could not have a roti! Mind you, he just ate ten minutes ago! It seemed like an emotional roller coaster. After six weeks, I had had enough! I sat him down and told him that while I understood his frustration, he has to understand that it’s stressful on everyone. Maybe he got the message, because I no longer get the whiny calls.

UGLY: The worse part was me trying to make the world’s best bread. After trying three different types of flour, countless hours in the kitchen and spending over $100 on various types of Gluten Free flour, I realize that this was not the calling for me. For instance, I tried to make Gluten Free bread. It just never worked. I tried coconut flour, all purpose flour, tried both together. Nothing. I even complained to one Gluten Free company about one of their recipes online and they admitted that the recipe didn’t work in their test kitchen either (you don’t say). They send me two boxes of the same flour that didn’t work!

So I decided to purchase Gluten Free bread….after all, how bad could it be!!!!! The brand I tried tasted so terrible and made me itch so badly that I needed an antihistamine. After spending BBD$28 I would say that qualifies for the worlds most expensive bread! No bread for him! Sorry!

Of course, I know several people who don’t have this issue with Gluten Free flour so I know it must just be me. I have decided to make “bakes” for now using sweet potato flour and that works just fine!

I am no longer hiding my gluten addiction from my son! We try to make his meals similar to ours and he’s quite happy! It’s been about 8 weeks and life is moving along.

Are there any parents out there who have children with gluten sensitivity? I would love to hear your experiences.

Girl Interrupted Stars in “My Gluten Free Life”

Day four of my G20151028_063812FL actually brought some positive news and for the first time I saw my 8YO excited about food again. I made him 3 bakes this morning using the Orgran GF All purpose flour, cinammon, baking powder, salt and a bit of Splenda. Then I made applesauce using half of a gala apple, cinammon and a touch of Splenda. The applesauce burned as did the bakes but but was still tasty. He washed the bakes down with a cup of peppermint tea and was happy and perky to have something decent, albeit burned, to eat.

For lunch, they had brown rice (which is gluten free) with pigeon peas and baked chicken. The one thing I found out is that Worcestershire Sauce (item I use a lot of) contains vinegar as an ingredient, which the 8YO is allergic to. So I have to remember in the future to remove that from my pantry. Label reading is now an official sponsor of MGFL!!!

The one thing going GF has shown me is that there is light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Both kids are on board in a big way. They have decided to set their alarms to get up early and prepare meals with me and while I prefer working in solitude, I can’t kill their enthusiasm. It’s rather touching and hopefully will inspire them to create their own recipes. The lesson in this seems to be no matter the adversity, you can overcome it with determination and hard work.

Now if only there was something to stop them from squabbling….life could just be perfect.

Girl Interrupted Stars in “My Gluten Free Life”

It has been three days since our family switched to Gluten free living and I have to admit that I needed a day to cope with all of the stuff going through my head. What could I cook? How to cook it? When to cook it? In a nutshell, we have to send food to the school for my 8YO as most things offered are filled with gluten and are cooked with parsley, thyme and carrots. Things he cannot eat! However, this gluten free living is driving me a little batty!!!

My 8YO has become obsessed with food and he has also become a big nag! Yes, I said it. We took the gluten away and now it has been replaced with a gluttonous nag! Yesterday he insisted that I send him the list of things he cannot eat AND a list of things he CAN eat (like I don’t have enough to do). I then had to send the same list to his father and grandmother because these two high functioning adults can’t relate to the fact that if the list says these are the items he can’t eat, everything else is fair game. So, my gluten free mind was peeved when I had to explain to the grandmother why she could not give him mayonnaise…..it’s made with eggs…..he’s allergic……..don’t give him! Was my impassioned cry.

Let me say this! Gluten free baking is not for the fainthearted. I tried to make bread and followed the recipe which I mentioned in a previous blog. After my disaster, I decided to email the manufacturer who informed me that I would have had to add baking powder or bicarbonate soda in order for the bread to rise. Isn’t that what yeast is for? Clearly that was not in the recipe. So I have lodged a complaint with their technical department and expect a resolution in 14-21 days!

Breakfast was a battle the kids were down by their father last night. I received a telephone call from my 11YO who asked me to speak to the 8YO who did not want to eat the Gluten free oats for breakfast. As I tried to remember that we are all adjusting I told the grandmother “if he doesn’t want the oats, DON’T GIVE HIM! Let him get some tea and eat some plantain”. She seemed to think I was a monster for “starving her precious grandchild but I was in no mood to deal with her tantrum at 6am while I was trying to get ready for work.

For lunch he had sweet potato and beef and then his grandmother made him GF pasta with pink salmon for dinner (yuck) which was eaten on the way home and still had room for a bowl of fresh fruit and a watermelon smoothie with raw honey.

On the upside, the 8YO has been researching recipes and we are making pancakes for breakfast with applesauce and brown rice with chicken for lunch. I am looking for gluten free wraps which he can have for dinner with chicken in peanut sauce. I have Krys to thank for that tip who has been a sounding board of support and gave so many tips I think my head spun twice! The other good thing is that GFL has sharpened the reading skills of the 8YO. Going to the supermarket is an adventure as we had straight for the Specialty aisle and he reads everything and tells me what to buy.

The journey continues and it’s going to have its ups and downs but we are a few days in with a long way to go. How will we make it? Continue to follow my blog and chart this journey of Gluten Free Living with us.

Until next time, I am Girl Interrupted.