Monday, July 21, 2014

Pre-Dead On The Food Chain

My food cannot make eye contact prior to consumption.  I just CAN'T eat something that was alive in front of me recently.   I don’t want to see the cow enjoying a good grazing in the pasture right before it becomes a steak on my plate.  If I’m feeding the chickens at the local market, I’m definitely not having a cutlet for dinner that night.

My food needs to be pre-dead.  

In other words, it needs to be dead and no longer in it’s original shape when I’m about to consume it.  Pig roast?  Not gonna happen.  Even if it’s dead when I first see it, it still looks exactly like it did when it was chillin’ in the ole sty.  Nay nay!

This weekend I saw a HILARIOUS video about a woman cooking live crabs for the first time and I definitely could relate!  In case you missed this gem, have a look:

The dog totally makes the scene for sure.  He’s all worked up and frazzled because his human is freaking and there are creepy crawly things with pinschers on the floor moving around.  Of course they cut out the part where the dog starts barking like crazy at the crab on the floor after the woman dives under the table.  The whole thing is priceless.

Just like every other time we go to the supermarket, this weekend Allie insisted that she go look at the lobsters.  It KILLS me.  I can’t go.  I make Justin go with her.  All of those poor lobsters, looking depressed with their claws bound up, and probably thinking about frolicking happily in the ocean when they were baby lobsters.  To boot, there are like 47 lobsters per square foot in those tanks.  The seafood department is heartbreaking.

(Side note: Don’t even get me started on Red Lobster.  Food should NEVER greet you at the door before it gets killed!  What kind of sadistic person thought THAT up?!  Can you imagine the anxiety they feel every time that door opens?  I always tell the lobster that I’m allergic so they relax a little)

Of course you know that I have to preface my story with SOMETHING.  Here it is.  On the way into the grocery store, Allie sees the shopping cart with the car on the front waaaaaay over yonder and asks if we can use it.  “Please, Mommy??! PLEEEEEEZE???!!”  So, I trot across the lot to fetch it, she gets in the car in the front and off we go.

We aren’t in the store more than five minutes when the lobster viewing drama starts, so she gets out and off they go to the tank.  As always, I continue shopping and wait for them to catch up with me.

Every aisle I went through had a child in a regular cart that pointed at MY cart and said, “Mommy!  There’s the cart with the car!  I told you!”  And every child and mother would look in the car, see empty space and look at me funny.  Of course, I felt the need to explain to every  last one of them that my child was back in the seafood section…. and I really don’t think anyone believed me.

I finished all of the shopping and was in the dairy section when Justin and Allie came trotting along, toting….what else….a bag with a lobster in it.  By now I’m completely stressed from feeling the need to validate why I was using the cart with the kid car on the front with no kid in it, so seeing that bag nearly freaked me out.  It must’ve shown on my face.

“Huge sale on lobster, Vic.  HUGE!  You wouldn’t believe it,” says an extremely happy looking Justin.

“Mommy!  We got a lobster!  We’re gonna take it home!  I want to put it in water!”  He’s lucky he’s got that happy little human next to him to lighten the mood.

We’ve done the lobster thing before, so Allie has seen that the lobster comes home, goes into the fridge where it’s forced to think about it’s sins and wish it was back in the supermarket where “things weren’t so bad”, ends up on a pot of water on the stove, and then Daddy eats it while making all sorts of happy noises.  So, she knows it’s going to die.  

I just think that she has hope that one time we’ll fill the tub and just let it live.  Truth be told, if we lived near the ocean, I’d kidnap the poor thing, drive like OJ to the beach and set him free.  He should be food for something out there!  Not for something I live with!  The food chain is all jacked up as long as he’s in my fridge!

(Warning:  If you're sensitive to the whole Lobster thing, quickly scroll past the next few photos.  Stop when you see the lobster cartoon.)
Lobster Coffin courtesy of ShopRite

The moment of hope for a last minute pardon.  Sigh.
I'm sorry Mr. Lobster.  Poor fella.  (insert major UNsmiley face here)

I’m so glad that I can’t eat shellfish.  This whole process just freaks me out!  I vacate the premises while he cooks them and sometimes I leave when he eats them too.  BLECH!

I discovered I was allergic when I was much younger, and then it was confirmed when I got a job in a local fancy restaurant as the “shrimp n’ salad” girl.  I was the person who prepped bread baskets, made salads and prepared shrimp cocktail.  It went something like this: Fill bread baskets, eat shrimp, make salad, eat shrimp, make shrimp cocktail, eat shrimp, eat shrimp, eat shrimp, etc.  By the end of the night, my shrimp consumption career was over.  I was sssssiickkkk.  My passport to Shellfish Island was revoked due to awful allergic reactions.    
And now I know things about bread baskets that I wish I never knew!  Let’s just say that if it looks like a bunch of random bread pieces tossed in a basket, only proceed if you’re really hungry.  I won’t even get into the butter recycling situation!

Anyway, the lobster is gone to the big aquarium in the sky.  I make Justin clean everything that came in contact with the poor thing....or was near it..... or the lobster looked at.  I refuse to participate in any part of this heinous act, from purchase to dishwashing.  No lobster death on my hands!

I can't just end this on such a negative note.  I need to find something happy.  Here's one of my all time favorite videos.  It's a cat beating the crap out of a laser jet printer..... and narrated by an English bloke.  The accent always makes it funnier.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

We're Crappy Parents

I feel the need to fess up.  I need to clear my conscience.  I've been a crappy parent.  Someone else who lives in my house has been a crappy parent too, but I don't want to name names or point fingers.  I'll let you put your P.I. hat on and figure that one out.

Now, we have not been CONSISTENTLY crappy.  We've just had some seriously crappy moments that have been rather defining at times.

I started thinking about these last Thursday on the way to Allie's swim lessons.  She had big band-aids on both of her knees and and looked like she had been dragged down the street or something.  Scrapes and contusions all over her little legs.  Apparently she was very excited to run down the driveway and meet the damn ice cream man with his pain in the ass truck that kids can hear from miles away.  She fell down and injuries were sustained.

These injuries were beyond the capabilities of Doc McStuffins or Hello Kitty Band-Aids.  We needed real plain old flesh colored bandages.  You know....the ones intended for actual injuries; not the "I just bumped my pinky toe into the cushioned couch while chasing the cat and I need a band-aid stat or I'll keep crying dramatically" injuries.

I should probably go back to the previous swim lesson first.  I was running around like a maniac to get home in time for her lesson and dashed over to my mom's to pick her up.  Super Prepared Nana had her in her little "swim costume" (thank you Peppa Pig) and all sun screened up.  As I'm putting Allie in the car, she sees a can of spray sunscreen and picks it up.  I take it from her, check to make sure that it's twisted to the "closed" position, and hand it back to her.  Handed. It. Back. To. Her.

Because that's what good parents do.  They give spray cans to toddlers to play with.  They don't think that maybe the toddler just watched them twist the cap and might try to do it too.

PSSSSSSSHHHHHHHT!   (insert bloody murder scream here)

Yes.  I wasn't even out of the driveway and my child had sprayed herself in the eyes.  I actually said out loud to myself, "What in the hell is wrong with you, you idiot!!!"  Blinded, my little girl thought I was talking to her.  "I'm not an IDIOT, mommy!!!"  Excellent.  I've injured, insulted and pissed my kid off in less that 60 seconds.

Fortunately we were able to run back into Nana and PopPop's and remedy this problem.  And my little trooper even volunteered to go back to lessons.  When we pulled in, I explained why we were late by saying, "I blinded my child with spray sunscreen.  I had to collect my Shittiest Parent In the World trophy.  I'm sorry we're late."  (Fortunately, one lifeguard had a parent forget their kid at camp, so that overshadowed my stupidity.)

So, two days later we walk into lessons and Allie is scraped and cut and bleeding and bandaged.  The two teachers looked at me and asked, "What the hell happened this time?!"  "Do we need to call DYFS??"  (Every parent's least favorite sarcastic joke.)  I told them the story and they just laughed and got in the pool.  Apparently no one forgot their kid at camp that day, so no parental sympathy was offered.  The initial screams as the chlorinated water hit the fresh wounds didn't help either.  My poor baby!

We had a lovely time tho!  My little peanut is becoming quite the little water bug:
Mommy and Me Swimming Lessons - she's quite eager to get swimming!

Practicing the Off The Wall Torpedo..... for the seven millionth time.

One of the few times she let me hold her.  She'd rather swim around on her own like a frog.
This week of parental debacles has reminded me of all of the screw-ups we've had in Allie's 3.5 years.   We're both blonde, so you can only imagine how many there have been!

The most popular one, which still occurs from time to time, was forgetting the diaper bag.  We would get into the car and travel at least 20 minutes away when it would hit one of us.  "Did you grab the diaper bag?"  "No!  I thought YOU were grabbing it!"

Anyone with an infant knows you can't leave for more than an hour without the bag.  Diapers, formula, burping cloths, bib, emergency change of clothes, wipes, boogie wipes, snot sucker, an extra bottle, sunscreen, back up binky, toys that they won't use, a stuffed something, etc.  After an hour, if you haven't needed one of those things already, you will definitely need one or two at that point.

We've had to buy prepared formula, wipes and packages of diapers more times that I can remember.  We even bought a bag for each car.  Yet, somehow, at some point, we'd find ourselves away from home looking for the bag only to discover that ALL of the bags were in the house to have supplies "replenished".   We've even done it two days in a row!   The people at Babies R Us would laugh when they saw us coming.  We'd make the "we forgot the bag again" announcement as we hustled to the back of the store and they would laugh.  Lovely.

Now there are food and drinks and emergency change of clothes and portable toilet pads in that bag..... and we still manage to leave without it almost every other time.  Sonofabitch!  It never fails.  And when we do have it, the food is never right.

"Mommy, can I have food?"

"Sure honey.  What do you want?"

"Whatever you give me will be fine." (Yes, she actually says that, but it's usually a lie.)

I dig thru the bag calling out inventory, "Animal crackers, pretzels, teddy grahams, a banana, food  pouches, fruit snacks..."

"Fruit snack!!"  Of course.  She wants the least healthy thing in the bag.

"Okay, baby.  Here you go!"  I turn around and hand it to her, only to see the look of disappointment.

"I don't like that kind," she says as she wrinkles up her nose.

"That's all I have, Allie.  You eat them every day.  You definitely like them."

"I only like Auntie Trish fruit snacks!"  She folds her arms and turns her head away.

(Side note:  In case you're wondering, ur friend neighbor fitness pro gave her one bag of Mott's fruit snacks over a year ago and they have been  Auntie Trish Fruit Snacks ever since...... except for when she couldn't say her "r"s.  Then they were Auntie Tish or Auntie Twish Fruit Snacks.)

"Okay.  Fine," I say defeated and turn back around.  "Why do we even bring this thing?  She never wants what's in there."

Justin answers, "Because we fucked up and didn't forget it at home."

God bless him.  He's got an answer for everything!

"Well I might as well go to sleep if there's no food!  I wish they had forgotten the stupid thing at home."

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Happy Me-a-versary!

(From Friday, July 11th)

Today is my one year anniversary of successful weight loss.  365 days ago I gave my program a chance (after oodles of tears) and here I am celebrating that it worked!  Go me!

I can no longer wear anything “plus sized”.  I’ve seen a size 10 after 20 years of 14-16s.  I was in a dressing room in Kohl’s with Allie when I put on size 12 pants and they were too big.  I yelled out to Justin to find me a size 10.  I tried them on and cried.  Allie went bolting out of the dressing room to Justin, announcing, “Uh-oh!  Mommy’s crying!”  I just stood there smiling and crying, and he congratulated me and hugged me.  Hello, size ten.  I have arrived.  Size eight, you better get your shit ready, cuz you’re next!
One year, 30lbs. and 24inches later!   Score!
Weird Weight Loss Related News Flash!  Update: I’m no longer scared of spaghetti squash.  The first time I heard about them, I went out and bought one.  I brought it home and put it on my stove and examined it.  For two weeks.  KERPLUNK!  Garbage.

Justin asked me what happened to it (since it had become a permanent fixture on the stove) and I confessed that I was too scared to cook it and it went bad.  So, when we went to the grocery store again, you can only imagine the look I got when I sheepishly put another one in the cart.

“Really?  Are you going to actually cook it?  Or are you going to panic and let it go bad like the last one? Have you conquered the fear?”

I shot him a ‘screw you’ look and snottily said, “Of course I’m going to cook it this time!”  That was bitchy.  He had a point.

I did finally cook it after looking it up online and comparing 5 different ways to prepare the damn thing.  I chose the method that was most frequently mentioned.  Stab the sonofabitch, put it in a baking dish and bake it for an hour.  Cut in half, use a fork to pull the “spaghettis” off and voila’!   A pasta craving killer.
Just in case you were wondering what I'm talking about.  Ooooooo scary sketty squash!!!
I no longer fear any food.  Except for something called the ugli fruit.  It’s just not right.  How did they get an orange in a pear body?  It’s cross-dressing fruit.  It’s a citrus fruit masquerading as….. whatever a pear is.

When I first met Justin, I was a “runner”.  At least I was trying to be.  I had bought all of the cute ensembles, the proper shoes, and the Idiots Guide to Running.  I was getting quite good at it until he showed up.  I think I went out jogging about 2 times and then decided to just surgically attach myself to his side and do/eat/go along with all things he did/ate/went to.

Little did I know that he was one of those people who could eat EVERYTHING.  He was the only person I know who would get into bed, reach over, open the end table and pull out a gallon bag filled with Oreos and NutterButters, a bag of pretzels and a can of Pringles.

Holy hell.  That was the beginning of the end.  I was no longer a jogger.  I was an eater.

That end table no  longer has food in it.  And Justin has started the program to lose some post-surgical weight.  And I went back to running.

Again, starting was scary.  I dug out my cute little ensembles (which fit me for the first time in 7 years), bought the proper running shoes, subscribed to Runners World magazine and bought a book for beginner runners to see if anything was new or different.

Then I stared at it.  For two weeks.  I think I”m going to name this affliction “Squash Syndrome”.  That just came to me now.  Anyway….

I remember starting the health program and being terrified of the food before it arrived too.  What IS that???  Why did I feel such fear over things that were only going to have positive results?  It’s ridiculous!  God knows I wasn’t afraid of eating an entire cake in 24 hours or afraid of laying in bed for 3 days from depression (it wasn’t pretty).  I was fearless in those cases!  And there were plenty more of them.

With running they tell you to just put on your shoes and put one foot in front of the other.  That’s all.  And it’s excellent advice.  It pertains to everything we are afraid of.  JUST START.  The rest will follow.

Facebook is an amazing phenomenon as it can ruin your day or make your day.  It can  crumble dreams or inspire you.  During my Running Squash Syndrome, Facebook managed to inspire me.  I kept seeing the same three people posting about running from time to time.  Toni, Jessica and Madeleine.  Every time I saw them post about running, it made me want to do it.  I wanted to be like them!  I had been watching for months, but now I was actually making efforts to TRY it!  I asked them questions and searched for advice.  Ironically, all three said they didn’t feel like they were any good at it and at times they hated running…..and it was the push I needed.  They hated it sometimes, yet they kept going.  There’s something to be said for that.  It means that it provides results that make them feel better.  It was totally worth any pain running created.  And that’s all I wanted.

I’ve been at this for about a month now.  I’ll be honest.  It’s effing hard as hell.  Little kids seem to have no problem just dashing about for hours.  Experienced runners make it look effortless and like they are gliding.  It LOOKS easy.  But it’s not.

Yet I like it.  Within 3 minutes, however, I looking like I’m going to keel over and die.  My feet start dragging and my form is reminiscent of an escapee from a mental institution.  I’m constantly correcting it.  I often imagine that I look like Phoebe on the episode of Friends where Rachel is too embarrassed to run with her.

When a car or walker approaches, I find the need to correct my form and fake it like I’m really good at this.  I’m a poser.  Total fake!  And my faking is painful.  Once the people are gone I have to remember to relax again or it wears me out.  Looking good at this is even more exhausting!  It’s like holding in your stomach for too long.  Eventually your mind goes, “Release!  Let it go, you nut!"

I have had some nice results.  My legs are gaining some nice muscle…… from the knee down.  From the knee up, I’ve got a thighmergency.  There’s cellulite, flab and jiggling.  I had an emergency consultation with my fitness pro neighbor friend, Trish, about how to make this go away.  Right away, she gave me the sympathetic, knowing nod and said, “I have many people with this same problem.”  And then I mentally inscribed every exercise she mentioned that might help onto my cranium.

During a stretch, I noticed that my calves were looking snappy.  Notice the thighs aren't in the photo!

I’m hoping that this is how it works with running:  your body starts to improve from the feet and works its way up.  I’ve informed my calves that I’m plenty pleased with their appearance and they need to let my thighs have a turn now.  Okay, thighs!  You're up!  Get crackin’!

On the plus side, I’m no longer gasping for air after 30 seconds.  Seriously.  If you’ve never tried it, I challenge you to go outside and run down your street for a full minute.  I did that with Justin years ago and by the time he reached the stop sign at the end of our block, he was winded and said, “fuck it”.  He no longer makes fun of me.

I love when I put on my shoes and get ready to go and Allie says, “Have a good running, Mommy.  We will stay here and take a bath while you’re doing it.”  I love when I come home a sweaty mess and Allie says, “Mommy, how was your running? You look.... hot.”  And that’s not a compliment.  She doesn't mean good "hot".  It’s a polite observation of how horrible I look.
Me and Allie in Valentines Day 2013
Justin, Allie and me Valentines Day 2014
So my goal for the next 365 days is to maintain my healthy habits and to become a runner.  I want to look back and read this and #1- Feel sorry for me (which I already kinda do - lol) and #2- Be proud of my progress.

Apparently July 11th is going to be my Resolution Day.  Screw New Year’s Eve.  Pick a day and go for it.  Just start.  Every day is a gift, so the day you are in right now is the perfect time to start something new!

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