Thursday, April 18, 2013

Freaky Food Fuss: Part Deux/Dos/Two!

(A continuation of yesterday's Part One rant)

So, where did we leave off.....

Milk:  Oh this one really freaked me out.  I never was a milk drinker, but girlfriend likes some moo juice on her cereal and in her hot beverages.  All that crap about whether you should have whole, 2%, 1% or skim milk is so small compared to the fact that you are drinking more from the cow than its milk.  If you like drinking milk, please stop reading this now if you would like to continue drinking it without being skeeved. You can return in a few paragraphs.  I'll let you know when!

If you aren't drinking organic milk, you are probably drinking cow pus.  Yup, cow pus.  Ew.  Double ew!  The regulations on how long they can leave the machines hooked up to a cow's udders are...well.... udderly ridiculous!  (couldn't resist that one)  If a cow's udders are sensitive and haven't formed a callous, they become raw and get lesions on them.  More biological stuff happens to the udders that I will spare you the details of and the end result is that until the udders toughen up, things like pus go into your milk.  It's light colored too, so it just blends right in nicely, doesn't it?
"Oh my gawd!  There better not be any of that crap in this bottle, missie!"
There's also the fact that cow's milk is genetically formulated to help a calf gain a whole lot of weight in a short period of time.  I read a lot of stuff by some nutritionists, professors and doctors that suggest that the increase in milk consumption with children in the past few decades is why kids are going thru puberty faster and are larger than kids 50 years ago.  That supposedly hasn't been confirmed by the government and even if it was,  you and I both know that we will never know.

I'm done with the milk grossness now!  You can come back!

By the way, you can't milk an almond, rice or soy so that isn't milk in my world.   I refuse to entertain the discussion..... but I respect those who are successful an fooling their taste buds into accepting it.

The entire time I was pregnant I did not drink cow's milk.  I wanted to gag.  When the doctor said it was time for Allie to start drinking it, I hedged.  I learned that organic milk is kinder, so she gets that.... but only the bare minimum of it.  It feels just wrong to push it any futher.

Meat:  The food industry does miserable, horrible things to cows, pigs, chickens, etc.  When I learned that pigs react emotionally to being separated from their loved ones and mourn (LOUDLY) upon the death of their fellow pigs, I had a really hard time with that.  Pig products are rarely eaten here.  Beef must be grass fed and organic.  Veal is wrong.  I lived across the street from cows and I live in a cow town.   I challenge you to look at a calf eye to eye, watch how they are killed and then eat veal.

I had to stop eating chicken when I was pregnant because the smell grossed me out after driving past the Perdue factory on my way to VA.  That smell lived in my sinuses until I gave birth.  Blech!  Cage free eggs.  Why not be kind?  Do I need to expand on why cage free is better?  Hmmmmm.....smashed in  box until the legs atrophy and/or break, or clucking around the coop working out the dark meat?

"The horror of it all!  Why, I ask!  WHY?  Leave the beasts be!"
Last but not least, I have a really hard time with the "anything that's in the machines when we turn them on in the morning is considered an ingredient" policy of many plants that make processed meat.  What is considered acceptable by the food industry is way off the charts in my world!  I do not like my hot dogs with a vermin chaser.

Fruits and veggies:  I get the pesticide thing.  I understand WHY it is the way it is.  I will not bash anyone, especially farmers, when it comes to stuff that comes from the ground.  I live near farmers and  I see how hard they work at trying to keep their crops looking and tasting scrumpdillyicious until it all gets carted the hell out of here.  At least they are trying for the greater good.  But I still feed Allie organic fruit and vegetables every day.  I want to keep the chemicals out until I have no control about what she puts in her stomach.  And I'm no super mom here.  My lazy ass buys those pouches of puree for her.  God bless Earth's Best.  She loves them and I don't have to do the hard work of making them all sorts of tasty.   I tried cooking them myself and she hated it, so I learned my lesson. It's BV....Beyond Vic.

Well, this turned into quite the rant, didn't it?  Originally, I started all of this because I was amazed that I was willing to eat such garbage without thought, but I would do whatever I could to keep the same crap away from Allie.  I've chocked it up to another example of how motherhood makes you a smidgen more selfless.  I've also decided that ingesting a pound of chocolate mini eggs while giving my child only 8 plain M&Ms for a treat is the start of setting a very poor, hypocritical example of how to eat.  If I love my child enough to feed her only the best, I should try to do at least HALF as good for myself, right?

I suppose I should accept that Cadbury and Little Debbie are actually BRANDS, not valuable participants in the food pyramid.  DAMN. (By the way, have you seen that the food pyramid lately?  It doesn't look like anything I saw as a wee one in school.  The USDA got fancy!  Check it out here)

As a person who lives by the philosophy that cake makes everything better (I told you yesterday that I'm not perfect in the health department....I'm just trying!), I have promised myself that I will never force my child to eat a gluten free, sugar free, organic ingredients only cake again.  Some things purely exist for the purpose of happiness and just shouldn't be messed with.  Long live cake!

Allie's 1st Birthday and the "horrendously healthy cake".  Just by looking at the cake she can tell something is not right.
The look on her face says it all.  This was her one and ONLY bite.  I love how she's holding onto my mother's hand as if she's frightened. 
The cake on the left was Allie's cake and the one one on the right was for the rest of us who didn't give a sh*t what we were eating as long as it tasted good!  (You can see why I was so traumatized by the Elmo cake this year considering that the previous year's cake was this sloppy heart made with extra Vitamin L(ove)
By the time Halloween came around a few weeks later we decided to give in and let her have some of the tasty carbs!  This is her first piece of bread (it was Italian bread). Notice she's clenching bread in both hands and she's jammed so much in her mouth that she can barely chew.  I think she likes bread.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Freaky Food Fuss: Part1

When I was pregnant, I read a book called Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven: A Gutsy Guide to Becoming One Hot (and Healthy) Mother.  I was determined not to be a fat, round blob after my baby was born.  When Im not pregnant I am not exactly what one would refer to as "being in good shape".  So, I didn't want to become one of those women who looks at pregnancy as an excuse to eat as if I had a tape worm, only to come out the other end of the situation going "Oh my gawd, Im a small planet!" The whispers of others haunted my dreams...."So THAT'S what happened to Pluto....SHE ate it!"

September 2010

I can proudly state that I only gained 24lbs total during those ten months and I actually weighed LESS a few weeks after giving birth than I did before getting pregnant.  I accomplished my goal of staying off of the map of the solar system and I was thrilled.  Of course, I didn't account for the fact that carrying a baby was helping me burn calories through that whole time, so when I didn't change my eating style after having Allie, I went right back to square one.  Size Fat, Pre-Baby.

The book ended up being nothing about how to be skinny and hot (although the ice packs I stuffed in  my bra while working during those summer months would tell you I was definitely HOT.)  However, I learned some things about food that changed how Allie and I ate then and how we both eat now.  I fully recognized that every single thing I ate was going through her little body as well, so I wanted to eliminate all things toxic.  My job was to create the healthiest little being I could, and to protect her from the bad stuff.  (This job apparently is long term since I'm still obsessed with it.)

The bun while still occupying the oven
Where to begin..... 

Sugar substitutes:  I could go on and on about this.  Sugar substitutes are not meant for people who don't have a sugar problem.  They jack up your metabolism and freak out your pancreas.  Insulin is running around your body like a disappointed golden retriever who thought someone knocked on the door.  "What?  There's no sugar here?  Are you sure?  Cuz all of the signs point to sugar being here!"  I wont even go into the conversion into formaldehyde and how it tries to make friends with your brain!  FOR-MAL-DE-HYDE!!  Bad bad bad friendship.

The juicy stuff is how all of that garbage got passed by the FDA, but I will spare you the legal talk.  It's some seriously crooked political bullshit.  Just google "why sugar substitutes are bad" and you will get LOADS of information.

So, with that being said, is there any reason why you would choose those pink, blue, yellow packets filled with evil shit over the stuff that grows from the ground that is just down right delicious??  Not if you aren't struggling with sugar issues?  And why would I start my baby's life with a chemical running through her teeny veins if I didn't have to?

My hardest task was finding gum with sugar in it.  I challenge you to find it in every store you go into.  Sugarless gum is all that's out there.  Juicy Fruit, Bubble Yum, Bubblicous and Hubba Bubba are being phased out.  I still only chew them since going to war with "the packet people".  There was a lot of crazy pregnant lady ranting going on in CVS at the register about how they must be part of the conspiracy.

(Tomorrow:  milk, meat and veggie be continued....)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Optimism At Work and Play

I actually own rose colored glasses, and they seriously do make everything look better!  That's no cheesy cliche.  If you ever have a chance to try a pair, do so.  I bought mine as custom made prescription sunglasses, so I can't recommend any particular pair for you.  I will say that they were worth every penny and when they die, I shall spend every last bit as much to get another pair made.  The only disappointing part is that sometimes I will see something beautiful and when I take them off to look at it again, that same thing is kinda blah.  They "pretty up" your surroundings.  We ALL should own rose colored glasses.

Where am I going with this?  I am aiming for optimism.  Not just "wishing for things to turn out well in the future" but also "seeing things now in a more positive light".  It's difficult to maintain the second one, but if you incorporate a smidgen of humor you can achieve optimism at any time.  Let me give you an example:
This was the sight I walked into one morning at a customer's house.   This person has a one year old puppy and the first day that he decided to leave the dog out of his crate, major damage occurred.  A blue pen was destroyed on the off white carpet, the recyclables were un-recycled (not a word) and slobberfied (another non-word), the morning coffee grinds were eaten and....the worst offense in the world of men....the remotes were chewn.

Listen, I know "chewn" is not a real word either, but Justin came up with it years ago and it just feels right when talking about things our pets destroy with their teeth.  He came to me once holding a clock radio with the cord sliced in half by our rabbit and declared, "No more! I'm gonna kill him!  Look!  It's totally chewn!" On the other hand, this happened many times and Justin now the king of wire splicing due to all of that practice fixing our electronics.  See how that optimism works??!!

Back to the doggie destruction.  That photo is only one corner of the damage.  There was a lot more.  I was tired and crabby and in no mood to deal with more work than I planned on for the day.  However, I stopped for a moment and thought about my dearly departed dog Shiminute.  He was the master of destruction.  We once had a situation so bad that we referred to the event as "The 14 Points of Shiminuian Destruction".  So many things were eaten and "processed" that we couldn't tell if it was poop or the chocolate cake he tore into that was on our walls.  That story is 15 years old and we STILL tell it.  NOW we laugh.  The only thing missing was photo documentation.

I looked around me and smiled and said, "I'm gonna take pictures of this so he will be able to have evidence when he tells this story years from now."  Optimism. I took a ton of them!  And I told my customer how he would appreciate them some day too.  I know because I have another customer whose Christmas Tree was dismantled and dragged down a flight of stairs the first time she left her dog out of the crate for a few hours.  I didn't think of taking pictures until I dragged it back up stairs and propped that half naked tree back up in the stand.  We both wish that I had thought of the camera a bit sooner that day!

So, when I hear stories about children who have been potty trained way before Allie, or who started speaking far earlier than she did, or began walking when she was still hanging out on the floor, I stop myself from comparing and feeling as if there's something wrong with either me or my child.  Instead I bust out my optimism. "Thank God she has her father all day and doesn't need to be potty trained in order to go to preschool. She can do it when she's ready."  "She'll have plenty of time to talk.  My mother still talks about being careful what I wish for because I never shut up once I started."  "Once she starts walking she's going to be all over the place so let's enjoy being able to catch her without breaking a sweat for now."

The last time I checked, the high school didn't have many 15 year olds who preferred wearing diapers, babbled only in baby language, and crawled to class.  She'll be just fine!  So fine that she runs all over the place, talks constantly (my mother warned me!) and tells us so frequently that she wants to hang out on the "big girl potty" that we are considering installing a refrigerator and recliner in both bathrooms so we don't have to sit on the floor while starving for so many hours during the day.

Speaking of which, Allie got another big girl potty from the Easter Bunny (a/k/a Grandma)  She loves it so much.  I have no idea what her obsession is with putting these things over her face.  She made BOTH of us join her in the potty celebration this time.
The optimistic side of this particular situation is three-fold:
1- She will NEVER put these things on her head again once her little
tiny tushy touches them for their intended purpose.  Ewww.
2- She loves the idea of using the potty so much that she wishes she could wear one.  I'm confident this idea will not continue much longer since we will NEVER let her leave our home wearing it as an accessory.
3- She loves us so much that she wants us to join her in her little potty seat jubilee.  Girlfriend loves a party!

Friday, April 5, 2013

My Husband Is A (Messy) Genius

And I am a moron in the making.  Apparently there is something called the Messy Genius/Messy Desk Theory that claims that sloppy people are motivated by achievement.  So, I ask you, does this look like someone who you would use the words "motivated" and "achieving" when describing?  Well, the theory says he is.
(Disclaimer: I would like to add that I love my husband very much and that he has other magnificent attributes that seriously outweigh his sloppiness, therefore I would like a pass on this one)
Genius and Protege
At the time of this photo, I had my own little farm of sorts.  My "calf and bull" were in a cage in the living room because he had back surgery and wasn't supposed to be chasing a little one around the house.  It kept her (and their messes) contained until I returned.  This particular evening, I left for an appointment and tidied up the entire pasture / play area before going.  I came home an hour and a half later and this is what I saw.  I promise you that my initial reaction was not, "What a genius!"  It was more like "WTF?!" 

Another fine demonstration my husband's extreme intelligence would be the use of Allie's hamper!
Exhibit A
Notice the cute Winnie the Pooh hamper.  It is approximately 6 feet from the area where we change Allie's clothes.  It's also right next to the door, so you pass it when you walk in and out of her room.  If you look closely, you will see pajamas on top of the cloth cover.  On top.  Why?  Well, I wish I could give you an answer for that, but I CAN'T.  Ole Einstein here knows it's ridiculous.  HE can't even tell me why the clothes are on the hamper, rather than in the hamper. 

He laughs a little at himself, actually.  It's right up there with Man Looking (see next paragraph).  He knows it's inexplicable, and he finds humor in the fact that he is one step closer to becoming a "typical male".  I'm guessing that he's far too busy pondering the meaning of life, developing a cure for cancer, and trying to find a way to bring Pluto back into our solar system to be bothered with the little things like being tidy.

Let me touch on Man Looking for a moment as I believe it too must be connected to higher intelligence.  (I have accepted this way of thinking because it's far more flattering for my husband than the alternative....that he may suffer from a majorcase of The Lazies.)  How many times have you heard, "Where's the (insert word here)?  I can't find it!"  You know that the item in question is in the obvious location, so you shout it out.  Then you hear, "No, it's not.  I looked."

Oh, no you didn't.  We all know you didn't REALLY look.

At this point, I ask the safety question....the question that will keep me from being super agitated that I have to get up and find something unless he can honestly answer "Yes, I did." The safety question is: "Did you really look or did you MAN look??!!"

I don't want to make you all jealous, but I was blessed with a husband who willingly admits to being wrong when he is.  It's so nice to not have to waste time debating who is right and wrong when one of us is CLEARLY wrong.  Suck it up, admit your wrong, and save all of us the time of arguing about the obvious.  (This should go both's not just for men.)  With that being said, I know the answer to my previous question by either the silence I hear as he goes back to search again OR he'll shout out, "I LOOKED!"

You and I both know that even after "look looking", we will go to the location of mystery, find the missing item in under 10 seconds, and hand it to him with that look that says, "Yeah right.  You really looked.  How did you survive before I came into your life? Here ya go, jackass" before walking away.  It's all part of Man Looking.  This is directly related to the Messy Genius theory as I believe it's a symptom of having those kinds of smarts.

All of this kind of makes me wonder..... if I'm resisting messiness, what does that say about my intelligence?  Am I fighting aptitude? The Messy Desk Theory says that brilliant people struggle with organization.  So, if I'm aiming for an orderly lifestyle, does this mean I'm an imbecile?  Are my efforts futile? Am I better off becoming a slob???  

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Eggs-travaganzas and Theories

Cleo Louise and her offspring offering
I'm going to blow your mind with my nuttiness this evening.  I know this because when I was thinking the thoughts that I'm going to write about, I got all freaked out and thought, 'This is too much....this blows my mind.  I've gotta write about this!'  Okay...are you ready?

Oh, wait.  First, this lovely red head in the photo is Cleo Louise, our Eclectus.  This morning, just before our Easter Egg Hunt at Mom's (a/k/a Nana), Cleo popped out an egg of her own to contribute to the celebration.  The timing was quite coincidental.  We were literally putting on our coats to leave when she presented us with this lovely item.  When I looked at this photo tonight, it triggered a whole cluster of thoughts that brought me to the "mind blowing" concept I mentioned above.  So, back to that...

If you are female, I want you to consider the possibility that you've already existed for hundreds or thousands of years.  (Yes, please.... DO go back and read it again to make sure you read that right before I expand on this theory).  I looked at Allie this evening as we crawled into bed and realized that she is from an egg inside of my body.  As women, we are born with all of our eggs already stockpiled in our girlie parts and ready to go the minute that puberty strikes, right?  So, when I was born, the Allie egg was already there!  And when my mother was born, the Vicki egg was     already there....which carried all of the DNA and whatnot that was the Allie egg.  So, we are like those little Russian Nesting Dolls!  One inside of another inside of another inside of another, all waiting to come out of the previous one and be discovered!  Tell I wrong??  Is this not a concept of mind blowing proportions??

Mind you, this whole theory gets a little wacky when you add the male component.  Men create sperm as they go along in life, so you really have to reach to find the Russian Nesting Doll theory in action. And truth be told, my mind started hurting, and I kept going back to the mothers, and I couldn't turn the fathers and sons into nesting dolls in my heads.  It started getting wacky and they became GI Joes....never mind.

The Easter Egg scientists hard at work
Hey...Happy Resurrection Day! To make things a little more light and airy, I thought I would touch on the Easter festivities here.  We colored eggs for the first time with Allie.  Justin said he can't remember doing it but knows it happened at least once as a child.  It was kind of fun bossing them around and watching them anticipate how this was going to work out.  To be honest, I almost forgot to do it at all this year.  I guess I get consumed by work and the insanity of the Spring Break rush that I don't really THINK about the Momness that I am responsible for.  As soon as I remembered, I dashed to Target and started collecting all of the items necessary to create a nifty basket for a 2.5 year old and to decorate eggs.   I want Allie to have all of the traditions that I shared with my Mom (and sometimes my Dad too....Allie really hit the lottery in the Dad department, thank God).  I want to recreate all of the memories that each holiday conjures up for she can have those memories too.  Good times, people.  Good times.
Our little ray of sunshine and her done dozen
One last egg related thought for the evening.... I learned that I need to start hanging around with people with children if I want to know what's going on outside of our nice little family bubble that I've been living in.  A few days before Easter my mother called and asked if I was taking Allie to an egg hunt.  "Huh?  What?  I, uh, ummm, crap!  I didn't even THINK about an Easter egg hunt.  They do those here?!"  Again, I was caught up in the work cloud and was out of the kid loop.  I've discovered that they do many egg hunts around here.  The thing is that you have to belong to a church, read the local newspaper, actually speak to people who have children (or even the savvy ones who don't have children!), look up from your cart at the supermarket, show an interest in your community, etc. to find out where they are having an egg hunt.  I found one the day before it was happening and it was conveniently scheduled smack dab in the middle of my morning appointments.  (Side note: Does everything in this town have to start at 10am?  Can we aim for a smidgen later every now and then?)  

At that moment, I felt like a failure as a mother, but my own mom was there to pull my Easter out of the crapper.  "Well, now you know for next year.  Don't beat yourself up over it. We will have one of our own for her."  And we did.  And she loved it.  When it was over, she wanted to go back outside and look for more eggs, even though we told her there weren't any more.  It was the first Easter Egg Hunt I can remember in my entire life.  Mom does a fabulous job of creating a private egg hunt extravaganza.

The moral of this story is that I need to find fellow moms and spend time with them so I can learn about these Momisms in advance.  I am preparing to do so at a local play group this week.  Oh yes, I am taking action immediately.  I'm oddly nervous.  Wish me luck.  I'll let you now how it goes.