Monday, June 18, 2012

Wonder Woman

My parents were pretty far ahead of the curve in terms of health awareness and nutrition.  In addition to promoting an active lifestyle and mindful snacking (only one sweet or soda per day), my mom cooked and served a healthy, complete meal (and salad) every night-- an impressive feat that shames me on those days when the best I can manage is to warm up leftover leftovers. 

There was no official list of forbidden foods in our house but there were many processed goodies that never crossed the threshold: including all sugar cereals, anything by Hostess, and Wonder Bread.

I work hard to instill healthy habits in my kids.  Be active and eat right.  I'm not inventing the wheel here: if they develop good habits now hopefully they'll keep them up for life.  The activity side is easy-- both kids are happily  involved in lots of different sports.  The food side takes more effort.  I feel like I'm always at the store buying produce.  And reading labels. And trying new recipes. And searching for the perfect luunchbox foods.

Bread is particularly tough.  It has to be wheat (whole grain).  No HFCS.  No "hearty" texture.  I've determined that there is only one kind of bread that meets all my needs and my kids' particularities (at least until someone markets a crust-free bread, which would be a huge hit) and sometimes I can't find it on the store's shelves.

The other day I was faced with that very problem.  No bread.  I started half-heartedly to check the other loaves on the shelves.  It was slim pickings.  Seeds, nope. Extra Hearty, seriously? Corn syrup, nope.

Wait, what's this?  Wonder Bread Wheat?  I picked up the happy red, blue and yellow package assuming I'd soon be sneering and putting it down because c'mon, it's Wonder Bread.  The devil's bread would have to have high fructose corn syrup in it, right?  But guess what?  It passed all my tests.  In what felt almost like a rebellious move I bought the Wonder Bread.  My kids are so lucky, I thought, remembering the few times I made squishy yummy dough balls out of Wonder Bread at other kids' houses.

And.... my son hated it.  The pieces were too small for him.  He called it mini-bread.  And he celebrated the end of the loaf.   "No more Wonder Bread!" he happily cheered to his sister.  Thirty-seven miles away, I imagine my parents were high-fiving.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

No Piggin' Way

My mother and her beloved dog, Eloise, gave birth to their first babies within weeks of each other.

A new baby requires loads of time, energy and attention.  As a matter of course, the naming of the new dog was not a top priority.   And so it was that the puppy was forever known as Puppy.

I came along six years later.  By the time I was old enough to appreciate Puppy she was almost gone.  We never got another dog, despite my best efforts.

As a consolation gift (actually, it was a birthday gift), I was given another fluffy, four legged animal.  A guinea pig.  I know I always rush to hyperbole but a guinea pig has to be the Worst Pet Ever.  And, like a couple who inexplicably tries to save their marriage by having a kid (or another kid), I thought having a second guinea pig would make the first one more fun.

I was wrong.  Babies ensued (We had a boy and a girl in the same cage! Galactically stupid!).  And then a premature follow-on pregnancy that killed the mother in childbirth.  And then infanticide by the father.  And then my brother had to feed the surviving son by dropper every few hours because I was away at camp.  And years and years of chirping and pooping and rat feet and...... ugh.

Last week I was at an impromptu birthday gathering for a ten year old girl who was visiting from out of town.  A married couple that has known the father for years came up from the city and brought "their boys"-- two guinea pigs.

I know that my husband and I kind of treated our dog as our first baby (my mom even calls her her granddog) but, really, guinea pigs??!   I could not imagine anyone loving guinea pigs that much.  I had to ask lots of questions.  And the answers left me gobsmacked.

Their boys don't live in a cage.  They have two living areas in the apartment and are allowed to run free.  They poop in one spot only.  They come when called.  Ooooookay.....

My daughter loved holding and playing with those guinea pigs.  I told her don't even think about it.  I'll get her a puppy first. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Siri-ously Lacking

Those iPhone Siri adds with John Malkovich are pretty creepy, right?  I mean, it is one thing when my kids try to engage Siri in actual dialogue, but a grown up sitting alone in a semi-dark room conversing with computer code?   What exactly are they selling?

Not that it wouldn't be nice to have a computer friend.  It would love and support you unconditionally like a dog but could also keep your calendar, scour the internet for the answers to trivia questions, and compose emails.  But Siri is not that gal.

Yesterday I had scheduled-- partially out of convenience and partially out of necessity-- a mammogram, my annual gyno exam, and the extraction of two wisdom teeth.  A hideous day.  Did Siri care?

What's my schedule for today?

You have 5 appointements for today [list].


I do not understand what you mean by "hug."

No, Siri.  No, you really don't.

But she is reminding me to take my meds.  So there's that.