Monthly Archives: October 2009

Must see TV

Hello, My name is Deanna and I’m a whore, a TV whore. Not sure about you but I love TV. Idiot box, boob tube, TV, flat screen, HDTV, a 13 inch with rabbit ears, TV’s in Sears, whatever you call it, wherever it is and whatever it looks like, I LOVE TV. My husband loves TV, my kids love TV, we are a TV family. It’s actually a problem in my house, we are constantly late because when the boob tube is on I’m in a TV trance and can’t do a thing. My attention will be so wrapped up in Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives that I forget anything and everything that has to get done up to and including at times my own name.

Watching TV and reading are my two favorite ways to relax, sometimes I do it simultaneously, ‘cause I’m cool like that, multi-tasking is my middle name, well my middle name is Fanny, yes my middle name is Fanny, but that’s a story for another time. In my house, we are all TV-aholics; it’s not bad that my five-year old is addicted to Animal Planet… is it? At least it’s not crack; now that would be a real problem.

Before kids I watched almost anything –crime dramas, comedies, nightly news, family dramas, and teenybopper shows, CNN, whatever. I loved flipping through the channels and being lulled into an alternate reality. A reality where everyone was either funnier, smarter and cooler than me, sometimes in more danger than me, or a bunch of dumb asses that were trying to beat each other by eating worms and other disgusting things for a million dollars.

TV is an escape, some people take baths I luxuriate in the silky glow of my television set. After I had children, especially the first one, I needed an escape. I needed to be entertained during the nursing marathons. I was sleep deprived, like all new moms, and there was nothing else to do but watch TV especially during the 2:00 a.m. feeding. Like Manhattan, the city that never sleeps, either does TV land. There was always something on even if it was infomercial. While nursing, I had my little set-up; a coffee table was next to me with the phone, my snack, water, the clicker (always within an arm’s length) and my notebook. Notebook, you ask? Well, I was a lunatic and wrote down which side the baby was nursing on and for how long – with EVERY feeding. I was obsessive, incredibly anal, and I’m a Virgo, which anyone can tell you, especially my family and friends, that is a Molotov cocktail.

Anyway, after kids I navigated toward reality TV and talk shows only. They helped me cope with the fact that I was the new mom that wasn’t equipped with that maternal instinct. I felt lost and after I gave birth any logic I may have possessed flew the coop. My sisters, best friends and mom were on a constant phone rotation – I could call with any insane thought, feeling, question at any moment. It was as if I was contestant on Millionaire and was using my dial-a-friend option. I am so not kidding, one time – my sweet little peanut had finally taken a normal newborn nap – the first three-hour nap of his little life. Any other mom would of been ecstatic and I should have too since – all my thoughts, conversations, dreams were about this little bugger finally sleeping more than two hours at a time, but instead of enjoying the nap I went to that crazy place. How the hell could he be sleeping, he doesn’t do this? Richie never takes a nap, let alone a three-hour one. Something HAS got to be wrong. So I use my dial-a-friend, and this is what occurred:

Me: “Hey, _____, it’s me, Dee, yea, um, Richie slept for like three hours today, I know, I know, fantastic, but when he was sleeping he kept on making these really weird noises, he sounded like he was choking on, like popcorn, ya know when you get that kernel stuck in your throat, no he didn’t eat popcorn, he’s three months old c’mon! But really it was like a “grrrrrllll, grrrllllll” sound and I could totally tell that his eyes were rolling back into his head, could it be a seizure? No, his eyes were closed, maybe a brain tumor?“. Sister/Mom/Friend: “Deanna, babies make noises when they sleep, (and if it was my sister Stephanie, she would go into all about REM sleep, and all that crap that at that time I needed to hear), probably not a brain tumor”. Me: “Oh, oh, okay, great, I won’t call the doctor, talk to you later.” Ya get it? Thank God my mom cooked for us for over three (3) months, and my mother-in-law did the babies laundry for about six (6) months I was so overwhelmed, over tired, over wrought and whatever else I could be over, that I couldn’t function normally.

Real life was too much for me and strangely reality TV calmed me down. Why? Because every one of those shows enabled me to see the freak in all these other people. These people made me feel normal, these outrageously insane people helped me feel like I was sane on the Richter scale when in reality I was trapped in a tiny apartment with a newborn that didn’t sleep. My boobs were engorged, I felt like an inadequate mom, if I did venture out (to my mom’s – like five minutes away) it took me two hours to prepare and get out of the house. I didn’t have to think about a thing when I watched reality TV that was the real beauty. It was reality TV or the loony bin. And like Nanny said to my sister Andrea (in regard to my sister not watching any reality TV) “You ain’t living” – if she wasn’t living then baby, I was living it up!

Fast forward a few years later, another baby in the mix, 8 ½ years of marriage and my reality TV habit is a thing of the past, well sort of. I still have a few staple shows that I watch, but these are the real high quality ones (BAAH is there really a difference? I like to think so, but remember it’s me, I could be pulling the wool over my own eyes!), my point – I don’t use reality TV as a coping skill anymore. I can actually deal with relative ease that there is crayon on the walls, naked babies running circles around the house at top speed, and the five year old peeing all over the toilet seat because he wanted to make designs, so that’s good. We still watch too much TV but does it matter that we are watching Animal Planet vs. countless hours of Boomerang? Or am I deluding myself into believing that because it’s the “good stuff” it’s okay. Is it really appropriate for a five year old to watch a lion tear apart an antelope? Things that make you go hmmm….

Posted in deanna, reality tv, That's Life, tv, watching tv

Veggie Mania turned U.G.L.Y.

As I was driving around doing my errands, listening to some lame-ass kids songs, avoiding the inevitable of going home cooking dinner, doing laundry and trying to entertain a two-year old all I could think about is the veggie challenge that was bestowed on me by the fabulous Betsy over at Witness this Fitness and Gluten Free Betsy (yes, two blogs – how the HELL does she have the time?). You ask…what is the veggie challenge? Well, every week for six weeks we exchange a list of veggies that we have to eat for that week, we thought it would help get more veggies in and explore the world of the veggies outside the normal spinach, broccoli and carrots. We are on week two of this challenge and veggies are consuming my every thought, I can’t even take a pee without thinking – how the hell am I going to cook turnips?

To begin this week of veggie mania, I got the boys ready to go food shopping, as we made our way to the car I had to wrestle the two-year into his car seat like he was “The Rock” and I was bringing the smack down – after a heated battle, sweat dripping on my brows and under my lip (yes, I am a 39 year old trapped in a 60 year olds body) I headed to the ‘ole mighty Stop and Shop. On the ten-minute drive to the store all I could think of how the hell I can entertain these kids. I don’t enjoy food shopping to begin with and shopping with kids suck! I figure one can hold my list and one can hold the pen – but which one? If the two-year old has the pen, he’ll write all over himself which means that bath time will be even more of a chore – picture pen all over his face, arms, and stomach and if I give him the list it will be crumbled and thrown on the floor in 10 seconds flat. I threw that idea out the window and started to cry. Mind you, I haven’t even parked the car and I was already in tears.

Parked car, got kids out of the car seats, slung my bag across my chest as if I was going into battle, walked to the front door, wrestled the two-year old into the cart as he was hitting the top of my head with his fist – at that moment I wanted to break his legs but refrained since a cute little old granny with her bluish gray hair, rosy cheeks, pink cardigan sweater, navy blue elastic pants and white keds was looking at me with eyes that said “She has no control over that child” which I didn’t therefore at that moment I wanted to break her legs. I tried to shrug it off and act all calm cool and collective but I couldn’t pull that off if you paid me.

I am finally in the store – and the battle begins. Thank goodness the fruits and veggies are in the first few isles, that’s the hairiest part of food shopping so I like to get it over with. Speeding down those aisles trying to get all the produce into those little sticky clear bags can be a real bitch without kids – imagine doing it with two of them. The five-year old is a dream I just have to bribe him with some cheap toy or a tootsie roll; it’s the two-year old that’s the real problem. He’s like elastic man, his arms for some reason can reach the bottom of the cart – he randomly pulls things out and tosses them, as if that is not stressful enough, he also reaches for the items in the isles, but I outwitted the little bugger and now plant the cart smack in the middle of the aisles, I actually giggle watching him try to reach for things. Am I going to hell for that one?

This week Betsy gave me gave me romaine lettuce, green beans, acorn squash (she’s Satan), turnips (remember, she’s the devil), potatoes, cauliflower and corn. I usually go for more traditional veggies so navigating the aisles was even more fun than usual. I had no idea what a turnip or an acorn squash looked like and I had to hunt for them as if I was a playing eye-spy. When I finally found them, they looked more like decoration than something I would actually consume. I couldn’t wait to go home to cook them – did you pick up that sarcasm?

It took a while to get through the produce section, when I was done I realized the shopping trip was almost complete, after produce I didn’t have much to buy – since I am on this program with Health Magazine I really try not to buy too much that is processed, so that cuts down the shopping trip to less than an hour, nonetheless, the kids, or I should say the two-year old was definitely done by the time I got out of produce. I knew that I had only three more aisles to navigate: meat, dairy and juice. I gave myself a pep talk: thought to myself no problem – you got this. I acted as this was my super bowl going for the punt that would win the game, I was ready, all set to conquer the last few aisles, when BAM, I missed the field goal. The two-year old started screaming – high-pitched girly screams in short little bursts – as annoying as nails going down a chalkboard. I can tolerate this but others cannot. As he was screaming, I kept saying, “Matthew, it’s okay, sssshhhh, ssssshhhh, Matthew, stop screaming” – I was on the rinse and repeat cycle saying this phrase every ten seconds. All I needed was juice as I reached down to pick up the box who do I see – cute little old granny, who said “Boy, she has lungs” at that point I said “It’s a boy”. I get that people think he’s a girl ‘cause he is that cute. He has wild curls, pink cherub cheeks, long thick eyelashes and stunning blue peepers and when he’s “on” he can charm a snake. Granny didn’t respond to my quip and the two-year old was still screaming – he was NOT stopping. I have nothing, nothing to bribe him with, I can’t even rip open a bag of goldfish because DAMN I am trying to eliminate as much processed crappy food for the entire family – I can’t get out of this aisle fast enough. I turn the cart around like Mario Andretti in hopes that I can make this trip a tad shorter, but he’s still screaming short little shriekish bursts. As I am about to leave the isle I hear from cute little granny “SHUT UP”. I stopped, turned around and thought “Did she just say shut-up? NO WAY” and then plain as day right from those pruned lips with my own two eyes I see her say: “SHUT UP”. At that very moment I almost flipped her the bird, my finger started to twitch and then I chuckled and thought “I wanted to say the same thing”.

That my friends will be the last time I go food shopping with my kids.

Posted in Mangia Mia Fitness Pia

Hate is such a STRONG word

Hate is such a strong word. When I was a Holy Family faggot, which at that point in time meant I was a catholic school uniform wearing alien to the public school kids who ridiculed us, the evil nuns whom were either scrawny with big glasses or chubby, spilling out of their habits, smelling like cabbage, cigarettes and scotch while hitting our knuckles with rulers and damning us for wearing Vaseline on our lips as if we were whores brought to Long Island by Satan himself, they told me that we can never hate anyone. I can strongly dislike but never hate. Fuck that, I can hate as much as I want. I may not make it through the pearly gates but damn it, hate I will –I hate child molesters, rapists, bank robbers, people who park in handicap spots without stickers and basic everyday assholes excluding myself of course, ‘cause let’s face it we can all be assholes now and again.

Now this is why I hate, well maybe I haven’t fully arrived to hate yet but I am this close to hating the 5-year-olds’ Kindergarten teacher, AGAIN. I am not like this at all, or at least I no longer am, pre-therapy absofuckinglutly, now –NO WAY but this lady is pissing me off. For this post, I’ll call her “The Teacher” – she’s strict with that Talbot’s look – the turtleneck that’s about to cut off the circulation, very organized, A-type, bobish brown hair, mom jeans, you get the picture. Why do I loathe, despise and abhor her? ‘Cause she’s a Health Food Nazi: No unhealthy snacks in my classroom ! Line up and repeat after me: Fruit! Pretzels! Goldfish! My cute, fun, funky little quirkster is in fear of his life if he brings in one damn Starburst to school. Forget about a bag of chips or oh, a fucking cupcake on his birthday. Let’s face it, there are things to be afraid of in life – getting hit by a train, drowning, getting eaten by a shark, maybe even kidnapped by aliens… but fear of junk food? NOT ON MY WATCH. He’ll embrace crappy food with a modicum of reason and sanity and love it if I have anything to do with it.

The poor little bugger started to hyperventilate and sweat; he paced back and forth and actually threw himself on the floor and started to cry when I merely suggested that he bring in his last starburst for lunch. It’s one tiny cube of fun, ONE, not a pack, just one piece of candy. My sweet little Richie has the first kid syndrome – rule follower, organized, care taker. I thought I would need to do CPR. I love that he is following the rules, he’s Mr. Super Safety Guy when we get in the car – we all have to have our seat belts on before we even put the keys in the ignition, can’t talk on the phone and drive, etc.. But damn, let him live a little. I am all for the healthy living but people these are kids – don’t misguide them and seduce them into eating stuff that you, a teacher or the cult-follower of the dumb-ass Mr. Rooney (think principal from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) believes is healthy. Don’t get me wrong I get that it’s not just one cupcake but 24, that it’s teaching them to make better options. I get it, I really get it. I was the girl that was deprived of every snack food in the house. TV night and snack night were always on Friday in my house by Saturday the snacks were gone ya know where my ass was Saturday morning? Sitting on the floor in my pj’s cabinet open hoarding and bingeing on snacks, potato chips, cheese doodles, pretzels all shoved in my mouth barely able to breathe, I couldn’t hide the greasy hands when my mother found me belly up rolling on the floor in pain, the snacks were going to be tossed and I was going down fighting. So yeah I got food issues and I get it. I also get that it has to be in moderation and these kids have to learn that above anything else. I also get that the pretzels, baked chips, low-fat ice-cream, graham crackers, goldfish, popcorn or whatever else they are hocking in the cafeteria can be a better option but don’t for one fucking moment tell me that these foods have any nutritional value, ‘cause they don’t.

Not sure what is pissing me off more: 1) The fact that he can’t bring in chips, 2) that I feel like I am being parented or 3) that the school is totally contradicting themselves by having crap in the cafeteria for all the kids to buy. I guess more than anything the last two items; I didn’t get this rock hard body by eating veggies and fruit so I doubt I’d give him chips on a daily basis and purposely clog his arteries, upping the anty of having teen acne, and then totally ruining all his chances of being prom king. So basically it’s my authority issues yet again. I hate being told what to do and that if he decides to buy a snack his only option is crap that I could have given him in the first place. Just like the school supply list – it’s “The Teacher’s” way or the highway. Ironic isn’t it? I’m a rule breaker my son’s a rule maker! This past summer I accidently pinched a beach towel from Woodloch Resort and the little guy begged me to drive back (3 hours mind you) to return it, he wasn’t satisfied until I picked up the phone pretended to dial and talk to someone to tell me it was okay that I accidently had the towel. What’s going to happen when he figures out I faked the phone call is beyond me! Am I fighting a losing snack battle? Why the hell am I having a snack battle when he doesn’t care and there are so many other things going on in the world that are more important?

For some reason I am a walking time-bomb on this issue, my heart races and my face heats up whenever I talk about this. On one level it pinches a nerve regarding my weight issues but also the school district must think that the parents are not smart enough to realize that there is no nutritional value in some of the snacks that they are selling in the cafeteria. Big deal baked chips, do they really think that pretzels are providing sound nutrition to our kids? That’s it, that’ what really bugs me – that the school district is saying that these snack foods have nutritional value when they don’t. I knew this issue bugged me more on a factual basis than a personal one!

I also get that “The Teacher” is following the rules, and it’s not entirely her issue, what irks me is why does she care so much about what my son is eating? Because some jack-ass in the school district said these choices are better, the school is following like a good little solider. I wish the school would recognize this – perhaps take the lead – do the research, provide a solution ‘cause dudes if you’re going to talk the talk, walk the walk. How about offering only fruit and veggies as snacks: apples, pears, grapes, carrots something else but make the only option the right option. Hell, why am I not offering these up as snacks to my son? I can beat them at their own game, and my son the pawn will only benefit. Oh God the day they tell the kid no alcohol, I hope I have my issues with authority taken care of.

If I ever get my ass to a PTA meeting I am so bringing cupcakes and this to their coiffed attention. I have to do this for the little bugger’s sake – I don’t want him to have any fears in life rational or irrational, and especially I want to avoid the fear of a salty chip. I want him to respect authority, others and his body – everything in moderation as my grandmother Conchetta told us.

But, believe you me I am totally stomping into that classroom on his birthday with a tray of cupcakes, gluten free, wheat free, and taste free if I have too. That is of course, if the little bugger lets me.

Posted in The Little Buggers