Worlds Okayest Mom and Greatest Step Dad Diaries: When Mom is Sick

A couple weeks ago I wasn’t feeling well. My daughter and husband-to-be were trying to figure out what to have for dinner. Even though I wasn’t feeling my best I was having a craving for some cheap mediocre pizza, so my fiance (Bear) went out and grabbed two Little Caesars pizzas. I wasn’t about to do anything crazy like actually get out of bed, so we put the boxes on our bed and went to town inhaling pizza, while we all watched TV together. Best way to do pizza night I don’t care what anyone says.

It was no surprise to me that two days later the pizza boxes were still in our room with five pieces left in one box. Both of us remained a bit under the weather, with Bear a bit better off than myself. He had taken on most of the cooking, however come the third day of my being out of commission Bear had to be gone all day.

As usual my fifteen year-old was foraging for food. She comes in my room asking, “What’s going on with dinner?”

I lift my head from my pillow and tell her I don’t know yet. She turns her head towards the pizza boxes and says with shock and confusion, “Wow, you still have those?”

“Yep, and there’s still some pizza in one of the boxes.”

She opens the box and her big brown eyes widen in horror. “Why didn’t you put this in the refrigerator?”

“Do I look like I’m in any shape to be that responsible? Besides I thought I was going to snack on it here and there.”

A couple eye rolls later she asks, “Are they still good?”

“Ummmmmm…well it has been fairly cool in here, and I did take a few bites of a piece last night. But, this is day three soooooo…

We just stared at each for a moment. I knew where this was going and so did she. Neither of us sure of the consequences. Both of us aware there would be no turning back. Before I know it she has three pieces of pizza in her hands, and right before she walks out of the room I yell out a disclaimer, “You’re eating those at your own risk!”

You know, verbally releasing any fault and liability on my behalf.

I put my head back down on the pillow and tried to clear my mind of this crime against motherhood.

Some angry offended Mom Mob will be coming with torches and pitchforks any minute now. I’m certain the PMOA (Perfect Moms Of America) just heard everything.

If Facebook hears when I’m talking about DNA kits, and then I see nothing but DNA kit ads for the next 3 days every time I log on, then some Mom spy no doubt just listened in.

I decided to turn on the TV in an attempt to shut out the voices of guilt in my head. Did I really just let my daughter take and consume non refrigerated days old pizza? I’m horrified. My fiance surprisingly did not come home to me rocking back and forth in a corner whispering repeatedly, ‘I’m a good mom, I’m a good mom.’ The only thing I did do was continue to text her…yes from down the hall. C’mon, I wasn’t getting up unless I had to. Admittedly, I was sweating it out for a couple days, but after much prayer I’m happy to report she was just fine. However, to make up for it every night since my Bear and I have made home cooked meals…ok mostly him while I get better. He really has been taking excellent care of us.

We were going to start a new healthyish regiment anyway, with meals full of vegetables, so it worked out. Above is my Bear’s artichoke cream sauce chicken, and roasted veggies, with parmesan. (Damn, I love having a man who can cook.) I’m also happy to report my Mom guilt has officially passed, and I can now forget about it like it never happened…

Me Giving Health Advice?

Today I had the urge to talk about food substitutions.

A Bad Substitution (Yes, in my opinion): Aspartame

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used as a sugar substitute in some foods and beverages. You’ll find people who believe this is harmful to your health, and then you’ll find others who say it’s fine and dandy. This man-made chemical is found in all your diet sodas, no sugar energy drinks, and some children’s vitamins. In 1980 a board discussed its relationship to brain cancer, later concluding they didn’t believe it was that much of a bastard. However, it still wasn’t approved at that time, because of many unanswered questions. Research showed it gave cancer to rats, and that fact was even written on packets of sweetener.

In 1983 it slowly started to creep into our lives. In 1993 it was in most beverages and baked goods with the claim of no sugar. By 1996 all the restrictions of aspartame were removed allowing it to be put in whatever the hell corporate money-hounds wanted it to be in. These are all just boring facts, and you can choose to believe whatever you want about this ARTIFICIAL crack originally made by a chemist accidentally. Yeah, it was like a mad scientist trying to create Frankenstein, and instead created a sugar substitute by fucking up Frank. Now, Frank is in your diet Coke.

All I really have is my own experience. I consumed diet energy drinks, diet tea, and diet soda 1 year out of my life in my late twenties. I had noticed myself becoming more aggro than usual. Just irritated for no reason. At first I assumed it was natural with how many brain-dead zombies I battled working my graveyard shift. But then I started to feel an all around…not right. I read an article about the rumors of the big A, and decided to quit the diet beverage addiction. Within a few weeks I was feeling better and more like the normal aggro me.

Around the same time I was being a responsible mom, and bought my daughter a bottle of children’s vitamins. I don’t recall how long she had been taking them before she became different. She was hyper and uncontrollable. She was not the same kid. Finally reading the label (something for kids wouldn’t have an iffy ingredient, right?) of the well-known brand of kiddy nutrients I found aspartame. Long story short: Took her off of them, and back to normal. I had my sweet, funny, kind, smart kid back. Five years later I found a non-personality altering vitamin from this AHH-mazing website http://www.swansonvitamins.com/

This is my experience. Draw your own conclusions. Make your own decisions.

A Good Substitution: The Greek Gods All Natural Plain Greek Yogurt

I wanted plain greek yogurt to blend with avocados and use as a healthier salad dressing option. Which I’m sure is tastylicious, but I have yet to try it. What I have done is put it on or in everything that usually involves sour cream.

The first night it accidentally fell into my families mashed potatoes. I waited patiently to see if anyone noticed a difference. Later on my husband says, “I don’t know what you did to those potatoes, but you have to always make them that way.” Yes, sir.

I’m so damn proud of myself when I discover a healthy sub my family will eat, since I tend to be healthy-edible-challenged. It’s great on tacos, burritos, baked potatoes, and anything clogged artery cream had previously been best friends with. The texture is different from most yogurt, it’s actually very close to sour cream. Tossing it in garden rotini pasta with olive oil, diced tomatoes, red onion, and olives, is a scrumptious dish that you might even be able to label healthy. Add cut up chicken breast and it’s even more scrum-dilly-umptious. When I make my daughter a burrito I ask her if she wants sour cream, but there isn’t any sour cream in this house. The eight year old never questions it. That is the true test to how truly great a replacement this is.