Fish Sandwich: 10 for $10

I went grocery shopping with my dad yesterday, and stumbled across this:

fish sandwich

A fish sandwich – just nestled in among the pudding packs. Ten for ten dollars. Seems like a pretty sweet deal to me.

And it’s untouched. Which makes me wonder: who just leaves a fish sandwich lying around? I’m guessing somebody just wanted to make us all wonder, and did it as a prank. Dad is convinced that some distracted mom tried to take a bite, had to round up a kid, put the sandwich down, and then… just kind of forgot about it.

Maybe a grocery store worker got distracted on his lunch break? ◊

 

 

Cravings

Cravings are well-known to be related to pregnancy, but let’s not forget that food cravings happen fairly frequently to “normal” people as well. Most of the women I know have encountered menstrual cravings (chocolate comes to mind). And cravings usually make sense. If your body needs a certain ingredient (or is addicted to, and thinks it needs, a certain ingredient), you’ll start craving a food that contains that ingredient. For example, women on their period – and therefore losing iron – will often crave chocolate or red meat, which contain iron. Athletes might crave salty or sugary drinks, because they’ve been sweating a lot.

Back before I was pregnant (which seems like eons ago now, despite the fact that it was only a few months),when I was particularly active and my body was working hard, I would crave mustard. Just regular old yellow mustard. These cravings were especially strong while I was a missionary, because I was making hard demands on my body all day long. I kept hot dogs in the fridge, and often just cut one up into a small bowl of mustard to get my mustard fix. There was one occasion when I ran out of time or hot dogs, and just snuck a spoonful when my companion wasn’t looking.

mustard

That was the point when I decided I needed help. I had to figure out what ingredient I was looking for in this mustard – because I just couldn’t go on any more as a closet mustard-eater. I started checking out the ingredients list, which was basically just mustard seed, salt, water, and vinegar. When the cravings came back, I started trying other foods with salt in them. Didn’t work. So I moved to vinegar. Lo and behold, my cravings were easily shifted to dill pickles or chips and salsa! And both of these foods looked far saner than eating a spoonful of mustard every night before bedtime.

Ethan and I have tried to satisfy my pregnant cravings using this same technique: whatever I’m craving, we’ll break it down. Is it sweet? Salty? Tangy? Bitter? What exactly is the ingredient that I’m craving? The trouble is, rational thought was a lot easier when I was only sharing my brain with one body. Now that most of my being is consumed in creating another living thing, apparently the little part of my brain labeled “Thinking Cortex” is just out to lunch. A very specific lunch.

I’ll start feeling faint, and realize I need to eat. (More often than not, I’ll start acting stupid, and Ethan will tell me I need to eat.) Ethan asks what I can eat. I don’t know. “Do you want something sweet?” Umm. “Salty?” Umm… no? “How about…

“Chicken nuggets.” Aha! My brain did a thing! Somebody up there in the Thinking Cortex finally woke up and decided to do their job! I’m so proud of myself.

nuggets

“We don’t have any chicken nuggets,” Ethan will say.

I’m completely stupefied. What do you mean, we don’t have chicken nuggets? But that’s what I can eat! Why don’t we just go buy some right now?

But Ethan has other, saner ideas. “Well, you probably need protein. Would you like some beans, or something with hamburger in it?” Ethan starts listing off all meat- or chicken-based foods we have. “What category are we looking at here?”

At this point, my brain is done compromising. The game of Jeopardy inside my brain that normally has things like “Foods That Contain Vinegar” and “Quick Sources of Iron” now has five categories across the screen that say things like “Nuggets That Are Chicken” and “Small Chicken Pieces, Battered and Fried.” Chicken nuggets have consumed every category. “Umm, I’ll take ‘Bite-Sized Battered Poultry’ for 400, please, Alex.”

Today, I managed an impressive compromise by eating fried chicken wings instead of chicken nuggets. I still consider it a stretch. As this pregnancy progresses, we may develop a few patterns, based on the foods I most frequently crave. Chocolate milk is one: we now have instant breakfast mix in the pantry, two gallons of milk in the fridge, and four (4) bars of Lindt chocolate in the fridge that Ethan pounced on in the clearance aisle. We might have to stock up on chicken nuggets, but we’re not really convinced yet that this is going to be a consistent thing. So far, I haven’t once considered pickles and ice cream. I’m thinking this is still a good sign. ♦

The Jolly Rancher Miracle

You guys!

Hard candy helps with morning sickness.

I found this out by trying some “Preggie Pop Drops” my (also pregnant) cousin gave me. And I ate some. And all of a sudden, I was like, “Hmm. I’m not nearly as queasy anymore. I like this feeling.”

Needless to say, I went through them in about a day. So I asked my mom to buy me some more…

And I’ve made a pretty sizeable dent in those, too.

Then I took a good, hard look at the list of ingredients. These things are basically just your average hard candy. They’re all natural – so if you want to make sure you’re eating real cane sugar and essential oils instead of modified corn stuff and artificial flavoring, by all means, go buy some. But for me and Ethan, this meant that we had a much cheaper option at the local grocery store:
Jolly Ranchers!

I have no idea who named Jolly Ranchers, or why said rancher is in such a good mood, but these things were more valuable than hard currency when I was in elementary school. A watermelon Jolly Rancher was worth its own weight in gold.

So I’ve been spending the morning (and some of the afternoon, for that matter) playing Sonic the Hedgehog and alternating real food (like peanut butter sandwiches and Cheerios) with small handfuls of Jolly Ranchers.

It’s the greatest day. ♥

What Facebook Should Be Advertising

Facebook does a pretty fantastic job of their sidebar ads, to be perfectly honest. They collect an incredible amount of information about you – your age, your sex, your sexual interests, your favorite music and books and even quotes – so they’ve got a lot of information to go by. They do the same basic thing Netflix does: Oh. You liked this. So you’ll probably like this thing, too, right? And they’re usually right. I frequently get funny sidebar ads for things like Old Spice and gummy bears. They know me well.

But here’s what I don’t understand. I got married last August. Facebook knows this. It was a big event, my marital status changed, there were pictures – it’s no secret. While I’m on Facebook, I get ads for cute dresses, chocolate, gummy bears, whatever. But as soon as I log off, it switches to match.com or some other dating site. Same goes for my husband (who was, coincidentally, also married last August). And you can’t tell me they just use the same ad for everyone, because on my computer, it uses pictures of guys in their twenties, whereas my husband’s computer has cute girls and my mom’s computer has a collage of single, silver-haired foxes.

So, what’s the big deal? Does Facebook just think that everyone cheats on their significant other? Or are they just being lazy? Perhaps match.com has simply bought out the entire “log out” screen?

At any rate, my husband and I had some fun coming up with things that would be way more likely to actually make money on his log out page than ads for single ladies he’s not looking for.
***

  1. Anniversary reminders
    Image
    Facebook not only knows that Ethan is married, it knows the date – and even the time of the event. And I’m going to be sorely disappointed with someone on their marketing team if they don’t remind my husband that the time for buying flowers, chocolate, movie tickets, or a couples’ massage is near. (Whether he buys them is up to our budgeting – but for crying out loud, people, this is America. Sell the stuff.)
    ***
  2. Cabela’s
    Image
    If you’ve been there, I don’t need to explain this. If you haven’t, I’ll try to describe it for you. Cabela’s is like a shopping mall for grizzly bears. Also, hunters of grizzly bears. The store has entire sections for tents, kayaks, long-range rifles, fishing poles, Dutch ovens, camouflage (in every variety you’ve ever seen), and even a walk-through fish aquarium and a taxidermy wall of large mammals. The cafe sells sandwiches, soups, and venison or elk burgers and steaks. If I were planning a man-night for my man, I think I would just ask the manager if they could stay the night and rent a few sleeping bags.
    ***
  3. Snacks
    Image
    Ethan and I both agree that he’s far more “in the market” right now for a couple of corn dogs or a bag of Cheet-Os than he is for hot Christian singles. And if the ad listed bacon anywhere, he’d be there like that.
    ***
  4. Superhero paraphernalia
    Image
    For reasons none of us truly understands, Ethan already owns a full-body banana costume. I’m absolutely certain if a reasonably-priced Spaceman Spiff costume were to crop up, he’d find room in the budget.
    ***
  5. Comic Con tickets
    Image
    Realistically, Ethan probably wouldn’t buy these. But a lot of guys would, and I still think any happily married guy would rather spend his time and money walking around with his woman dressed in a sexy space uniform than deliberately ignoring match.com.
    ***
  6. Surf and Turf

    surf and turf
    I’ve been morning sick for months, and even I want to eat that steak. Look at it.
    ***
  7. Movember events/donations
    movember
    For those of you unfamiliar with Movember… shame on you. But since you’re here, I’ll explain. During the month of November, men unite in growing facial hair. There are two reasons for this: one, they like to grow facial hair. Two, they do it to raise awareness (and, through some events, also funds) for men’s health: funding research on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health issues. (Here’s their website.) The mustache, or “Mo,” is simply the public attention-getter. But even though the Mo is just a front for a larger cause, I can tell you from personal experience that my husband would readily click on an ad for mustache wax or a local Movember movement.
    ***
  8. Video games
    mario
    Do I really need to comment on this one?
    ***
  9. DVD collections of childhood cartoons
    pokemon
    Do you have any idea how tempting it would be to buy any childhood cartoon that isn’t found on Netflix? Batman, Pokemon, Ninja Turtles, and The Tick would all be considered worthy investments in this household. And that’s not even including old classics like Wile E. Coyote or Marvin the Martian.
    ***
  10. Star Wars
    Star Wars: Chewbacca and Han Solo aiming weapons
    Star Wars movies, Star Wars LEGO’s, Star Wars costumes, Star Wars action figures, Star Wars posters… if it has a Star Wars label, it’s more likely to get my husband’s attention than a single girl he’s never met. I mean, I’m sure these girls are cute and all. But given a choice between Jessica’s profile picture and a scale model replica of the Millennium Falcon, I know where he’d rather spend his time online.

Through the Looking-Glass

through the looking glass

Yes, I’m reading a lot. I’m sick. I have been for months. So this baby is gonna be grown on Golden Grahams, Pokemon Yellow, and a whole lot of English literature.

Which brings me to Lewis Carroll. I liked Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland so much, I just kept going with Through the Looking-Glass. Through the Looking-Glass is, if anything, even more ridiculous than Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The plot is slightly more cohesive – following Alice as a pawn in a chess match as she moves her way toward the end of the board to be queened – and yet, the transitions actually make even less sense in this one. In Wonderland, at least Alice usually walked through a door or a forest or something before she found something crazy. In Looking-Glass world, she usually just turns around and finds she’s in a boat. Or on a train. Or at a door.

At any rate, this is an even easier read than Alice in Wonderland, and I found it quite amusing. I give it two thumbs up. ♦

Book Duel: The Morning Sickness Companion

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The Morning Sickness Companion, by Elizabeth Kaledin, was a recommendation (and a loan) from my cousin, after she heard I was struggling with a parasite. I mean baby. And I highly recommend it, especially for any woman going through a first pregnancy.

About a third of the book can pretty much be summed up as, “Hey. You got this. It sucks, but you got this.” Kaledin talks about her own pregnancies and those of her friends, and discusses the cultural expectations of morning sickness. First, some naive people (including myself, about 3 months ago) still think that just because it’s called “morning” sickness, it only happens in the morning. Oh, man. False. The book discusses some possible reasons for morning sickness, laments a lack of available treatments (although it cites and discusses some of the available medications), and mostly just says, “Yes, this is hard. It’s totally  normal for you to grit your teeth as you clutch the toilet and launch a few choice words at the unborn child you were so excited for only a few weeks ago.” 

Basically, this book makes it seem a lot less depressing to be sick. It’s normal. It will go away. Yes, the baby will be worth it. And here are some ideas you can try. See if they help.

Two things I didn’t like about this book: The format, and the bias.

The format shrieked “journalism.” Specifically, there are huge word bubbles on every other page that say – verbatim – the same thing you just read in the last paragraph. Occasionally, a paragraph is interrupted so you can read that same paragraph in fancy font, inside a box. It’s meant to grab your attention, but if you’re actually used to reading a whole book from cover to cover, it’s distracting. 

The “bias” part wasn’t bothersome to me, so much as a little weird. The author is a news correspondent working in New York. Which means her world revolves quite a bit around work, and the same goes with most of her friends (whom she interviewed for the writing of the book). I plan on being a stay-at-home mom, and I’m currently a stay-at-home mom until I can get over my morning sickness. (My clients have special needs, and require a certain level of alertness that I just don’t have right now.) So it was really weird that all of her advice simply assumed that my job would be one of my top priorities, and that I would be working after the baby was born.

Really, though, these are both pretty small, nit-picky issues. Overall, I thought the book was fantastic, motivating, and I especially liked the amount of medical research that went into such an easily-read book. I can recommend this to anyone I know, and they’ll understand it – but Kaledin still did her research and cited her sources, so the skeptic in me can relax a bit. 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go pour myself another bowl of Golden Grahams. Here’s to surviving the first trimester! ♥

I Have Found the Tree of Life

Citizens of Earth, do not be alarmed. I have found the fruit of the gods.

It is delicious. It is mild. It is sweet. It is square, and comes in smallish boxes, and it’s on sale 6 for $10 at LoLo’s. Free gallon of milk with purchase.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I can eat Golden Grahams. With little fear of retribution or vomiting, I can eat Golden Grahams. Oh, happy day. 

And I hate to say this – because I am very excited to be pregnant, and I’m thrilled to have a baby on the way, and I can’t wait to be a mom, and I know Ethan’s so excited to be a dad, and we’re just so stoked to be the world’s weirdest parents – so I hate to say this, but after all you’ve put me through, you toxic little Gummy Bear of a baby… take that! Kabam! It is about time you let me eat something! I didn’t anticipate disagreeing this frequently with a child until at least the tweenage years.

I digress. Point is, Golden Grahams are fantastic, I’m holding down food, and I’m on considerably better terms with the baby inside me than I was last night. Take that, universe. ♦