Sunday, December 11, 2011

Would you rather.....?

Would you rather live in the country or the city?

Absolutely a city mouse here. I grew up on a farm in a tiny town in Iowa. I know the joys of a country life and the hardships of it. I prefer the city. I like visiting the countryside, but I like to be close to a 7-11 too. I like going to the movies at all hours of the day. I don't mind the hustle and the bustle. Christmas in the city is a lot prettier to me than Christmas in the country.

Would you rather have a big noisy family or a small quiet one?

I grew up in a family with three sisters and two parents. Until my Da died and then there was just the five of us. But, there was always family around, so I suppose the truth is that I came more from a large noisy family. I much prefer a quiet one. I asked Liv if she ever wished that she had brothers or sisters and she said no, that she had friends and she kind of liked the way our home is our refuge, a quiet, happy place. I agree. I like peace and quiet.

Would you rather read a book or play a game?

Reading always wins. Always. But, I do enjoy a game of chess now and then. Liv has never beat me at it yet; Bing has beat me several times. I also like playing Monopoly about twice a year. But, that's it.

Would you rather eat a juicy steak or a well done one?

Juicy. Bloody. Rare. Mmmm.

Would you rather go to a chick flick or an action movie?

A chick flick. I don't care much for action movies. Unless Matt Damon is in them. This is a common tug of war with Bing and me. She likes action movies. I like, not necessarily CHICK flicks, but I like movies that make me think, feel and not feel like I am going to be sick. Often action movies are violent and I would much rather watch a cheese ass love scene than someone get water boarded.

Would you rather study alone or study in a group?

Absolutely, positively ALONE. I have always detested study groups. No one studies the same way and there is always someone in the group who brings everyone down. Bing argues that with a study group, you can divide up the work...have each person study one thing and then report on it to the rest. The trouble is that I am always suspicious, always sure that they did not study everything and that there will be a question on the test that wasn't covered by the person who was in charge of that section. Plus, everyone needs different things to study. I need absolute quiet. Bing likes music playing. Liv has NO problem studying in front of a television. We would make poor study partners.

Would you rather look at the stars or watch the sun rise?

Look at the stars. I am NOT a morning person, don't fully wake up until about 9 a.m. When that alarm goes off every morning at 6 a.m., I just want to cry. Even if I was in bed the night before at 8:00 and have had plenty of rest. There is something cruel about being all warm and relaxed in soft sheets and then wake up to a loud alarm. I don't care how beautiful a sunrise is, I would rather google it.

Would you rather be hot or cold?

It always stuns me when someone says that they'd rather be cold than hot. I don't get it. I can handle being hot. I can drink something icy cold and feel better, take a cold shower, etc. When I am cold, all I can do is huddle under a blanket and know that eventually I have to feel my toasty tootsies go icy again. I HATE being cold. I DETEST that first five minutes in the car when it is icy cold, my fingers are stiff and cold and my teeth are chattering. I am the person you see huddled at a stop light with my fingers splayed against the heating ducts with the big fur hat on.

Would you rather eat cake or pie?

Cake. Red velvet please. Or angel food with pink icing dripping down the sides.

Would you rather do the cooking or clean up the mess?

Neither. But, if I had to choose, I would choose to take turns. By this, I mean...that when it is my turn to cook, I also have to clean up the mess. This is because Bing is the sloppiest cook I have ever known. She has no understanding of the concept of CLEANING AS YOU GO. She makes huge messes. If she cooks, I do NOT want to clean up. I am a very neat cook, always have been. I was taught by a mother who insisted that every drip of gravy, cleaned up immediately with a paper towel. It is just a habit with me now.

Would you rather write a letter or talk in person when you have something important to say?

Write a letter. I am better on paper. Always have been. Ask Bing. Ask my family and friends. Ask my blog readers who have met me in person. I come across as much more savvy, funny and kind on paper than I am in real life. I am really, really good at expressing my feelings on paper. In person, I get very uncomfortable with lovey dovey sentiments. I can write Bing a scorching hot love note that I would NEVER say in person.

Would you rather listen to opera or rap?

Probably opera. Unless it is Eminem. I really, really like listening to him. He is poetic and I often am just amazed by his finesse with word usage. It is like listening to a really gifted poet.

Would you rather draw a picture or build something with legos?

Draw a picture. My daughter has been a legos freak since she was 3. Even now, her Christmas list asks for a lego rocket building set. She has always loved them. When she was about 5, she went through a phase where she would beg to buy those small legos kits in department stores. I kid you not, there was ALWAYS a missing piece. At least one. And I found that infuriating. I also had no talent with putting them together and would watch in amazement as my FIVE YEAR OLD child beat the snot out of me at building with legos. But, I am a pretty fair artist. Not a Picasso or anything, but I once drew a picture of Liv that was so good that someone thought I had paid to have someone do it. So...draw. I would rather draw.

Would you rather sing in public or dance in public?

Neither. Because, the honest truth is that I can do neither with any smidgeon of talent. But, if I HAD to choose, it would be sing. I can carry a half tune but I can't dance without looking like Elaine Benes.

Would you rather be a night owl or a morning glory?

Again. Neither. I LOVE to sleep. I am often tucked up in my bed by 8:30 at night during the week. I love laying in bed and feeling my eyes get heavy as I read. And on the weekends I am seldom out of bed before 10, no matter how early I went to bed the night before. I used to be able to stay awake until midnight easily. Now, both Bing and I have trouble staying up to watch SNL on Saturday nights. If I had to pick, though...I guess it would be a morning glory. At least if I am awake early, I can get some housework done. At night, I am just too lazy to do anything but watch stupid television shows.

Would you rather watch football or basketball?

FOOTBALL. I love football. And I know the rules, know exactly how the game works. With basketball, I sort of get the rules, but not much. Liv plays on a basketball team and I kept wondering why a girl on her team kept getting fouls. Bing told me that she had stayed for "more than three seconds in the key." I was absolutely bewildered. I also didn't get traveling. helps if you know the rules to enjoy the game.

Would you rather die fairly young but painlessly or die of old age but have the last ten years of your life be pretty brutal, healthwise?

Duh. Early. What is the sense of living to old age if I can't enjoy it and am a burden on my family? No brainer.

Would you rather kiss someone with bad breath for five minutes or sit next to someone with horrible body odor for two hours?

Probably the kiss. Just to get the bad odor over with faster. Of course, when I was younger, I sucked face pretty easily with people that I barely knew. Now that I am older, I am much more discriminating. But, still...two hours is a long time to have to endure olfactory torture.

Would you rather pet a dog or a cat?

A dog. Especially our dog, Socks. I just like dogs better than cats. Cats have always troubled me. They seem so cunning. And I know that they are smarter than we are. Dogs just seem sort of blessedly loyal and clueless. Like, I heard once of a cat smothering a baby by sitting on it's face, but I could never picture a dog doing that. Cats always remind me of characters in Stephen King novels. Like they know something terrible and will show you when you are vulnerable, like when you just get out of the shower and don't have your glasses on. And they always seem like they laugh at you behind your back. Kind of like squirrels.

Would you rather walk in the rain or in steamy, hot weather?

Rain. Spend an August on the plains. You will know what it feels like to wear your air. Rain is kind of pleasurable. As long as you aren't wearing cashmere.

Would you rather see a ghost or witness a robbery?

See a ghost. I've already seen one. A little startling, but not jarring. A robbery would leave me sick. I should probably stress that the ghost be just a ghost and not a poltergeist. Two different animals.

Would you rather tell someone you like a lot that their partner is cheating or that they've lost their job?

That their partner is cheating. In this economy, it would be really, really hard to get a new job and it could easily dead end their life. A partner cheating is horrid, but it isn't as traumatic as losing a job. Maybe that is just my head talking instead of my heart and as Bing just told me when she walked by and read my answer, "That sounds sort of callous, honey!" But, to be honest, if I lost my job, I would be terrified of not being able to support my family. If I lost my partner, I would be mad as hell but I've lived on my own before and know that I am fully capable of doing that.

Would you rather mow the lawn yourself or pay someone 20 bucks to do it and have an hour of "me" time?

Pay the 20 bucks (and we have a huge back and front yard, so 20 bucks would be a steal.) I have not mowed a lawn since high school. And once when Bing hurt her back and she asked to please pull the cord and get the mower going for her...I COULD NOT DO IT. No upper body strength. Our neighbor, Tim, ended up doing it and now teases me every single time he sees me about being a "lightweight."

Would you rather climb a rock wall or swim a lap?

Neither. But, since I am not allowed to put my head under water (I have Meniere's syndrome), I would have to pick the rock climbing.

And just because all of you are so damn smart:

Anyone know how I can get some weight on my daughter? She is 5'4 and only 98 pounds. Her BMI is also low, so at her check up last week, her pediatrician told me that while she has always been on the low end of the scale, she is now considered to be underweight and could stand to put on about 5-10 pounds. The problem is that my hand to my heart, she eats a LOT. She must have a crazy metabolism because she eats plenty at the table. She has always been a very smart eater, rarely indulges in cookies, etc. She is one of those kids who would rather eat a pear than a bowl of ice cream. She doesn't even like potato chips or most junk foods. When she comes home from school, she grabs an apple or a slice of bread with peanut butter. She's never been much of a milk drinker, although she likes yogurt. She is also very, very active, is on her school's basketball team. In the summer, she swims daily and is a star on her swim team. She was never even a chubby baby, ever. When she was a newborn, she had these little frog legs that she kicked out exactly like a frog. I've always figured that as she neared adolescence, the weight would even out, but so far, it hasn't. She hasn't started her period yet, but I didn't start until I was almost 15, so that might just be in her genes.

I SWEAR she eats. She just doesn't pig out. Bing and I are discussing how to bulk her up a bit without turning this into an issue. We NEVER want her to feel that there is something wrong with her body. And I am a little nervous about even starting now. She isn't anemic, etc. Just very, very thin. She's always been my bony child. But even I can see that her hip bones jut out in her basketball shorts.

Any ideas on how to bulk her up without making an issue out of it?


Chris said...

first, to continue the ways we are similar...i once practically did a whole divorce through the written word. nice to meet another one who is so much better on paper.

second, have live add a Carnation Instant Breakfast as an after-school snack or a before bed snack. as active as she is, her metabolism is probably about the same as a hummingbird. my third girl is 20 and barely breaks 115 and never has. we joke that it hurts when she hugs us. and she eats like a horse. so, i know what you're talking about :-)

Kimberly said...

The weight issue is a hard one to approach. I'm 5'6" and when not pregnant, I weigh between 100 and 105 lbs. But I struggled with anorexia and bulimia for years, and keeping my weight in the three-digit range is still hard for me, mentally. I'm also pretty severely anemic (but I have been since I was a kid), which complicates things somewhat. My metabolism is pretty screwed up, so weight gain has become more difficult. Except when I get pregnant- then I gain weight like crazy. Sidenote: I am NOT encouraging Liv to get pregnant. Haha.

If she's a healthy eater, eats well-balanced meals and snacks occasionally, I wouldn't stress too much about her being underweight. Especially if she's not showing signs of anemia or other weight-related medical issues. Since you mentioned you two used to enjoy baking together, and she liked that butterbeer recipe you tried so much, maybe you could entice her to eat sweets/fattier foods a bit more frequently if you were to make them with her. It's always fun to eat the things you make yourself, plus it could be a good bonding activity.

Since she's playing sports, perhaps you could suggest protein drinks/shakes. There are a lot of brands that are high-calorie, that are also good for providing energy. Maybe you could encourage her to reach for something like that to snack on, especially on the days she has practice or games/meets. My brother was always off-the-growth-charts tiny, and our pediatrician told my parents to feed him whole milk and as much ice cream as he'd eat, haha. Even at 21, he's still small, but he's managed to put on a lot of muscle (and therefore, weight) by doing weight training and drinking protein shakes.

The good news is that she's a bright kid and she doesn't seem like she's extremely concerned about following the curve. So hopefully if you approach the topic with her, she'll handle it well. Keep in mind that some people are just naturally skinny and if she's healthy and happy, don't worry!

Unknown said...

As someone who has always struggled with being underweight (I'm currently 28 5'4 and weigh in at 117), my mother and I have tried many calorie boosters to maintain my weight. For me wheat germ, peanut butter, smoothies, and avocado are among my favorites.

When I was in junior high some girls started a very vicious rumor that I was anorexic and bulimic. I was afraid to go the school bathrooms and I almost quit sports because I became worried that it would make me lose more weight. I started to binge minus the purge hoping to gain weight. I didn't gain much but high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Thankfully, my parents found a nutritionist that helped me gain weight in a healthy way without me courting a heart attack .

Not sure if that was helpful or not.

Anonymous said...

Ha! I'm one of the "I'd rather be cold" people. I'm always too warm. Always. So living in the desert was an issue for me. No amount of icy drinks would help me in the summer there. ;)

Earth Muffin said...

Wow. You and I are a lot alike. I'll have to do this meme sometime in the near future.

As far as Liv's weight...does she like pasta? Potatoes? Cereal? Seems like some carb-loading could put a little weight on her without being too unhealthy. This is coming from info I read when we started the South Beach diet. The way we LOST all of our weight was by eliminating carbs from our diet, so maybe the way to ADD weight to her would be to give her more carbs. Just a suggestion.

lyon de clarasvals said...

My older sister was like Liv. In the 50's she had to have a milkshake in the nurses office at lunch every day. It didn't help and they accused my mom of starving her at home. She just never could gain weight. After a baby she was just like the rest of us.
Yogurt smoothies are healthy and a little fattening if you use regular yogurt.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Most of your answers could have been mine. As for Liv's weight, it sounds as if she has a very fast metabolism but is quite healthy. I have always noticed that the scales which determine ones proper weight don't usually take bone structure or sometimes age into consideration, but seem to assume that everyone is a big boned adult. Someday, when all Liv's friends are desperately dieting, they'll envy her. But maybe a milk shake or fruit and yogurt smoothie every day would add a little weight without plying her with fried foods and other junk.

Ambrosia said...

I'm not sure how you could go about this without 'making an issue out of it,' but one trick is carbs at night. Eating something like a bowl of pasta an hour or so before bed could help; your metabolism is slowed down at night and so the carbs will be slower to break down.

I would highly suggest talking to her doctor about this though. I've lived with an eating disorder for many years and worry about these types of issues causing a self-image problem in girls like Liv. (Please note: I'm not saying I think she has one ... I'm saying that having a high metabolism and then trying to put weight on her, if done the wrong way, can trigger one.) Not trying to freak you out, just being honest. Her doctor is the best one that could help you out with this.

Good luck ... oh, I'm stealing this survey thing. Just for fun. :)

Echo said...

More butterbeer. :)

Kate said...

I think she just has one of those metabolisms, ya' know? I would ignore the doctor. If she feels well and has plenty of energy, she is just living life in her own slender little package. She will probably put on a little weight when she hits puberty, anyway; and she's genetically preordained to be a kind of late bloomer. The only other thing I can think of is that muscle weighs more than fat. I wonder what she would think of adding a little strength-training to her exercise? Packaged as a way of improving posture and helping out her basketball game might get her interested in it...

Kate said...

I think she just has one of those metabolisms, ya' know? I would ignore the doctor. If she feels well and has plenty of energy, she is just living life in her own slender little package. She will probably put on a little weight when she hits puberty, anyway; and she's genetically preordained to be a kind of late bloomer. The only other thing I can think of is that muscle weighs more than fat. I wonder what she would think of adding a little strength-training to her exercise? Packaged as a way of improving posture and helping out her basketball game might get her interested in it...

Annemarie of Holland said...

I'd wait for Liv's period first before doing anything drastic. It's bound to make a big difference, at least that's what it did to me. Stick thin until, healthily slender after. (And bulging slowly since passing the tender age of thirty-five, grr.)

Anonymous said...

About Liv -
If she eats healthily....
If she able to keep up with the demands of her life...
If you feel there is nothing medically wrong, then I wouldn't make a big deal of it. Everyone is different and medical guidelines are just that. She is obviously thriving as she is. Why create angst?

Anonymous said...

My two cents: first. There is more pressure on docs nowadays to make sure people fall within officiaal guidelines... in past, more artful w judgemental calls by docus. I know. U r doc, too! Anyway, as u know, some people r very thin until childhood... I know several of them... they r all a little heavy now but childhood and youth... underweight. My housemate had to use suspenders to keep her pants up. That said, I rec beverages... shakes, protein drinks, peanutbuttermood from jamba juice, etc. Make them @ home w flavors she likes... add some flax seed oil, protein powder... flavors she likes... pnut butter, choc, fruit, whatever she likes. Nice big shake @ bfast, afterschool or bedtime... whenever she likes it. Have bing research supplements to add to shakes. Bing, I predict, will get into it! Zc

Vinita said...

Loved reading all the answers to these unique questions...

About Liv, I know more about losing weight than gaining but I have heard that building muscle mass with strength training or stretching with pilates is good for those who'd like to put on weight without the risk of increasing cholesterol. All the same since Liv's so young, it's better to have a doctor approve the kind of physical activity she should go for to put on more weight.

I have lots of people in my family who are considered underweight but are perfectly energetic - more so than the chubby ones - and develop greater strength than people expect them to. Her eating habits are great and will help her a lot in her college and work life.

sybil law said...

My daughter is friends with a little girl (9) who's crazy bony, and although that girl eats like a champion, she never gains weight. However, that girl has also said things like, "I don't like fat people", to me when I took them to the pool, and she's also remarked to her mom that she has a big butt. (Her mom is one of those women who constantly talks about how she needs to lose weight and get into shape.) I don't think she has any type of disorder, now - but it worries me for her future.
Anyway, so I have no answers. Just relating my own, unrelated story and babbling!
Others said it, though - maybe milkshakes?
Overall, though, I think Liv will be fine. I really wouldn't worry about it, unless she gives you a reason to worry about it.
City mouse here, too.

Nicole said...

I was told in grade/ high school to eat more I was too small and/or people would council me for a eating disorder. I ate plenty, actually probably not as good as Liv. I liked candy and chips alot. Now I am a 'Normal Weight' but I still look thin to people just the way I am built. It can get annoying when people tell me to gain weight, especially as a kid.

My reccomendation mirrors others from above, and it is to have a chocolate milk after a workout. I still do it to this day, much cheaper and better in some respects than the protein shakes you can buy.

Trish said...

I am a holistic nutritionist. For lots of reasons (she's growing, she's active, she is about to go through major hormonal changes)- Liv needs the right combo of good fats and protein and carbs. Timing is crucial in terms of getting the right nutrients when she needs them to fuel her workouts and keep her growing in the right way. You definitely don't want her to be too thin as she enters puberty - it can wreak havoc on bone density even at this young age. Youthful female athletes are very prone to stress fractures if they don't have good mineral density in the bones so she needs to build those us through timed nutrition. Liv needs carbs pre workout for energy - so whole wheat bagel with nut butter for example - and she needs protein and fat to replenish her energy stores post exercise. So a protein shake - with whey protein isolate is an easy way to help someone - especially a kid - add more nutients. For fats - be sure she has lots of EFAs - even a tablespoon of flax oil in her shake a day is helpful. And cold water fish at least 2X week. Also if she is still swimming or playing B'Ball in the morning, a high protein shake with slow release protein like casein protein will fill up her muscles overnight so she's not burning them up in an early morning workout. If you want more info -- I am happy to share whatever advice I can on adolescent sports nutrition. You can email me at (I'm up in Toronto, ON but that's just a click away!). Take care, Maria.

Rose said...

I agree with many of the comments, Maria, about protein shakes, milk shakes, and the like to help with Liv's under-weight issue. My son is a recovered anorexic, and I am always reading the labels on everything, trying to find healthy foods that are still loaded with calories. One things we eat quite often is pasta, especially with a rich alfredo sauce. This has lots of calories in it, but if you serve it with wheat pasta, it's still pretty healthy.