Thursday, May 31, 2012

30 is the new 29

     I am, I am really 30!  And Mother’s Day was only a day away from my birthday.  It is the first year I am celebrating Mother’s Day as a mom, as I enter a new decade. These two major marks in my life coinciding seem to be synchronicity.  I have always loved my birthday-- I usually celebrate the month, if that gives any indication on how I feel about my special day. While most women do not talk about their age and dislike getting older I love the years being added to my life.  As you age there is so much more in life that you get to experience and appreciate.

     I learned the beauty of age and the loveliness of Mother’s Day from my grandmother Bubby Martha. A friend of hers once asked my age and when I replied, she looked at me longingly and proclaimed that she wished she could be 19 again. My grandmother made a face and said, I would NOT want to be 19 again, I am happy to be 83 years old. The thought that someone was happy to be so old made such an impression on me. From then on I celebrate every birthday and am always proud to tell anyone who asks my age. I also remember as a child we would always go to my grandmother’s for Mother’s Day. Bubby Martha loved the special day.  She loved her grandchildren coming over to play baseball in her backyard.  She would always come out and pitch for us, even in her glamorous pantsuits and face full of make up!  After, we would all go inside and enjoy her famous tuna sandwiches (with shredded carrots delicious!)  She would always tell me (even when I was really little) that she felt like she had 3 lives, one when she was a girl, one when she got married and had children, and one after my grandfather passed away and she was single again.  Bubby Martha always made sure to let me know how much she loved and enjoyed each of her “lives” , each one was unique and she cherished them all.  

30 is a new decade. It is a new place in life where you are considered a full-on grown up. 
      My 20’s were all about partying. They were about where we were going to go and who we were going to meet.  And in my 20’s I fell in love, with the love of my life, I married and started my “second” life.  Even though I was a grown, married woman I still allowed people to dictate how I felt by their actions. I gave power to other people to hurt me, I gave them power by caring what they thought and caring what they said...even if I knew that they did not have my best interest at heart.  

     Now I am 30, I am a wife and this Mother’s day I am a mother. The growth and joy of my little boy weigh on my thoughts.  It is up to me to guide him in the right direction.  I must show him the path to happiness, to love, and to all that is good.  I want to teach him that he must first love himself and then he will be able to love others (this is a trait that my parents successfully taught all 11 of my siblings and me) and love the world that he will one day create for himself. I truly hope he will be able to learn through example.  So on this Mother’s day and 30th birthday of mine I am making a commitment to grow stronger in my life.  I will continue creating my life for me and the ones I love. I will take responsibility for my feelings and I will be more careful of who I let into my precious world, because in this new world, in this new life I am now responsible for another life besides my own.  

                                                 {mother's day breakfast on the porch}
                                                                   {gift from Kol}


                     To start the decade off right I threw my own 30th birthday party. Since I was born in 1982 I felt it was apropo to throw an 80’s themed party.  I love to dress up!  Lucky for me, my lovely friends obliged and we had a fantastic time dancing the night away to some awesome 80’s tunes with DJ Dazue spinning it up.  One of the major crowd pleasers was A Tribe Called Quest’s “Can I kick it?” And now I sing to myself, with the confidence of a 30 year old mom “Yes you can!!!”


                                                                     {DJ Dazue}

                           {We made a bunch of signs w/ 80's phrases to hang around the yard}

Monday, May 21, 2012

5/5/5 minute meals

I like good food, and I like to cook good food. The first statement has been true since...always. The second statement only started becoming true when I was 24. Coincidentally, that was the year I got married and received every kitchen appliance known to mankind as wedding presents- thank you Bed Bath and Beyond registry! I became the Ina Garten of new brides. I cooked nightly meals for my love and me.  I tried new recipes constantly and had my brother the incredible Chef Yos on speed-dial for all my culinary questions. He taught me how to make the best seared tuna and that everything gets sprinkled with salt and pepper, “it brings out all the flavors” -- who knew?!  I still love to cook but it’s a little harder these days with a 14 week old.  Every time I seem to want to cook something, Murphy(‘s law) starts crying. [My husband and I were seriously contemplating naming him Murphy when he was born 10 days late, on the 1 day we had 4 prior engagements!] I would hold him in the bjorn and chop b/c I do love a sauteed onion, but if my eyes burn every time I cut one up, I’m assuming it’s a no-go for Kol. Still, I refuse to eat frozen pizza and Morning Star Grillers every night.

As the mother of a 14 week old I realize two things. One, it needs to take me less than 30 minutes to prepare a meal and two, I may have to cook my meal throughout the day. So I have created the 5 minute and 5 minute and 5 minute meal(s). I prepped each dish separately during each of Kol’s naps. Though I made the meal throughout the day and we did not eat it until the evening, it was fresh, fast and delicious!
Salad: 5 min
Throw handful of packaged ready washed greens into bowl (romaine, butter, spring mix or any lettuce of your choice)
Cut up cucumber(s), cut up pepper(s), throw in a handful of cherry tomatoes, throw in a handful of kalamata olives.

Potatoes: 5 min
Turn on oven to 400 degrees. Wash fingerling potatoes and cut them in half. Spray pan, put potatoes in the pan. Sprinkle olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and rosemary on top of the potatoes. Mix it up. Put potatoes into oven to roast. Don’t forget to turn on your timer for 35 minutes ( I would never remember to take anything out of the oven if not for my phone timer)

Salmon: 5 min
Take salmon out of package, lay on silver foil covered baking sheet. Squeeze one lemon over the fish, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle Lawry’s seasoned salt. Put in the oven for 20 minutes on 350 degrees (if you want to cook the potatoes and fish together, keep the temp on 350 and just check for when the potatoes start to brown, they may need a couple extra minutes)

After the baby is asleep and you are ready to eat, toss the salad with a drizzle of e.v.o.o, a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt and pepper --always, ala Chef Yos!

Shave some parmesan over the fingerling potatoes or if you have the bottled kind, sprinkle away.
Pour yourself a glass of wine or sparkling water in your best wine glass and Enjoy!

[written during week 14]

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I am a very lucky girl! I am lucky for many reasons, but one reason specifically is that I have a friend who is a beauty PR girl. For those of you who understand what this means, you're probably fighting the jealous feelings that are rising up from your perfectly manicured toes.  For those of you who are still unsure, what this means is that I get to try out many products from my friend's work/beauty closet.  This closet is more like a floor full of racks and racks of products; from make-up to skin cream and beyond.  As part of my gift for my 30th birthday, I received a box, an enormous box, of beauty products.  I will be trying them all and posting my thoughts in this section I am calling "iHeart..." (a.k.a. i <3)

  I am starting with the bath products that make my shower (which I still feel is my ultimate spa break of the day) divine.

Thymes agave Nectar body wash - I love the way this wash lathers so gently. When I get out of the shower there is the faintest of sweet smells that seems to linger on my body without overpowering my natural scent. Another major plus is that this wash is so gentle it does not irritate my oh so sensitive skin!

Thymes agave Nectar body lotion - This not too heavy moisturizer is the perfect hydrating lotion to use upon exiting the shower. The consistency is strong enough to really hydrate your skin but not too heavy that you feel greasy.  It is the perfect summer body moisturizer. And on those days that you can't seem to make it into the shower, lather some of this lotion on your body and you will smell refreshed. (No one has to know, right?!)

Lastly, Thymes agave Nectar hand cream  is superb if you are looking for a good hand cream that keeps your very busy digits soft.  I am constantly washing my hands. I go between playing with make-up products to changing dirty diapers. This moisturizer has the number one feature I am always looking for in a hand cream, it absorbs into the skin super fast. By the time I am heading out of the bathroom and into my busy day, my hands are nice and soft without a trace of residue on them.

     The price point for these products are around $15-$20 on Amazon. Let's not overlook how  beautiful they are packaged (they look very elegant on my bathroom sink/counter!) These are truly a lovely summer treat to give to  yourself or to a friend who can use a little pick-me-up.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Little Miss Judgy

Alright, I’ll admit it - I have judged moms my whole life. As a child we are always judging our own mothers about how they are treating us. As an adult I subconsciously have been judging all my friends.  I never understood the mom who will not bring her new baby out with her wherever she goes - the kid sleeps easily in the stroller right?!  As a new mom I could barely get out of the  house myself, let alone with child, so there goes that judgement.  I didn’t understand why a mom would have her baby sleep in her room 3 months after being born - that’s a long time!  My son is 3 months old and I didn’t even notice it’s been 3 months. And mostly I was all for breastfeeding until at least 6 months. ONLY breastfeeding!

I grew up with my hippie mom who let her children sleep in her bed until 2 years old and breastfed them way past the time when they started asking for her boob. She is so pro-breastfeeding that she teaches new moms how to nurse when they are having trouble, even though she is not a lactation consultant. Almost every woman I know breastfeeds. My sisters do. Most of my friends do.  What I didn’t know, and am just discovering, is that almost everyone I know also gives their new babies formula bottles.  How did I not know this, is it just not talked about? Since most people are only substituting 1 bottle a day in the beginning, maybe they don’t consider that ‘feeding their babies formula.’  

My sherlock holmes capabilities came out because this week I was going back to work and realized I did not have enough pumped milk in the freezer to get the little guy through the day. The problem was I couldn’t pump enough because Kol still needed to eat and I only have 2 boobs. (Crazy, right?) I started asking around to see what would be the best way to pump and one of my girlfriends suggested I give him a formula bottle to see if he takes it, “just in case I get desperate.”  But he is only 3 months and I always assumed I would breastfeed until he eats real food and NEVER give formula.  That is when I found out almost everyone I know has been giving their babies one bottle of formula from almost day one... “just in case.”  Why did I not get the memo? Oh right, I know, I was too busy judging all these ladies. Too busy in my head saying ONLY breast milk because that is the best thing for your baby and to be a good mother you need to give your baby the breast.
I called Kol’s doctor (who is very into homeopathic remedies as well as medical practice) to make sure she thought it was a good idea and which formula to use. Turns out even she gives her baby a formula bottle too!

Being a new mother, I may be finally getting it. To be a good mother you need to do what’s best for your family, and your family includes you.  I nervously made Kol his bottle Monday afternoon. I’ve never fed him a bottle before, Dov’s always done it but Dov was not around. I prepped myself for my little man to put up a fight. He was going to be dealing with two new things at once - formula instead of breastmilk and me giving him a bottle.  Turns out Kol is pretty adaptable, he took the bottle like a champ, did not even think twice about it. As it turns out, my judgement mind was also wrong about the fact that you can only really connect with your baby if he is nursing.  Kol looked up at me and smiled amidst his formula gulps just as he does when he nurses.  My judging days are so very over.  From now on if someone does not seem to be fitting into my life in my head I am going to assume they are busy fitting into their own.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Guest Blog

#8's wife,  a.k.a Rochel Leah, sent this to me today and I loved it so much I had to post it.
You know you're truly a mom when:

You walk around the house singing children's songs, even though your baby's not home
You find a cracker in your boot, and you know it was put there intentionally
The guy in the street with the red raincoat reminds you of Elmo
You spell the word bottle BOBBLE because that's how your 1-year old says it
You wake up at 7:29 am and panic that you've slept in
A missing paci magically reappears on the restaurant table during a quiet night out with your husband
All these thoughts occur in the shower during your 5 minute spa break