Saturday, May 28, 2011

What sparks my light?

On the IPOD "Hazy (Feat. William Fitzsimmons)" By: Rosi Golan

Can not even explain how happy I am to be able to sit at this computer, in this semi dark room, by myself, while baby Levi and Mike are napping in the bedroom!

I swear I'm trying to find the time to get everything done...I think what I need is a voice recorder because I write blogs in the car all day long...its just getting them actually written that is the problem....

I watch my fair amount of television including some talk shows but I would not really consider myself committed to any of them except maybe "Parenthood" and 'Modern Family". But I have been an Oprah fan. I have not seen every show nor have I ever really been on board with the various other speakers she has Dr. Phil (ya I went to school with his kid it's really hard for me to understand his parenting logic when his kid drove an extremely expensive first car and is now married to a playboy bunny), Dr. Oz, or Nate. But I have loved her honest approach to life and some of her her guests are downright amazing. So when the last episode aired I have to admit I was sitting in awe of what she has accomplished.

Two of her quotes have hit me to my core:

"There's a difference between thinking you deserve to be happy and knowing that you are worthy of being happy."

"You have to know what sparks the light in you so that you in your own way can illuminate the world. You have the power to change somebody's life."

I have been feeling pulled in my life which I think is pretty normal with a new baby, but when Oprah said these words to me (because that's what it felt like) it set off a rush of emotions. Don't get me wrong I love to cook and I love my job but it is not sparking any lights right now that's for sure! I used to think that if I could do anything in the world well besides a mom cause that has always been in the cards.... I would be a singer/songwriter...but that ship sailed long ago...and now singing has turned into a personal release that happens during Levi's nightly song session, the occasional karaoke night, and the concert I put on in the car everyday. So besides being a Mom...what sparks my light?

Oddly enough... although you could probably never convince my high school English teachers...writing sparks my light...writing is what I want to do...writing makes me happy! Cooking makes me happy too but I think I'm just burnt out from cooking right now or maybe I'm just burnt out from cooking for my clients. All I know is that the days I sit down at this computer and the days I hear back from all of you...are just better days! So I guess the next step is to allow myself to believe that I am worthy of being happy. I'm not quiting my job or anything crazy like that...but I WILL BE A WRITER! (Funny that I accidentally hit the caps lock before writing that... no joke!)

So thank you Oprah for somehow giving me permission to find out what sparks my light and for saying that I'm worth it! And thank you all for letting me say it out loud.

xoxo chef a

Thursday, May 12, 2011

To guilt or not to guilt!

On the IPOD "Nobody's Coming Around" By: Edwina Hayes

I have a case of some major Jewish guilt. If you are unaware of what Jewish guilt is... I will enlighten you...when I searched the Internet this is the most accurate definition I found...

"Jewish Guilt"

"Judaism's greatest weapon; often used by Jewish mothers; often ruins your plans for the night or sometimes, in extreme cases, your whole weekend. Uses mostly reverse psychology."

By the way I have recently discovered that there is this sort of guilt in every sect of people... movies and television just use the Jewish version more frequently...

Anyways I wish I could blame it on my mother but unfortunately I have become my own Jewish mother...

Let's start out by going over the things that I refuse to feel guilty about even though my own feelings about these things have been tested over the last few weeks.

#1 Moving out of our building and into a house
-for the record I'm happy in our building. I know we are not building equity, I know we don't have a back yard, I know that sometimes our upstairs neighbor sounds like she is dive bombing our ceiling, and I know that this arrangement will not work forever. But a house is not an option for us at the moment! We are still dealing with maternity bills (self employment = extremely terrible insurance benefits!) We have absolutely no free time as it is and I can’t even imagine having to do upkeep on a house every weekend. I refuse to give up our "expensive" date nights to save money because in my book they are worth it (in 20 years when our kids are all gone to college we will still have to look at each other so we might as well keep our relationship decently strong!) As far as outdoor space both of our parents have backyards and my kid is involved in so many play groups we will just keep his tricycle in the back of the car he will never know it's not his backyard! :) And at the end of the day, I'm perfectly content with our $80 electric bill, resort style pool, work out center, parking garage, and outdoor kitchen!

#2 What goes in my kid’s mouth
- Whether it’s a boob or a bottle... my kid will be fine!
I will on occasion give my child Tylenol, Motrin, mylicon, gripe water, and teething tablets and if you don't like it...bite me!
Levi will never eat bottled baby food, he will try every vegetable, fruit, and wholegrain and if I can help it we will never order off a kids menu. Why you ask... #1 BECAUSE I'M A CHEF! #2 Because there is no need to! #3 Because I have fought my weight my entire life and these guidelines just make sense to me! And for the record I know it's not how every mother feels and I know it was different when some of your kids were little, but my pediatrician and I are completely comfortable with my choices.

Here is what I do feel extreme amounts of guilt about...

Leaving Levi all day...
-Even though I know have to work and that I could not leave my child with a better person than my own mom. I still feel guilty not being there for every second of his life and for interrupting my mom's life even though she wouldn't have it any other way. I also feel guilty when I get off work and still can't really be there because I'm so tired from being up all night sometimes.
This also transitions into some more guilt...

I feel guilty going or not going to workout...
-It kills me to leave Levi again after I've been gone all day. It's hard to ask my mom to watch a teething, pain in the butt, late afternoon child even longer (Mike works till 8pm most nights.) If I don't go I feel like I'm letting myself down as well as letting everyone at Nia down (I've got to get over this one, but it's the pleaser in me!) Once Mike gets home I should go down to the gym here but I want to spend a little bit of family time before Levi goes down and let’s be honest by that point I'm exhausted!

So what happens you ask...I beat myself up about it all day every day! I'm disappointed that I have not lost all of my baby weight. I can’t stand that in general my tummy looks like it’s a transplant tummy because it sure as hell doesn’t belong here! It doesn’t help that I look like I've been run over by a train... My eyes have bags and circles that add a good 10 years onto my age (believe me the checker giggled when she checked my id last time), my hair is varying shades of gray...what’s left of it that is, and my skin looks like I have zombie makeup on.

I know this too shall pass and one day I’ll look back on today and think...
"Oh those were the easy days... only one kid, beautiful apartment, only $4 a gallon gas prices :)... “

It will be easier though when Levi gets a schedule and when I’m lucky enough to be able to get to class I will be completely and totally thankful for my time there and when I can’t I will be completely and totally thankful for my time with Levi!

xoxo chef a

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Just A Normal Saturday Night...

On the IPOD "Wide Open Spaces" By: The Dixie Chicks

Two little tid bits of info that might be helpful to new moms out there...
#1 never say out loud that your child loves restaurants and is totally laid back and
#2 never ever publicly make arrangements for your husband to be the designated driver so that you can have an evening of bliss at one of your favorite restaurants or to be honest drown yourself in your favorite margarita.

I say this because chances are your kid will not be on board!

My child loves a restaurant...I mean on more than one occasion I've threatened to go the busiest happy hour (I know such a threat) just so that I could record the noise for 1 hour so that we could play it for Levi to help him sleep. So when we were invited last Saturday night to dinner with friends (and yes there were other kids there we didn't drag him to a couples night out or anything), I didn't even think twice about taking him. For the life of me I can't figure out how it turned as bad as it did so quickly!

Let me set this up for you... Our plans were to meet friends at this great Salvadorian restaurant that just opened a beautiful new location. When we arrived there was immediate seating available on their covered patio so because it was actually decently nice outside I agreed. (By the way even though there is no confirmation that the patio seating caused the horrible events I'm about to disclose...Patio seating will now be completely off limits for the Marrone Family!}

So anyways we sat down and I immediately ordered a mango margarita and let me tell you it was the best thing that happened Saturday night! When everyone got there (Me, Mike and Levi and my two girlfriends, one with her husband the other with her two kids} we went ahead and ordered dinner (And I ordered another margarita...}

At this point Levi was sound asleep in his stroller, like an angel! Well all of the sudden Levi woke up, he seemed fine, I got him up and we were playing a little before the food came. My friends were both hugging on him and he was doing just fine well until he was not! Like clockwork as soon as they brought me my margarita Levi started screaming, it was unlike anything I have even heard. By the way I am not a fan of the screaming restaurant kid, I think if you have the guts to take your kids out in public then you should as least take them out of the establishment if he or she is out of control. So I did just that, Levi and I excused ourselves to the parking lot where things just got worse. He was screaming so badly that I really felt helpless. I gave him Tylenol, gas drops, gripe water nothing was helping. Of course the stroller and car seat were at the table and my car was in the valet so I was really stuck there! I finally just got my keys so that I could take him to the car to check him out. When I tell you it was bad I mean I was checking his body for broken bones! I really thought we were going to end up at the hospital... Mike came to check on us and see if there was anything he could do, but there just wasn't anything anybody could do, Levi was officially having a complete meltdown! So I asked Mike to go back to the table box up dinner and pay what we owe. When my friend Jessica came to check on us, Levi and I were pacing the parking lot. I was a complete mess and Levi had been stripped down to just a diaper and was still screaming bloody murder! We made an executive decision to drive back to her house so that I could get a better idea of what was going on. This seems fast as I read it back but in all honesty we were in the parking lot for a good solid hour or longer. I would have just gone home but I didn't think he would make it that far that's how bad it was!

Mike drove and I sat in the back trying to keep Levi calm for the 5 minute trip. When we got to the house the screaming continued. I checked his entire body up and down, every joint, I even checked to make sure he didn't have a hair wrapped around his finger or something. He finally calmed down after my friend started blowing on his ear. I have no idea why it worked but it did so I'm not going to question it! I never really found out what was wrong with him...I just chalked it up to teething and bought every teething gel on the market the next morning...

It was a rough night to say the least... The moral of the story is never ever plan on having a wonderful night out...If it happens count yourself lucky and if not pray that you were smart enough to bring an arsenal of meds, 5 sets of clothing, 2 extra bottles, and a nanny. Or at least just remember that every new parent out there will eventually have this experience so you are not the only one!

xoxo chef a