Monday, March 23, 2015

Finding a place

On the iPod, "When the Right One Comes Along" By Sam Palladio

There's something about the sound of the chord progression on a guitar. I can't even really put it into words...the notes go higher and lower and then back again and the sound is so vibrant that you can actually feel the musician's finger tips slide across the frets. For me it's euphoric...

I have been trying to find my place at Levi's school... I haven't really figured it out yet. There are a handful of people I have a connection with... One of which I would even say is sort of magical and will hopefully be a friend for life. But the whole experience makes me think back to high school and I try to imagine how people might remember me and if that is so different from who I am now.

Now I'm a mom and a wife and a chef.  But in the back of the closet in the playroom there sits a guitar that used to define me. I mean my senior pictures were with that guitar. I spent a lot of time with that guitar... writing songs about really important things like love and loss and even possibly a song about smoking pot and saving the world that I sang at the talent show of a highly respected college prep school that will remain unnamed for the time being out of respect for that fine institution... A 12-string Taylor was the epitome of who I was... well really of who I am. In a lot of ways at that time it was a security for me. It set me apart from the pack... And I was oddly comfortable with that. So since I can't walk around with a guitar strapped to me I have to get to a place of being comfortable without a safety net.

One of my friends said that making friends as an adult is like dating... You have specific traits that you look for and you really just aren't interested in the bullshit. You want someone who has your back and is willing to put the time and effort into creating a real, lasting friendship and not just another acquaintance. Because acquaintances are just overrated...  So I will continue to be exactly who I am and I will let in the special ones who get me.  I might never really find my place at any school my kids go to... But instead will continue to have special "go to" people in my life who I respect and who respect me as well. Because it's not really about how many friends you have at this age but more importantly the quality of the friend...

xoxo chef a

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Lyrics

On the iPod "Already Home" by A Great Big World

About a month ago I made a decision to get back to MoveStudio and to Nia.

Nia is a fitness class that is a combination of martial arts, modern dance and yoga. MoveStudio is this unbelievable studio that has tons of different class but more importantly has been this amazing community for me.  But with two kids and work I was having a difficult time fitting it in. Allowing myself the time felt like a luxury that I really couldn't afford in so many different ways. I really have been missing it terribly and while I know that it is impossible to be there all of the time, I'm doing my best now to get there when I can! 

I've been going on Sundays. It's not my regular class but the time works for me and Mike  is able to watch the boys! It has been incredible to be back and surrounded by amazing women who give endless support. Last Sunday, Shannon (the instructor) said to us that, "the silence is the plate and the music is the food". Man, does she know the way to my heart or what!   Her words have stuck with me all week. If you don't already know is everything to me. I grew up in a house where music was quite literally blasting through the hallways. All genres, all of the time. My dad lived music... It was such a part of him that his funeral service had its own soundtrack. 

I'm a word girl I'm not going to lie. I can vividly remember opening my newest cassette purchase as a preteen only to lay the lyrics out on the floor of my bedroom and study every word...I still to this day look up every song. And if you are "lucky" enough to be driving next to me on any given day you will know that I can throw down a wicked performance in my car with choreography... I think that's what connected me to nia. It isn't actually the standard nia routines... It is the way instructors can take a song and slip it into the practice and how that one song will change my whole experience. The words just touch me... It's like I have this ability to twist them into what I need to hear that moment... 

I remember awhile ago a close friend told me that she missed my blog posts so much,  especially the iPod suggestions. The funny thing is that the songs I post are so much more than what happens to be playing on my phone as I write... If you think I haven't analyzed the words on repeat at least 20 times before I post it your wrong. It's not like the post always fits the song...The song actually becomes the my head at least. I would tell you what the song is saying to me but that just seems unfair... You should let it talk to you! 

Nia for me is so much than a workout. It's an experience... made richer by the lyrics. The music is what makes it better than just a boring silent plate... See you on the dance floor! 

Chef a

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Sunday Suppers

On the iPod "Frim Fram Sauce" By: Diana Krall

So there are certain things I miss about working in restaurants... I would be lying if I didn't admit to missing the array of really bad dirty jokes that I would hear nightly (the untold perk of being the only girl in the kitchen most days) but more than that I miss "Sunday Dinners".  "Sunday Dinners" consisted of a bunch of cooks throwing some stuff together and making really amazing meals that fed your tummy as much as they fed your soul. It was a time when the staff spent quality time together working on new ideas that weren't quite ready for the general public. 

I've been working through some thoughts in my head of how to fit it in to our life today. The realities of our life are that we have two boys who we love dearly and who run the show in a lot of ways. Mike and I work opposite schedules and Sunday is really our only day off together. The day is just wasted and in general I feel like I'm living in a hamster wheel just spinning and spinning but not able to enjoy the small things that made me want to cook for a living... I want to change that. 

2 short years ago our life was very different, levi was a restaurant kid. I literally took him everywhere with me. He would go to chef meetings at the best restaurants in town (sometimes ordering the most expensive thing on he menu), he never had a normal bedtime (and always took an amazing 3 hour nap in the afternoon), he was very comfortable at white tablecloth restaurants and barely every complained as long as I kept him pretty occupied. Luca is a different kid.... Luca still takes two 2 hour naps a day and goes to sleep at 7:15pm (I can push him till 8 but it's hard) and will sleep till almost 8 am if I let him. The time he is awake is non-stop action... The kid doesn't take a break. When we cut Levi's nap out in the fall things have just really become more difficult.  If we do take them both to dinner it has to be at 5-5:30 and we have to be home at 7. If not it is just not enjoyable for anyone... 

So I thought... Wouldn't it be amazing to have a sunday supper at our house maybe once a month... Invite friends who would like to be a part of something amazing.... Try new recipes. A gourmet pot luck. Kids invited.  Some quality casual time with friends. I'm aware it could be a disaster... There might be rough play, drink stealing, disagreements and a huge mess... And then there's the kids...Just kidding!  But I honestly need something and I'm hoping this is the start of something kind of spectacular. 

I'm not sure of the nitty gritty details yet. But it is in the works. My wheels are turning. Tables are being set. Menus are being planned... This will happen.... Soon. 

Xoxo chef a

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Letter

On the iPod "Forever Young" By: Alphaville

Oh my... I have so much to write... Do you ever have those times when you have about a million ideas/thoughts running through your head but just not enough time to focus on them?  

Well anyways my next post will be about Nia or Sunday supper clubs but tonight I'm writing a blog to a good friend, who happens to be going through something that is near and dear to my heart... Losing a baby...

Dear love-

When I received your text today telling me how sorry you were for not being able to be there for me when I lost the babies like I am for you now it made me sad that you have to know that... Mainly because it is very hard, even sort of impossible, for someone who has never lost a baby to truly understand what it is to lose a baby and I hate that now you know. 

You are dealing with unfortunate comments like... 

"Well you didn't want an unhealthy baby, right?"

"It's G-d's way."

"So next time... Maybe it's best to not tell everyone so early..."

"You got pregnant so fast. It will happen again, at least you know you can get pregnant!"

Blah... blah... blah... 

You lost a baby... You didn't miss carry it... You didn't do anything to make it happen... 
And even if the baby wasn't healthy it really doesn't change the fact that you are heartbroken and if you could just sleep until you are pregnant again you would.  I'm going to guess that your main concern is not deciding when you will tell everyone the next time. And if this is G-d's way then I'm pretty sure you aren't a big fan right now...

You don't need me to tell you that you will survive this because honestly you've seen me do it and deep down you already know you will.  I've been pregnant 5 times and I have two beautiful boys...But I also can still remember every due date... And I can remember everything about the days that the pregnancies ended both the births and the D&Cs. I wish I could tell you that they fade into distant memory but they don't...

You are most likely mad at your body for not being able to perform the way we were always taught it would... You are sort of annoyed that the world is just going on... You will feel like you are staring at every pregnant person and also feel like they think that you are some sort of pregnant imposter... You will meet the odd woman who lost a baby but acts like it was no big deal and she just moved on... She is lying... If not to you, then to herself for sure! You will feel like your friends with babies are hiding from you, even if they are not. And you will undoubtedly feel like you have let the closest people around you down, but that is the farthest thing from the truth. 

So now you are one of it or not.  And you get to be the most amazing friend to the next member. You get to tell her your story. You get to be there for her like not many friends can be. And you will show her how you survived just like she will. 

I hope that you will take the grieving process to heart and embrace every part of it because it is a gift that not everyone takes. I know you know that I am here for you now and forever. 


xoxo chef a

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Recovery

On the iPod "Arms" by: Christina Perri

First off I'm so sorry for the delay in reporting how levi is doing. I'm not going to lie, we have had a rough week.... And I really needed things to get better before I could write if that makes sense...

When I left you last it was about midnight on Friday night after Levi's surgery. I had a bit of a scare because I could not get levi to wake up. We had to call the on call dr in the middle of the night because levi just wouldn't wake up and was breathing funny and I was scared out of my mind. Everyone had told me to stay on top of his meds making sure that we woke him up in the middle of the night to take them... Well there was no waking him up... I sat for the next 6 hours and watched him breathe.  He really didn't come around until 6 am. The doctors had told us that Saturday would be the best day. He had a nerve block so there wasn't very much pain. He was uncomfortable but it was not terrible. 

Luca came home in the afternoon with 102.5.  I ran him to pedi after hours because I was worried about an ear infection because there were no other symptoms but they told me that it was probably a virus and teething.  So we just treated the fever and held him...

Over the next 24 hours things got progressively worse, levi was throwing up blood and having massive stomach distress and luca's fever was up to 104. We tried and tried to get levi to spit any blood out but he kept swallowing it which just made things worse. And He was bouncing off the walls! Luca was a full blown mess and very unhappy. Oh wait and this is where is gets good... Ice storm 2015 was upon us and I was bracing myself for lockdown with two sick kids who couldn't even hangout together and No way out...

Monday morning luca woke up with 104.5. Because of the ice storm we couldn't get through to the doctor,  The after hours phone line was messed up for both our pediatrician and for Levi's Ent so besides a pediatrician friend who is amazing and talked me through what was going on, I really had no contact with the doctors who were keeping tabs on how it was going!   I was just trying to keep everyone happy and comfortable and away from each other! 

I had the bright idea of setting up an air mattress in the tv room and levi pretty much spent all day there, it was pretty genius! Monday night luca's fever finally broke. Levi's stomach was still an issue but we discovered that he was having an adverse reaction to the pain medicine which was making him crazy, so we just treated him with over the counter meds! 

Tuesday morning i was able to get in contact with our pedi office and got luca in. I just wanted to make sure there wasn't an ear infection... Well as soon as I removed his shirt I noticed a rash all over his body... He had roseola. High fever followed by a rash... Pretty textbook. And he was/is cutting his I teeth which are just the most awesome ones... And the most painful! Levi on the other hand seemed to be getting a bit better... On Wednesday, His class FaceTimed him which was the highlight of his day! They also sent a cute video which we have probably watched 100 times. He started to become very lethargic that afternoon and by Wednesday night was complaining of pain which he really just doesn't do.

I felt like an awesome mother when at his one week follow up appt the ENT found fluid in both ears (obviously why he was feeling worse!) Everything else was looking good but the dr thought that the infection was not responding to the antibiotic he was on (shocking! Not!) so we changed antibiotics! The ear issues can happen during sinus surgery as they flush the sinuses... water and bacteria can enter the ear canal... We are hoping that it was just part of the surgery and that he is now on the mend! He will be out of school another week mainly for the purpose of giving his little body a chance to heal and giving his immune system a much needed break. 

I can not begin to thank our amazing school community and friends for really taking the best care of us. A couple of the most incredible ladies set up a meal train for us and I really didn't have to worry about dinner for the whole week which was awesome. And those of you who brought gifts, lunch, games, movies and art projects to keep us busy... Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

I am not one to ask for help. It is just not in my nature and these amazing people in my life just did it. They helped us. They took care of us! They called and texted and made us feel loved everyday and there is nothing I can do or say or even write that will fully express how much it meant to me, mike, levi and luca. We will forever be grateful! 

Here's to hoping this week is a calm one! 

xoxo chef a