Monday, May 11, 2015

The Inner Loop

On the iPod "Georgia" by: Vance Joy

I'm well aware that only half of you will do this but go now and pull up this song on whatever you use... "YouTube" "Spotify" "iTunes" whatever. Hold the bottom speaker of your phone to your ear... (Careful that's it's not turned all the way up, but just loud enough that you feel like you are the only one in the room) now close your eyes and hit play... Haunting right? I love a song set in a minor key...

It's funny... Levi told me tonight that he loves to watch me listen to music... Man I love this kid. I mean if he only knew that this is mommy's escape but whatever... he gives himself time outs so to each their own! 

Today has been a rough day for me and although I'm not going to bore you all with the details I will say that my mom not being in town today and luca's decision to drop a nap last week and my own personal difficulty with schedule changes probably didn't help the day to begin with... Anyhow, it is what it is, all that really matters is that I have 364 days in the year to celebrate being a mommy even if today didn't go as planned! But just for fun I will tell you a little story that will make you laugh...

So some background might not guess this considering I write a very personal, very public blog... But I'm actually quite a private person. I have a handful of friends that are in the inside loop and in my "old age" I have become very picky with who I open up to.  I would admit that I'm a giver, a listener, and a helper to the many and outside of the inside loop, I come across as very confident, strong willed, and even some might say intimidating (it's a chef thing), but to those few who are inside the loop they know that every once in awhile...I lose it... Like really lose it... I'm a silent, can't catch my breath or speak crier and I'm TERRIBLE at asking for help. 

So today when one of my inside loop girls called me it was just the perfect storm... The exact right time when everything was falling apart and her response was simply perfect... In her sarcastic tone she said, "Man I thought you were going to make me feel all jealous with how perfect your Mother's Day was going..." And to that we both laughed... She then insisted that after we put our kids to bed we escape to the foot massage place... I mean who could say no to that! 

Anyways we get to the "parlor" at 8:30 for our $50- 90 minute "religious experience" and yes I'm referring to it as an experience because well we've been around the block with foot massage places and this one happens to be the best. Don't get me wrong this isn't like a "happy ending" kind of place... Well at least we didn't think so! So anyways here we are in a room full of others trying to escape as well and everything seems just perfect... My phone dies 5 minutes in which was kind of incredible because I tend to sometimes work on my phone during the massage... I know, I know. Anyways so the two of us at this point are laying on our backs with a towel over our eyes. And then it happens... I start hearing moans... Not just normal moans but like Manly moans... The kind that make you blush... So of course I rip that towel off my eyes and turn to my friend who is just lying there not even flenching! I continue just trying to ignore it but the scene from "When Harry Met Sally" is playing in my head and I'm starting to get the giggles and have an incredible desire to scream out, "I'll have what he's having!" Even my massage therapist is starting to giggle at this point!  And I'm starting to think, "I can't believe she is sleeping through this!!!" So as soon as our therapists leave then room to get the hot steamy towels to wipe the lotion off our legs. Tasha's eye mask rips off and she jumps up to an, "OMG, Gross!!" And I just bust out laughing!! We manage to compose ourselves before we out ourselves as the immature adolescents that we obviously are! They proceed to turn us over on our stomachs to work on our necks and backs... Before I know it my tank top is around my waist and anyone walking through the room is getting an eye full of side boob and all I can think is that the next person that walks through is going to say..."Amanda? Is that you?" And then I'm going to have to explain why I'm in a party room with half naked people while the gentleman to my rear is having a full on orgasm... Whatever, they are there for the same reason so what do I care right? Lol!   Actually by the end of the massage while I had a lovely Asian girl sitting on my naked ass crack gently moving my rib bones around I didn't even notice the moaning anymore... Ya right! Lol. So as the two of us laughed our way out the the "foot massage" place, I realized that this was really what it all is about... Having friends that know that sometimes all you need is a good giggle...

So to you ladies who are in my inner loop and who all actually oddly enough checked in with me yesterday of all days... Must have been told in the cosmos to you that it was a rough day but anyways thanks... Thanks for checking on your strong willed friend who always seems to have it together even though you and I both know better! Lol

xoxo chef a

Friday, May 8, 2015


On the iPod "Over You (feat. A Great Big World) by: Ingrid Michaelson

It's funny, I think I've always wanted to be a mom. It has always been on my road map, if you will, but I don't really think I even knew what being a mother meant... My own mom is pretty incredible and growing up she really made it all seem effortless. We always had what we needed and most of what we wanted. And even when she didn't understand the path we were taking she tried to be as supportive of us as possible. 

When I say this I don't want you to think my dad was anything but spectacular in most ways but let's just say our relationship with him grew as we did. I'm not sure how fatherly he was to us as young children unless we were perfectly dressed and not speaking, lol. No seriously, children were supposed to be seen and not heard. But regardless my mom really filled in for both of them in most ways and for all intents and purposes she did most of the hard stuff sort of alone...but she never made us feel like we were a burden (well except for the times that we knew we were being!)  

So I have to admit that I was a little shocked when I realized how hard it is to be a mom. Don't get me wrong, so far this is the most rewarding adventure I have ever taken. But it is brutally hard. I mean there isn't a manual... instead there are a million manuals all saying different things and that doesn't even include the verbal "suggestions" being screamed at you from ever direction and the constant worry that you are f$&@ing up. I mean I was told that until the baby sleeps through the night you will be exhausted and that's just a blatant lie... Levi is 4 and I'm still exhausted. If I'm not worrying about how much he knows today, I'm worrying about how prepared he will be for tomorrow. Or if he has enough friends or if those friends are true friends...  And if I'm giving him the opportunities he needs or deserves... If he is on the iPad too much... And If I'm missing something he is telling me, something I should know because I'm his mom and I should know EVERYTHING about him. Oh wait and that's just for one kid... Don't get me started on how Luca seems to go against the grain of every philosophy that having Levi taught me. 

Being a mom is also kinda lonely at times. I never thought my mom could have ever been lonely while taking care of us day and night, but being where I am now I can't imagine that she wasn't somewhat lonely at times. And I don't mean the kind of lonely where you are by yourself because with kids, let's face it, you are NEVER alone. It's more of a pit in your stomach feeling that every decision is just another chance to screw it up and that that one decision will define you as a mother.

And then I think... here my mom is 36 years later still mothering me... Still guiding me and my boys and fiercely protecting and supporting us at the same time as I struggle to find my way on this adventure. And still making it seem pretty effortless...

I honestly can't thank her enough for everything. She is my ultimate role model... The ultimate friend... The ultimate mother and Bebe. And for all of the rest of you mommies reading this struggling with this whole "mom" job. Never let anyone say to you... "Well what did you expect having kids would be like?" There is NOTHING that can get you ready or prepared for this job. It is incredibly hard with the most difficult hours and when they laid that baby in your arms for the first time you knew you would never stop trying no matter how hard it gets. You will continue to cherish the good days and fight through the hard ones and to your child it will always seem effortless...just know that you are not alone... There is an army of us out there, sometimes silently fighting an internal battle of our own expectations of what this journey should be like. Wishing we knew all of the right answers and praying we are at least getting some of them right... Wishing my mom and all of the mommies out there a truly effortless and magnificent day.

xoxo chef a

Monday, May 4, 2015

A Gift

On the iPod "Rockstar" by: A Great Big World

First off I have to say that I am so lucky to be doing some marketing/social media work for MoveStudio. First of all MoveStudio feels like home to me and actually none of the "work" I'm doing for them even feels like work! I honestly couldn't ask for more amazing owners to work with and I just love it! Can't wait to work more! Lol! A couple of months ago Jackie (the owner) and I had a long talk about preschool and teaching methods... When you are spending time with another mom who has preschool age kids the conversation almost always turns to preschool!! It also helped that we discovered that my nephew and her daughter are in Mother's Day out together making the school convo come full circle... Anyways I told her why a picked the preschool Levi attends, why I think preschool is so important, and how incredible Levi's teachers are for not only teaching him letters and numbers but also teaching him to have a heart, to respect his friends and how to change the world... Then we moved on to talk about other normal mom subjects like nursing babies and potty training. Lol. 

So about 2 weeks ago... Jackie messaged me about an idea she had to give some teachers a free class out of appreciation for everything they do. What an amazing gift! Because I know the teachers in my life spend so much time worrying about other people's kids that they don't spend hardly any time on themselves and that is just a travesty! 

I am so grateful for the teachers in this world because well it's not my forte. Don't get me wrong, there are things I can teach like how to make a bechamel sauce or how to cut the most perfect brunoise dice or chiffonade and I could even teach you scales on the piano or how to go about writing a song or even an English paper. But as far as teaching my child to count to 20 or to write his name, I'm the first to admit that I suck! It's not that I don't try because I do, but unfortunately someone always ends up in tears and honestly it's usually me. I mean Greenhill Prep School taught me how to write a paper in an hour and how to flash card my way into passing a history test with flying colors, but those hardcore techniques don't work so well with a 4 year old and I tend to get super frustrated very quickly! So levi and I are both lucky that he has amazing teachers who not only truly know him and love him, but who take the time to try to figure out ways to teach him what he needs to know and are nice enough to let me in on their secret ways to keep him focused so that I continue to try to "teach" him at home without hiding in the fetal position. 

Anyways, so I told Jackie that I absolutely wanted to give Levi's teachers a certificate. But then Jackie did something even better... She said, "Actually I want you to give all of the teachers at Levi's preschool a free class and a sauna pass!" I honestly was pretty taken back... What a treat for me to be able to gift them time for themselves.

So last week, in front of all of their students, I was able to give the teachers the MoveStudio gift certificates while also explaining to their students why teachers deserve to be thanked so much! MoveStudio has gone on to give the gift of time to many other teachers in our community this last week! So today as we start the official Teacher Appreciation week, I'd like you to take a minute and tell all of the teachers in your life what they mean to you because honestly there aren't enough gifts in the world to truly thank them for what they do! 

xoxo chef a